Lisa Blunt Rochester, the first woman and the first African American to represent Delaware in Congress, announced on Wednesday that she is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Tom Carper, who is retiring after four terms.

Blunt Rochester, 59, said in a video statement that she wants to continue Carper’s legacy of fighting for the people of Delaware and the nation. She highlighted her work on health care, economic recovery, racial justice and climate change as some of the issues that motivate her to seek higher office.

“I’m running for Senate because I believe we need leaders who will bring us together, not tear us apart,” she said. “We need leaders who will listen to the voices of all Delawareans and Americans, not just the loudest or the most powerful. We need leaders who will work across the aisle to get things done, not play political games that only benefit themselves.”

Blunt Rochester, a former state labor secretary and personnel director, was elected to the House of Representatives in 2016 and has been re-elected twice with more than 60% of the vote. She serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Ethics Committee. She was also one of the co-chairs of President Joe Biden’s transition team.

Blunt Rochester is expected to face a crowded Democratic primary field that could include state Attorney General Kathy Jennings, state Senator Sarah McBride, who is the nation’s highest-ranking transgender elected official, and former state Senator Bryan Townsend. The winner of the primary will likely face Republican Julianne Murray, a lawyer who unsuccessfully challenged Governor John Carney in 2020.

Blunt Rochester said she is ready for the challenge and hopes to earn the trust and support of Delawareans.

“I’m running for Senate because I love this state and this country, and I know we can do better,” she said. “Together, we can build a future that is more prosperous, more equitable and more sustainable for ourselves and our children.”

Leave a Reply