Delaware Senator to retire in 2024

On May 26, 2023, in Congressional News, by David Elrod

Delaware Senator Tom Carper this week announced he plans to retire from the Senate in 2024 at the conclusion of his fourth term.

Carper, 76, was first elected to the Senate in 2000 after serving in the House of Representatives representing Delaware from 1983 to 1993 and as the 71st Governor of Delaware from 1993 to 2000.

Sen. Carper touring a Delaware chicken farm in February, along with Mountaire Farms staff, DCA’s Holly Porter and Delaware officials

Originally from West Virginia, Carper graduated from Ohio State University before joining the Navy. After serving active duty in the Vietnam War, he remained in the U.S. Naval Reserve another 18 years and retired at the rank of Captain. He then received a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Delaware and worked in state government, including as state treasurer from 1977 to 1983, when he was elected to the House.

Carper has served as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senate Finance Committee, and most recently as the current chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee.

“On behalf of the broiler industry, I want to thank Senator Carper for his service to Delaware and for his service to this country,” NCC President Mike Brown said. “He has been steadfast supporter of America’s chicken producers and is a founding member of the Senate Chicken Caucus. Senator Carper is always the first to point out that Delaware has more chickens than people! I wish him and his family all the best upon his retirement next year.”

It is widely expected that current Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) is expected to seek Carper’s seat in the Senate in the 2024 elections, with Democrat Party leadership already endorsing her plans.

Carper’s retirement also sets up a shuffle in Senate committee leadership in the next Congress.

As chairman of the EPW Committee, his departure brings up next-in-line Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who happens to currently serve as chair of the Senate Budget Committee. Sen. Whitehouse has not yet formally indicated whether he would seek the EPW chair position.

Sen. Whitehouse’s potential departure to chair EPW would then open up the Budget Committee chairmanship.

Next in line to that seat would be Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), as all members of the Budget Committee with higher seniority than Sen. Merkley are all currently chairing other committees (Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA – Appropriations; Sen. Ron Wyden, D-OR – Finance; Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, retiring – Agriculture; Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT – Health, Education, Labor, Pensions; Sen. Mark Warner, D-VA – Intelligence).

Carper’s retirement now means four Democrat Senators have announced retirements, joining Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD).

Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) also announced his retirement to run for Indiana governor.

Sen. Carper speaks in February at the Delaware Agricultural Museum’s exhibit on the history of the broiler industry in Delaware