US Rep. Michael N. Castle, R-Del., says he'll run for the Delaware US Senate seat formerly held by Joe Biden, now Vice President.
Castle, 70, stood in a Wilmington park across from the Amtrak station from where he's commuted to the House since 1993, and told allies from Delaware's shrunken Republican party he'll stand for Senate in next year's election. "I cleared it with the most important person out there," he said, pressing wife Jane Castle's arm. "We came to a decision a little more than a week ago," on Sun. Sept. 27. Jane took convincing. "I wanted to do it all along."
Instead of attacking Democrats, Castle sounded his frequent note of moderation, stressing the need to boost employment at home and for effective diplomacy broad, and adding, "Health care is an issue begging" both parties "to work together... I happen to believe in civility and bipartisanship... A long time ago we discovered in Delaware that if we work together we can solve problems." His only tilt at the Democrats: "Spending in Washington has just gone too far."
Castle is expected to run against Biden's son Beau, now Delaware's Democratic Attorney General. The seat is currently occupied by Ted Kaufman, a Biden aide who isn't expected to run. "I have a lot of respect for Joe Biden," and "his family," Castle said. "I don't know Beau as well, but obviously I respect him too. My point is, in Delaware, we can have the kind of campaign we can be proud of.
"But I don' t have any illusions this will be easy. This will be a very difficult election. That's what elections should be all about."
Castle represents a precious chance for Republicans to take back a Democratic Senate seat and break their 60-vote filibuster majority, said former state GOP chair Basil Battaglia. He expects former State Sen. Charles Copeland, among others, to try to keep Carper's House seat Republican. Democrats include former Lt. Gov. John Carney, the party's candidate for governor last year, left jobless in last year's primary election by onetime Comcast executive Jack Markell's superior organization and out-of-state money.