United States

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Tom Carper Defeats Kerri Evelyn Harris in Delaware Democratic Primary, the Associated Press Has Declared

Carper will face Republican Robert Arlett in the general election Nov. 13. Incumbent U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester will face Republican Scott Walker.

Three-term U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, one of the most influential Delaware politicians in the last half-century, held off an upstart candidate from the left-wing of his own party to win the primary election Thursday.

Carper, 71, was declared winner by the Associated Press over political newcomer Kerri Evelyn Harris, 38. Harris is an Air Force veteran and member of the LGBT community.

Carper, a former governor, will face off against Robert Arlett, who won the Republican primary, easily defeating Rocky de la Fuente Roque and Eugene Truono Jr.

The general election will be Nov. 13.

All official election results can be found here, in real time, on the Delaware Department of Elections page.

Knocking off Carper was viewed as a long shot similar to the upset sprung by 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a congressional district race in New York City earlier this summer.

The similarities in the candidates' stories were compelling. Both are young women. Both represent the left side of the liberal spectrum. Both challenged well-established members of the Washington D.C. and political elite. Ocasio-Cortez knocked off incumbent U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley, one of the senior Democrats in Congress. Harris tried toppling the best-known politician in recent Delaware history not named Biden.

Buoyed by the improbable rise of Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016, more liberal factions of the Democratic Party have won several races in primaries this year.

Charlie Gerow, a longtime Republican strategist based in Pennsylvania, said it remains to be seen how the success of the "far left" factions of the Democratic Party in the primaries will play to independent voters in the general election in November.

"The Democrats are increasingly nominating far-left candidates," Gerow said. "Whether far-left candidates can win in the general election, that's the biggest question of 2018."

In Delaware's other race Thursday to decide who will represent the state in Congress, Republican Scott Walker beat Lee Murphy, 53 percent to 47. Walker will challenge incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester in the general election in November.

Rochester did not face a primary challenge. Delaware has only one seat in the House of Representatives.

Delaware's other U.S. senator, Chris Coons, is not up for re-election this year.

Numerous down-ballot primary races were also held, including state attorney general and numerous seats in the state Senate and House of Representatives.

The races are the highlights of one of the country's last remaining primaries ahead of what will be a contentious midterm election in the fall. It may also surprise some Delaware voters who aren't aware of a scheduling change made back in 2016.

The Delaware General Assembly two years ago changed the date for the primary from a previously scheduled Sept. 11 date to Sept. 6. For more information about the election and details about how and where to vote depending on your address, go to the Department of Elections page here.

Contact Us