During a media event on the Wilmington Riverfront on May 22, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) (above) announced his intention not to run for re-election following the end of his term in 2024.
[Above photo by Delaware DOT]
“As last year came to a close and the new one began, Martha [Carper’s wife] and I began to focus on what I should do next,” he explained in prepared remarks. “After a good deal of prayer and introspection, and more than a few heart-to-heart conversations, we’ve decided we should run through the tape over the next 20 months and finish the important work that my staff and I have begun on a wide range of fronts, many of them begun in partnership with Democrat and Republican colleagues in the Senate and in the House.”
“Senator Carper is an institution in our state – and a servant leader who has always put the interests of Delaware families first … [and] continues to work across the aisle to find common ground and get things done,” noted Delaware Governor John Carney (D) in a statement. “Throughout his time in Congress, as Governor, and his four terms in the U.S. Senate, he mentored countless public officials who came behind him. His leadership in Washington will be sorely missed – but I’m confident he’ll find ways to stay involved for the good of our state.”
“Senator Carper has been a key transportation policymaker on Capitol Hill for many years, forging bipartisan consensus on a wide array of critical infrastructure and environmental programs,” noted Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. “He’s also always been interested in hearing the State DOT perspective; inviting AASHTO and state department of transportation CEOs to testify before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and addressing our members at our annual Washington Briefing. ”
Sen. Carper – who chairs the EPW committee – emphasized at AASHTO’s 2023 Washington Briefing that the trade needs of the country are a reason why states need funding flexibility when it comes to the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA enacted in November 2021.
“Most of what we make in this country, we sell outside of this country,” he said. “That is why transportation matters to trade. You need trucks, you need ports, and roads to move it. As good as we like to think our roads are, we can do better.”
At the AASHTO 2022 Washington Briefing, Sen. Carper emphasized that “state DOTs are critical to achieving our shared transportation objectives” in the United States.
“Thanks to the IIJA, states will be in a better position to build and maintain roads, reduce transportation emissions, and improve safety,” he added. “Implementing the IIJA to make a real and lasting impact on people’s lives.”
President Biden also noted in a statement that Sen. Carper is the last Vietnam War veteran serving in the Senate, and has spent his career advocating for veterans, especially veterans’ health care.
“I look forward to working with Tom over the next year and a half to keep delivering for the American people, and I continue to be grateful for his leadership and service to the people of Delaware in the U.S. Senate,” the president said.