WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — U.S. Rep. John Carney said Wednesday that he will run for Delaware governor, filing paperwork to launch a gubernatorial campaign committee.
The 59-year-old Democrat said he had intended to support Beau Biden as governor and continue his own work in Congress. But after Biden's death from brain cancer in May, Carney said he decided to ask the people of Delaware to give him a chance.
"Beau knew there are big challenges facing our state — and he would have been the man to meet them. Like so many across our state, I wish he'd had that chance," Carney said in a statement. "Yet, a season after Beau's passing, we're confronted with the fact that those same challenges Beau was ready to face still loom large along our state's horizon. And someone has to step up to meet them."
Carney told The News Journal, which first reported his announcement, that he consulted with Vice President Joe Biden before announcing his plans.
"This opportunity to serve comes because of the vice president and his family's worst nightmare, which is Beau's passing," Carney said. "It's a very personal thing. I just needed to know that he was comfortable with it. He could not have been better, he encouraged me to run. I can tell you it's lifted a huge burden off my shoulders in terms of making that decision."
The Wilmington native ran for governor once before, losing the 2008 Democratic primary to Gov. Jack Markell, who is term-limited.
State Sen. Colin Bonini and retired state trooper Lacey Lafferty are running for the Republican nomination, but it isn't clear if Carney will face a Democratic challenger in the April 26 primary. Carney said he doesn't expect to actively campaign until next year, focusing instead on his work in Congress.