Delaware Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester announces her candidacy for the United States Senate

DOVER, Del. (AP) β€” Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, Delaware’s sole representative in the U.S. House, announced Wednesday that she is running for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by fellow Democrat Tom Carper.

Blunt Rochester’s announcement came as no surprise, given Carper said when announcing her retirement last month that he favored her as a replacement.

Blunt Rochester, who previously interned for Carper when he was in the House and also served in Carper’s cabinet when he was governor, was reelected to a fourth term in Congress last November. In a campaign video, Blunt Rochester said she now wants to continue representing Delaware in the US Senate.

β€œIt has been the greatest honor of my life to represent Delaware, to protect our elders, our environment, our small businesses and women’s reproductive rights,” she said. “But we have so much more to do.”

Rochester is the only woman and the only person of color to represent Delaware in Washington. She is the first person to announce a candidacy to succeed Carper in the Senate.

The last time Delaware voters sent a Republican to Washington was in 2008. Delaware remains a deeply blue state, with about 358,000 registered Democrats, nearly equaling the combined total of some 209,000 registered Republicans and 173,000 unaffiliated voters.

Blunt Rochester is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

According to the Congressional Record, she sponsored 89 bills and resolutions during her tenure in the House, many aimed at improving or expanding access to health care, especially for women and minorities. The only Blunt Rochester-sponsored measure to become law was a resolution naming a Wilmington post office after Mary Ann Shadd Cary, a 19th-century anti-slavery activist and publisher.

Prior to being elected to Congress, Blunt Rochester served as state personnel director in Delaware, as well as secretary of labor. She is also a former member of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League.

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