Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), currently serving as the U.S. representative for Delaware’s at-large Congressional seat, this week announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate to succeed the retiring Sen. Tom Carper.

Born in Philadelphia, she moved at a young age to Wilmington, DE, where her father served on the Wilmington City Council. After starting college at Villanova University, Blunt Rochester transferred her sophomore year to the University of Delaware. She left college to live in Europe, but eventually gained a degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a master’s degree from the University of Delaware.

Blunt Rochester worked under Carper as an intern when he represented Delaware in the House and continued working with him until he was elected governor in 1993. He then named her deputy secretary of Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services, then as secretary of the Delaware Department of Labor in 1998. She ran for election to the House of Representatives in 2016, winning a contested primary.

Upon his announcement of retirement, set for 2024, Carper publicly called on Blunt Rochester to run to replace him and eventually offered his endorsement.

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.

“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.”

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

As chairman of the Environment and Public Works (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.