(CNN)– With one day to go until the primary, an ugly GOP Senate nomination battle in Delaware is getting even uglier.
The Tea Party Express, the California based national Tea Party organization that's backing conservative candidate Christine O'Donnell, is demanding that Delaware Republican Party Chairman Tom Ross resign.
Ross is supporting former governor and nine-term state-wide Rep. Mike Castle in the contest. In May, at the state GOP convention, the moderate congressman and former two-term governor defeated O'Donnell, a conservative commentator and marketing consultant who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 2006 and 2008.
Tea Party Express endorsed O'Donnell earlier this summer and in the past two weeks went up with ads attacking Castle as too moderate. The group says they'll spend at least $250,000 on behalf of O'Donnell. A similar last minute blitz by the Tea Party Express last month was credited in helping conservative candidate Joe Miller top Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska's Republican primary.
(CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie penned a fundraising e-mail Sunday to help Delaware Rep. Mike Castle fend off Tea Party insurgent candidate Christine O'Donnell in that state's Senate race.
"I know that Mike Castle agrees with what I've been doing in New Jersey since taking office in January: controlling spending, balancing the budget, reducing the size of government and creating an environment that allows our small businesses to thrive and grow," Christie wrote.
"He is the Republican that Delaware - and our country - needs in the United States Senate, and he is the only candidate in this race that can put this seat in the Republican column in November," he added.
Christie endorsed Castle at the University of Delaware - they both graduated from UD - on September 2.
Millsboro, Delaware (CNN) - The Republican party's candidate in Delaware says he won't be caught off guard by the Tea Party in the final days before Tuesday's primary.
Mike Castle, the moderate Republican congressman whose Senate bid has the support of the state GOP, is trying to avoid becoming the next Lisa Murkowski.
Sen. Murkowski, the Republican incumbent in Alaska, was ousted by a Tea Party challenger last month. Soon after her defeat, she phoned Castle with a warning, the congressman tells CNN.
"I actually received a call after the election saying, 'Mike, you need to be prepared, they'll come at you hard,' " Castle said after a campaign stop in Millsboro, Delaware. "It was part of a broader wake-up call that's been going on for several months now."
Washington (CNN) - Fresh on the heels of Joe Miller's surprising win over Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Alaska Republican Senate primary, the Tea Party movement is setting its sights on Delaware.
Now the Delaware Republican Party is taking heed – and taking on – the Tea Party-backed candidate in the state's Republican Senate primary, sparking a war of words between the state's establishment GOP and the Tea Party movement.
It's a race that pits conservative Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell against moderate Rep. Mike Castle, Delaware's former two-term governor and lone Congressman since 1993.
Both candidates' campaigns have become increasingly caustic, especially as Tea Party-backed candidates across the country have picked up win after win against GOP establishment candidates.
Washington (CNN) - Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, and Rep. Mike Castle, R-Delaware, announced Monday that they will introduce bipartisan legislation in response to a January ruling by the Supreme Court that altered long-standing rules governing how corporations fund political campaigns.
"The Supreme Court's ruling on Citizens United v. FEC overturned two decades of precedents that prohibited corporate and union expenditures in political campaigns," the congressmen wrote in a joint statement. "This decision enables larger financial interests to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens, allows foreign corporations to spend money through their domestic subsidiaries, and permits major recipients of taxpayer dollars to funnel these funds into political activities."
"The Court's ruling in this case demonstrates a blatant disregard for its own precedents and ignores the clear intent of Congress to reduce the influence of powerful special interests," they added.
The legislators plan on introducing the legislation on Thursday, a Democratic source close to the negotiations tells CNN.
Van Hollen is the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; Castle is making a bid for the Senate seat formerly held by Vice President Joe Biden.
(CNN) - Add another Republican to the race for Vice President Joe Biden's old Senate seat.
Christine O'Donnell formally announced her candidacy Wednesday. O'Donnell, a conservative commentator and marketing consultant who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 2006 and 2008, had been talking about running again since last summer. She will now face off for her party's nomination against Rep. Mike Castle, Delaware's 9-term at-large congressman and a former 2-term governor of the state,
"Delaware voters deserve a candidate who understands that governments can't spend their way to recovery and they cannot tax the country into prosperity. That is why I have made the decision to run for US Senate," said O'Donnell at a kick-off event at the University of Delaware's Wilmington campus. "The problem is we don't have enough elected leaders who understand that, far too often, the actions of Congress kill job growth and lead to higher taxes and bigger deficits."
Castle's campaign tells CNN that "Mike welcomes all candidates who enter the race for United States Senate and looks forward to this campaign. He is committed to keeping both Congress, and this campaign, focused on solutions to issues that voters care about– economic growth, runaway federal spending, and getting Delawareans back to work."
(CNN) - Nine days after Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden announced he wouldn't make a bid for his father's old senate seat, the Democrats have landed a candidate.
New Castle County Executive Chris Coons officially announced Wednesday that he's challenging Republican Rep. Mike Castle for the open senate seat this November.
"People here in Delaware are hurting, and Congress has failed to deliver the change we voted for in 2008. I'm running to bring new energy and a new approach to Washington," Coons said in a news release.
Beau Biden announced on Jan. 26 that he would run for re-election as attorney general, ending months of speculation that he would make a bid for the seat held for 36 years by his father Vice President Joe Biden. The elder Biden stepped down from the Senate after his election in November 2008 as vice president. Former Biden aide Ted Kaufman was named as an interim replacement. After Beau Biden's announcement, Kaufman said that he would not seek a full term.
"I cannot and will not run for the United States Senate in 2010," Biden said in an e-mail to supporters Monday. "I will run for re-election as Attorney General."
Biden's decision ends months of speculation that he would make a bid for the seat held by 36 years by his father and gives Republicans a strong chance to pick up a seat long held by the Democrats. Their likely nominee, Mike Castle, is Delaware's at-large congressman and a former two-term governor of the state.
"The challenges we're facing as a country are extraordinarily difficult," the younger Biden wrote in the e-mail. "The economy. Jobs. Health care. Energy. Education. Climate change. Financial regulation. Foreign policy. These are not only the issues of the moment - they're the issues that will determine our children's future. And as someone who has had the privilege of serving with the bravest men and women on this planet, I care deeply about how we treat our returning veterans and how we resolve our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"I feel strongly about these issues," he continued. "However, my first responsibilities are here in Delaware. I have a duty to fulfill as Attorney General – and the immediate need to focus on a case of great consequence. And that is what I must do."
(CNN) - In Delaware, the Republicans got the man they were looking for.
Rep. Mike Castle announced Tuesday that he'll seek the Senate seat once held by Vice President Joe Biden. What makes this race even more intriguing is that the nine-term congressman, who represents the entire state of Delaware, could face off next year against one of Biden's sons.
"It has never been more important for Delaware to have the strongest and most experienced leadership to represent us in Washington. We are best served by an experienced, independent voice and that is why I am announcing my intention to run for the United States Senate," said Castle at a news conference in Wilmington, the state's largest city.
Castle, a former two-term governor, said that his official campaign kickoff will come later.
(CNN) – Rep. Mike Castle, R-Delaware, will announce at noon Tuesday that he will seek the Senate seat once held by Vice President Joe Biden, two sources tell CNN.
Castle is a former governor who was elected to the House in 1992. His entry into the race triggered the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report to characterize the contest late Tuesday morning as a "Lean Takeover" in its 2010 race ratings.
Democrats are now waiting to see if Vice President Biden's son, Beau, declares his candidacy for the seat. Beau Biden is the Delaware attorney general. He recently returned home after spending a year with his Army National Guard unit in Iraq.
- CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report