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Third Delaware Democrat Eyeing John Carney’s Seat

Blunt Rochester is considering getting in the race to replace Carney. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Blunt Rochester is considering getting in the race to replace Carney. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. John Carney’s decision last month to run for governor  has opened up his at-large seat to Delaware Democrats hoping to make it to Washington.  

The day after the three-term member made his announcement, state Sen. Bryan Townsend, a corporate lawyer in Wilmington, got into the race . A week later, state Rep. Bryon Short, a small business owner and former aide to Sen. Thomas R. Carper, followed suit .  

Now a third Democrat is expected to get into the race.  

Lisa Blunt Rochester, who served as Delaware’s first African-American female secretary of Labor, is likely to announce her campaign in the coming weeks, a source who is familiar with her thinking told CQ Roll Call Thursday.  

In a safe Democratic district that President Barack Obama carried twice, the winner of the primary will almost surely win the seat.  

EMILY’s List has met with Rochester, and is encouraging her to run.  

“Lisa Blunt Rochester has been a fierce advocate for Delaware families,” EMILY’s List Communications Director Marcy Stech told CQ Roll Call. “We are excited to see that she’s taking a serious look at this race — she would be a strong leader in Washington who knows how to create opportunity for all.”  

Before her cabinet service as Labor secretary from 1998 to 2001, Rochester was deputy secretary of Health and Social Services under then-Gov. Carper. She later served as state personnel director under Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, and then CEO of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League.  

Only Short has filed a third-quarter fundraising report with the Federal Election Commission. He reported raising $72,000, but had only been in the race for a short time before the quarter ended on Sept. 30.  

2014 Democratic state Treasurer candidate Sean Barney has also been considering running.  


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