Delaware Sen. Tom Carper beats back Dem primary challenge from the Left

by
September 7, 2018

Tom Carper

Democrat Tom Carper survived the first real primary challenge of his 17-year career representing Delaware in the Senate, beating progressive Kerri Evelyn Harris Thursday night.

Carper’s victory comes after a contentious primary that received increasing national attention in its final weeks as progressives, emboldened by wins in Florida and New York primaries, held out hope that Harris could come from behind. But he won by nearly 30 points.

Running on a platform of “Medicare for All” and debt-free college, Harris, 38, attacked Carper for his centrist, business-friendly ways. Carper, 71, lamented the impact Harris could have on Delaware and the Democratic Party writ large if she defeated him, arguing that the space for centrists would shrink in Congress.

Harris, an Air Force veteran, had little money to spend but received some staff help from progressive star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley. Taking no chances, Carper poured roughly $3.3 million into the primary contest and prevailed.

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