New Castle County Executive Chris Coons (D) will challenge Congressman Mike Castle (R) in a special election for U.S. Senate. Both want to fill the last four years of Vice President Joe Biden’s seat.
It’s official. After about a week and a half of speculation, New Castle County Executive Chris Coons (D) says he is running for U.S. Senate.
The Chris Coons campaign website is where he first made the announcement. Coons says, “I’m running for Senate because it’s time for new leaders to assume responsibility in Washington.” The leader of Delaware’s most populous county will go up against Republican Congressman Mike Castle. The Castle announcement was made in October, 13 months before the general election of 2010.
Coons says, “In these challenging economic times, I believe we need leaders who will fight for our families and stand up for what is right, even when it’s not easy or popular.”
The opportunity for Coons to run first presented itself after the man long considered to be running, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden announced last month that he would not run for seat held by his father, Vice President Joe Biden, for more than 30 years. Coons says he didn’t start considering a run to Beau called to say that he would not be running. Coons says the call came as a surprise. “To make the decision to leap from being focused on County Executive to adding to that a candidacy for the U.S. Senate, has made for a challenging and interesting week, but I think I’m making the right decision both for the voters and the citizens of Delaware.”
Coons says as County Executive he’s seen how local governments don’t get the support the support they need from Washington. “I think lots of us are looking for more in terms of less partisanship, less bickering, more real solutions out of Washington.” Coons call for less bickering comes at the start of what will likely be a hotly contested campaign, with lots of national attention from both parties, but he says he hopes the race will be run with a Delaware flavor. “It’s really my hope that we can have a campaign that has a Delaware tone, that’s respectful, that’s balanced, that’s thoughtful, and allows Delawareans to make a good choice that’s well informed, rather than just being drowned out by the competing voices of ads from all around the country.”
An example of that national interest, chairman of the national Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Senator Robert Menendez says, “Chris Coons is well positioned as an outsider.” He takes aim at Castle, calling the Republican “a longtime Washington insider who has voted with the special interests.” Not to be outdone, Delaware GOP chairman Tom Ross says, “Delawareans are not ready to send to Washington another rubber-stamp for the Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda, and that’s exactly what Chris Coons will be.”
For his part, Congressman Castle welcomed Coons to the campaign in a statement released this afternoon. He says he’s looking forward to the campaign.