Praise for Carper’s service after his decision not to seek another term

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President Joe Biden

For nearly 50 years, I have had the privilege of calling Tom Carper my friend, my trusted colleague, and my elected representative. Over the years, Tom and I often rode the train together, getting to Washington early in the morning, and back to Wilmington late at night. I personally witnessed his tireless dedication to the people of Delaware. And I continue to admire his sincere commitment to forging consensus across the aisle in order to get things done.
 
Every part of the state of Delaware is better off because of Tom’s devoted service. As State Treasurer, Representative, as Governor, and as U.S. Senator, Tom’s steady leadership has made an indelible impact on the state, from strengthening our economy to protecting the environment to revitalizing our infrastructure.
 
As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Tom was instrumental in passing the Affordable Care Act, which has extended quality, affordable health care to millions of Americans. As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, his leadership has been vital to progress we’ve made in Delaware and across America to protect public lands and waters, and to fight the existential threat of climate change. Over the last two years, Tom’s leadership has been integral to securing passage of the historic Infrastructure Law, a once-in-a-generation investment in modernizing our nation’s roads, bridges, railroads, ports, airports, water systems, and high-speed Internet, as well as the Inflation Reduction Act, the most significant investment ever to tackle the climate crisis, lower health care and energy costs, and strengthen our energy security.
 
Tom is also the last Vietnam War veteran serving in the Senate, and has spent his career advocating for veterans, especially veterans’ health care. For millions of veterans across America, and for their families, Tom has been a relentless fighter and persistent advocate.
 
Beyond his innumerable accomplishments in office, Tom has empowered and inspired generations of young Delawareans to enter public service and run for office. He has served as a role model, a mentor, and a trusted advisor to countless public servants throughout the state.
 
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.

U.S. Sen. Chris Coons

“Tom Carper isn’t just a colleague and a friend, he is a steady, significant leader who has shaped Delaware over decades. Across his more than 50 years of service to our state and nation, he never stopped focusing on economic development, and despite his substantial accomplishments in the Senate, he’s never stopped thinking as a governor — focused on working across the aisle, solving complex problems, and making a lasting difference. Famous for his tireless energy and determination, he set the standard for active engagement and responsive service. As Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Carper has protected our lands and waterways and played an instrumental role in the passage of both the landmark, bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.

“Tom Carper has also mentored a generation of Delaware leaders. From my first race for County Council President, he has encouraged and supported my career in service, acting as a source of advice and encouragement when I needed it most, and as a role model for balancing family and service.

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“I look forward to serving together for the remainder of this Congress and to supporting my colleague as he decides on the next chapter in life’s adventure. Annie and I want to express our gratitude to Tom and Martha for their friendship and service, and we wish them and their family all the best in the years to come.”

Gov. John Carney

“Senator Carper is an institution in our state – and a servant leader who has always put the interests of Delaware families first. He has been a tireless advocate for Delaware. And in a time of increasing divisiveness, Senator Carper continues to work across the aisle to find common ground and get things done.

I was fortunate to serve on then-Governor Carper’s staff, and in his cabinet. For me, the Senator has been a friend, a mentor, and a constant source of good advice. And I know I’m not alone in that respect. 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.

Senator Carper is one-of-a-kind. 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.”

U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester

I still remember standing on the steps of the Capitol as an intern with then-Congressman Tom Carper. It was his service that helped inspire a journey I could have hardly imagined – as I would go on to serve as his staffer, cabinet member, and eventually, colleague in the United States Congress.

“It would be impossible to even partially capture the astounding accomplishments that Senator Carper compiled in his over four decades of service to our state and nation. From serving our nation as a Naval Flight Officer in Vietnam, to getting Delaware its first AAA bond rating as our treasurer, fighting the dumping of sludge into our waterways as our Congressman, ushering in an unprecedented period of economic vitality as our Governor, and being on the frontlines of the battle against the climate crisis as our Senator – the list is as long as it is impressive.

“For all of those accomplishments, perhaps the thing that will resonate with most Delawareans were the personal moments they spent with Senator Carper – a passing word in the morning at the YMCA, a handshake at the state fair, an excited high five at the Blue Rocks game. That’s because Senator Carper was always more interested in attending a local Sunday service than doing the Sunday shows, more interested in hearing from his constituents in person than getting clicks online, and more interested in the happenings of the day in Delaware than D.C.

“No one put more miles in than Tom Carper. No one worked harder for Delaware than Tom Carper. And I’m thrilled that he’ll now get to spend more time with Martha and his wonderful sons. After all, I know that the titles of husband and father have always meant more to him than Senator.

“To me, this is Tom Carper’s legacy. That he deeply loved our state of neighbors. That he worked tirelessly every single day to make it a better place. And that in his endeavor, he succeeded.”

Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long

“There’s not a corner in Delaware that has not been shaped and uplifted by Senator Tom Carper’s nearly five decades of passionate service to our state. Beloved for his unique wit, his unparalleled work ethic, and his unofficial record of shaking more hands than any other Delaware elected official, Senator Carper is a servant leader to his core.

“He first answered the call to serve his country as a Navy flight officer, serving three tours in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. As the wife of a Navy veteran, his military service holds a special place in my heart.

“He later went on to become the winningest elected official in Delaware history, serving as State Treasurer, Congressman, Governor, and as U.S. Senator. Through it all, the Delawareans and the constituents he’s served have been his North Star. His work to advance the Affordable Care Act, achieve Delaware’s AAA credit rating, and lead the fight against climate change will be felt in Delaware and across the nation for generations to come. I look forward to the years of continued leadership and public service from Senator Carper, and I’m grateful for all he has done to serve our great state. Thank you, Senator Carper.”

Secretary of State Jeff Bullock

“Tom Carper has literally bent the arch of Delaware history. Everywhere you look up and down our state, Tom Carper has had an impact. His body of work is unprecedented, and it continues to grow, touching the lives of every Delawarean and improving our quality of life. Tom Caper’s impact has been historic, his contributions to Delaware are second to none, and his legacy to our state will be felt for generations to come.

I started my public service with Tom Carper as a 22-year-old intern. Over the next 17 years, I had the opportunity to serve as his chief of staff in the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, and for most of his time as governor. Governor John Carney, Senator Chris Coons, and Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, and many other leaders in government and business share important parts of their life stories with Tom Carper.

He has been an incredible friend and mentor to us all, and I am forever grateful for his leadership.”

Julianne Murray, Delaware Republican Party Chair

“The Delaware Republican Party recognizes U.S. Senator Tom Carper for his years of public service.  We salute Senator Carper’s commitment to helping others and his years of service to the Delaware community even if we did not often agree with his legislative priorities.  The Democrat Party has changed since Tom was elected to the House of Representatives in 1982.  It is not the party it was when he started his career. 

Tom stood for small government, worked across the aisle with Republicans in the U.S. House and the Delaware General Assembly, and occasionally voted independently of the party.  That has changed too! Today, the Democrat Party and Washington D.C. are very different.We have been preparing to give the Delaware voters a choice between the New Democrat Party and a very different alternative when we elect Tom Carper’s successor.

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