Chuck Boyce kicked off his campaign for U.S. Senate Thursday.
Almost two years before the election, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Chuck Boyce officially kicked off his campaign Thursday during a launch party in Old New Castle.
The first-time candidate and businessman hopes to take U.S. Sen. Tom Carper’s seat. The Democrat has yet to officially announce his bid for reelection in 2018.
“It’s time we end the musical chairs of the top seats in Delaware being held by the same handful of folks, and we break the chain of the Delaware way, and send someone to D.C. who has proven business experience and is not a career politician,” Boyce said.
The Middletown resident describes himself as an entrepreneur and philanthropist. Boyce is the chief publisher of the Newark-based Authority Media Group and is the founder of the Brandywine Executive Center. He’s also published several business books.
“As a business leader and entrepreneur for the last 20 years, I’ve had to work through many difficult challenges, and I understand the difficulties of making tough choices, while bringing together a team to address hard problems, and making sure we can reach a consensus and build the best possible solution,” Boyce said.
He said he will lead a grassroots campaign, and reach out to constituents through social media, town hall events and community organizations. Boyce said he’s eager to learn more about Delawareans’ concerns and craft plans to address them. He said he hopes starting his campaign early will give him the opportunitity to meet as many individuals as possible.
“Being a fairly small state that has not had, historically, a very good showing on the Republican ticket, we want to make sure we have plenty of time to reach out to all the communities, get their feedback and make sure our message is heard,” Boyce said.
He said he doesn’t believe Delaware’s veterans have benefited enough while Carper has been in office. In particular, Boyce said the VA medical system needs major improvements.
Last year USA Today obtained private documents detailing ratings for hospitals, with the one in Wilmington on the list of low-performance institutions. When no apparent improvements were made, the medical center’s director was replaced.
“We need to make sure we’re supporting our veterans, and freeing up medical providers in the system and moving as much of the bureaucracy and impediments to care,” Boyce said.
“My dad was a wounded veteran in Vietnam. We moved him from New Jersey to Delaware in 2012. It actually took me getting in my car going up to the VA hospital in East Orange, and physically carrying his records to Wilmington to make sure he could continue to get the care he needed.”
He said he would like to streamline the system, and also look at ways to improve the Veterans Choice Program, an Obama Administration initiative allowing military veterans to receive care from private doctors if Veterans Affairs facilities have excessive wait times.
“The personnel hired under Choice were evenly distributed throughout the medical system, instead of deploying those to the facilities that were seeing the biggest backlogs in care,” Boyce said.
He said if elected, he also wants to devote his time to job creation, and ensuring Delawareans are educated for booming industries.
“Delaware used to be a proud manufacturing state, and those manufacturing jobs have left the state. Unfortunately, we have not kept up with training our new students and the people entering the workforce for the jobs that are available,” Boyce said.
“Our education system in Delaware is still pushing kids into careers that no longer exist, instead of focusing on the growth areas like technology and medical support opportunities we have in Delaware. I think we need to stop demonizing trade programs nationally, and I think we need to stop guilting or forcing kids into taking huge student loan debts for jobs that don’t exist anymore.”
Sen. Carper has been in the U.S. Senate since 2001. He was elected after serving eight years as Delaware’s governor. Prior to being elected governor, Carper served five terms as Delaware’s lone member of the U.S. House. In 2012, he was reelected to his third term in the Senate. He defeated Republican challenger Kevin Wade with 66 percent of the vote.