February 3rd, 2010
01:30 PM ET
11 years ago

Democrats land a senate candidate in Delaware

(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.

After Beau Biden decided against running for the senate, speculation shifted to Coons, who is in the middle of his second term as a county executive and prevented from seeking re-election. Coons Wednesday filed papers with the Federal Elections commission to run for the senate.

"Before I was elected in 2004, the county government was mired in scandal. I restored integrity and confidence in county government. I cut wasteful spending, helped businesses to create jobs, and made our communities safer. I want to take my strong track record of getting real results to the U.S. Senate because the people of Delaware deserve leadership that represents their values," added Coons.

Castle, the likely Republican nominee, is Delaware's 9-term at-large congressman and a former 2-term governor of the state. With the younger Biden out of the race, and before Coon's announcement, political analysts considered the contest a good opportunity for the GOP to pick up a seat.

Tuesday, Vice President Biden predicted in a cable news television interview that Coons would "surprise the devil out of" election watchers if he ran.

Sen. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said in a statement Wednesday that "Chris Coons has an impressive record of shaking-up government, cutting wasteful spending, and working with local businesses to create jobs. With Chris's entrance into the race, Delawareans will face a choice between a proven reformer who has created an engine of economic growth and a longtime Washington insider who has voted with the special interests."

It's a very different story from the other side of the aisle:

"As the last-minute choice of the Democrat establishment in Washington, Chris Coons represents nothing more than another loyal foot-soldier for the increasingly unpopular Democrat agenda of higher taxes, out-of-control spending, increasing deficits, and government-run health care," responded National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Colin Reed.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2010 • Delaware • Mike Castle
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    I hope Coons beats Castle, the career politician who would bring another 'no' vote for the party of lies.

    February 3, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. SIMP

    Wow the republican spokemans colin reeds comments are down right nasty, what's the matter clown? You scared. LOLLLLLLL

    February 3, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. obama the liar

    another political career ruined by the community organizer.

    February 3, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. Mike in MN

    Wow, Democrat Coons says Washington has failed to deliver the change we voted for and promises to bring a new approach to Washington. Sounds like he is stating that Obama has failed. Obama and the Democrats have had an obstruction proof majority and failed to deliver the promised change as Coons states. Wonder if he will want Obama to come and campaign for him?

    February 3, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    I hope coons wins we do not want a republican please!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 3, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. SocialismBad

    EGADS!! The Democrats are REALLY scraping the BOTTOM of the barrel!! A COUNTY executive??!! Was the Wilmington Dog Catcher too busy to run??? BWAAHAHAHHAHA!!!

    February 3, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The "Tea Party" and Republican Party are one of the same and Republicans need to step up to the plate and tell people the truth.

    February 3, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  8. Scott in Atlanta

    Dang it! I'm a democrat, and just listening to the names of some of these democratic candidates is unimpressive to say the least... Just the sound of the names lacks enthusiasm.

    I know it seems shallow, but I also know that I'm not the only one to think that.

    February 3, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. Hammerer

    Is it getting so bad that Dems have to pay candidates to run on the Dem ticket?

    February 3, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. gary davis harbor oregon


    February 3, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. Obama Victim

    sacrafical lamb??

    February 3, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  12. sameole

    Sounds like another biden in the making.

    February 3, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. D.

    Another "change monger" .....

    February 3, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "DEMS did NOT NEED 1 SINGLE GOP vote to pass anything."

    Very cute Fake Sniffit. But see, that's what sets them apart from the GOP. We just watched the GOP spend almost 8 years cutting back room deals, holidng votes at 2:30 a.m. on a Monday morning, locking Dems out of the room, and pushing things thru that weren't at all bipartisan by throwing their majority weight around. The Dems, for better or worse (depending on how you look at it), are apparently too chickensh-t to do that. Had they done it, you Limbots would have needed Thorazine shots to keep you from swallowing your tongues.

    February 3, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  15. BeverlyinNC

    We're going to be gathering strong Democratic candidates all year as Republicans dig their obstructionist hole deeper. Americans are not stupid enough to believe the worn-out Republican lies, constant unwarranted criticism, and support of the still complete failed policies of the Bush/Cheney black years for our country.
    Repubicans are all about Republicans, Democrats are about working hard for the People who elected them and keeping their oath of office to SERVE.

    February 3, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. RealityKing

    Image a Senate and House devoid of progressive liberalism. Image a strong and vibrant America..

    February 3, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. Jane/Seattle

    Let us just HOPE we have a good one here!

    What with FOX, Palin, the Tea Partiers and all the rest of the Misplaced-Blame Crowd running about spreading lies, half-truths, confusions mixed up in Egos, How will we ever get to the truth?

    We need some very excellent, ethical candidates, who will place the welfare of life above personal ambitions. We need these folks to come forward and Run this country into Correction. No, we will not stop until lives are being saved and not continuously Taken for Profits. NO MORE WARS! Anything less IS Deception. Peace

    February 3, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. alphonso

    now rep. castle wil b exposed as a far right winger.just bcause he's very popular n deleware don't mean anything martha coakley was very popular 2 look at what happen 2 her.

    February 3, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. Four and The Door

    "People here in Delaware are hurting, and Congress has failed to deliver the change we voted for in 2008.
    Interesting...a Democrat running on an anti-Democratic political machine platform. I like it. It just might work!

    February 3, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. Rickster

    After not being able to find anybody who wants to run as a democrat this poor schmuck drew the short straw. Alright, fine, throw him out there and let him be the Delaware fodder for the upcoming and well-deserved thumping that the democrats are going to take thanks to Barry Soetero or Obama or whatever his name really is.

    February 3, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  21. Old White Virginia Female

    Hopefully the Democratic machine will make an effort to campaign for this seat and not let it be stolen from them.

    February 3, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. John, Brooklyn, NY

    CNN...please correct your language. "Challenging" a candidate inplies that the challenge-ee is an incumbent and the notion of "challenging" someone for a seat has an undertone that the challenge-er is at a political disadvantage.

    Your second paragraph indicates that County Executive Coons is "challenging" Representative Castle. Since neither currently hold the senate seat, the correct term would be more in line with some like this:

    "If nominated, County Executive Coon will face likely Republican Representative Castle in the general election to fill the vacant senate seat."

    February 3, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  23. RAL

    Just what we don't need
    Another Democrat in office
    The blame game isn't working anymore time to vote all the libs out.
    Delaware maybe the First State but runs last in what the needs of it Residents need.
    Schools without enough books and qualified teachers crime increasing .
    Once fine neighborhood left ot deteroriate while they build on every green spot left in the state.
    Summer brings water rationing & power surges .
    Yeah we need more Democrats to run the state into the ground.

    February 3, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. Kevin in Ohio

    A DEMOCRATbringing new approiaches in Washington???????? ROTFLMAO.

    February 3, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Deb

    The Republicans must think people are stupid because they created this mess.

    February 3, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |