Democrat for U.S. Senate
Each candidate was asked to respond to three questions.
1. What are the top issues you will address in your campaign and what are your plans for moving those issues forward?
We need to expand economic opportunity for all Americans, not just those at the top. Working families deserve good-paying jobs and access to affordable housing, child care, and education, as well as a secure retirement. I support raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour over time, but I also believe we can be doing a lot more right now to grow and strengthen the middle class. I believe that starts with strong federal investments in public education, beginning with early education and continuing through college and job-training programs. It also means robust federal investments in roads, highways, bridges, and other critical parts of our infrastructure. I have put forward a $1 trillion plan to rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure that will spur the creation of more than 15 million good-paying jobs across the country. I believe we must continue to move toward a clean energy future that creates green manufacturing jobs, while protecting the environment and public health. Taken together, I believe these initiatives will help create the nurturing environment for job creation that will ensure Delaware has a world-class workforce that attracts employers and continuously adapts to an evolving, 21st Century global economy.
Health Care for All:
I am fighting to provide all Americans with high-quality, affordable health care. For years, however, the Affordable Care Act—legislation I helped to author—has been under attack by Congressional Republicans fixated on repealing the bill without a replacement, and, more recently, by the Trump Administration and its systematic sabotage of our health care system. Additionally, Congressional Republicans continue to push a radical plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program and Medicaid into a block grant program, two wrongheaded proposals that would raise health care costs across the board, particularly for seniors. I have fought President Trump and Congressional Republicans’ cruel attempts to decrease health care coverage and raise costs every step of the way. Instead, I have stressed the importance of working together in Congress to stabilize the individual insurance exchanges to provide immediate cost-relief, as well as expanding Medicaid across the country. I have also authored legislation to stabilize the ACA’s individual marketplace and lower premiums.
As the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I led the fight against EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s anti-environment agenda, and helped expose the scandals that led to Pruitt’s resignation. Pruitt’s EPA denied climate change and sound science, even as the serious and costly threats continue to mount. But no matter who is in charge of the agency, I'm not going to stop fighting to hold the Trump EPA accountable. Climate change is not only real; it’s a direct threat to Delaware’s coastal communities and businesses, as well as our economy. I’m a strong advocate for an innovative approach to meet this challenge. We can address climate change by moving toward a clean energy future that creates green manufacturing jobs and strengthens our economy. I believe that making the United States the global leader in renewable energy is a win-win-win for our environment, economy and public health.
2. What makes you uniquely qualified for the political office you seek?
The challenges facing our nation and our Constitution have never been greater in my lifetime, and my service to our country and to Delaware have prepared me for this defining moment.
I served three tours on active-duty as a Naval flight officer where I flew surveillance missions during the Vietnam War. I continued to grow as a leader in the Navy Reserve as a P-3 aircraft mission commander, and earned the rank of captain. I eventually led a bipartisan Congressional Delegation back to Vietnam after the war ended to begin the process of normalizing relations and locating our MIAs whose bodies were never recovered. And I’ve stood solemnly at Dover Air Force Base as our fallen service members return home to grieving families in flag draped caskets.
As I watch President Trump embrace tyrants like Vladimir Putin, turn America’s back on our allies and incite conflict with Iran, it is clear to me that he has not been trained as a leader, nor does he understand the incredible service and sacrifice of others. President Trump might be too weak to stand up to Vladimir Putin, but I’m not. President Trump might not understand that he swore an oath to support and defend our Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic, but I do. This is a defining moment for our nation, and my experience is needed now more than ever in the U.S. Senate to reverse President Trump’s disastrous course for our nation and our Constitution.
3. What community groups are you involved with and in what capacity?
- Lifelong member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and The American Legion, and an advocate for our nation’s veterans, servicemembers, and military families;
- Congregant at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Wilmington;
- Chair of the Caesar Rodney Half Marathon to benefit the Delaware chapter of the American Lung Association;
- Active and proud alumnus of the University of Delaware MBA program—Go Blue Hens!
- Active and proud honorary alumnus of Delaware State University—Hornets Rising!
- Founding Vice-Chairman of the American Legacy Foundation to combat youth smoking;
- Established the Delaware Mentoring Community that led to 10,000 mentors across Delaware, and served as a mentor for many years;
- Honorary Board Member, Jobs for America’s Graduates;
- Advisory Board, Delmarva Council for Boy Scouts of America;
- Advisory Council, Equality Delaware;
- Honorary Chair: Kalmar Nyckle Foundation; Easterseals Annual Dinner; The William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Foundation; First State Community Action Agency.
Profession/employment: U.S. Senator
# of years employed: I served for five years on active duty in the U.S. Navy as a flight officer in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, and another 18 years in the U.S. Navy Reserve. I have also had the honor of serving the First State as state treasurer, congressman, and governor. Since 2001, I have served as U.S. Senator for Delaware. Today, I serve as the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee where I’m fighting for clean air and clean water for all Americans.
Education: B.A,. Economics, Ohio State University; M.B.A, University of Delaware
Political experience: When I was elected to be state treasurer, Delaware had the worst credit rating in the country. Six years later, with our credit ratings restored to AA, I went on to serve five terms as a U.S. congressman before becoming governor of Delaware. As governor, I pursued a bipartisan agenda that led to eight balanced budgets, tax cuts in seven of eight years, record growth in employment and a reduction in state debt, all which led to Delaware earning AAA credit ratings for the first time in state history. Since being elected to the U.S. Senate, my proudest achievements include helping to write key provisions of the Affordable Care Act and stopping the Trump Administration from repealing the ACA’s critical protections for the 400,000 Delawareans with preexisting conditions.