Tom Carper became Delaware's junior Senator
on January 3, 2001, after serving two terms as the state's Governor,
five terms as its Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives
and six years as State Treasurer. With his election to the U.S.
Senate, he has been elected to statewide office a record 11 times.
During his more than 25 years of public
service, Tom Carper has sought to build consensus and work across
party lines to find practical solutions to real problems. The
Washington Post's David Broder calls Tom Carper "a notably
effective and nonpartisan leader, admired and trusted on both
sides of the aisle."
At the start of the 108th Congress, Senator Carper became a member
of the Senate Democratic Leadership. As a member of the four person "Executive
Committee" Carper has emerged as a leading moderate voice
in his party, advising the Leader and helping to devise, coordinate
and implement strategy for the Democratic caucus.
Promising to "make Delaware a model for the nation," Sen.
Carper is building upon successes in the First State to help raise
student achievement, protect national passenger rail service, continue
to reform the nation's welfare system, implement a national energy
policy, promote affordable housing, and return a sense of fiscal
responsibility to the budget process. In light of his focus on
finding out what works, the centrist Democratic Leadership Council
named Carper its "Chairman for New Democrat Best Practices." He
also co-chairs the New Democrat caucus in the Senate.
The first bill he sponsored as a Senator,
Parents Act," was passed by both houses of Congress and signed
into law by President Bush as part of the Leave No Child Behind
Act of 2001. The President also signed into law Sen. Carper's effort
with John Corzine of New Jersey to address the growing need for
affordable housing for working families.
To build on the great success of welfare
reform, Tom Carper joined in the spring of 2002 with former fellow
Governor and current Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana in coauthoring
the "Work and Family Act." The
measure puts work first, strengthens families, equips people with
the tools to achieve self-sufficiency and gives states the resources
and flexibility to meet more rigorous work requirements in coming
Sen. Carper enjoys close working relationships with a dozen former
governors now serving in the Senate or as members of the Bush Administration.
Together they work toward the kind of consensus building that is
the hallmark of Tom Carper's career in public service.
Tom Carper joins his colleagues on the
Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the Environment & Public
Works Committee and the Government Affairs Committee, as well
as the Special Committee on Aging. He is the Ranking Democrat
on the EPW's Clean Air Subcommittee.
An Active Leader who Understands
and Delivers for Delaware's Families
Elected Governor of Delaware in 1992
and again 1996, Tom Carper led efforts to cut income taxes by
nearly 50 percent for middle-class families; established nationally
recognized standards-based education reform; and helped to create
a prescription drug benefit for seniors in need. He also balanced
the state budget eight years in a row, created record levels
of jobs, and dramatically reduced the growth of state debt, earning
Delaware its first-ever "AAA" credit
rating. To help working families, Governor Carper joined with the
General Assembly in eliminating the marriage penalty and estate
tax, cutting the public utility tax, and eliminating the gross
receipts tax for many small businesses.
As Governor, Tom Carper gained nationwide attention for achieving
real education reform. Delaware led the country in creating rigorous
public education standards; instituting optional parent training
programs; fully funding Head Start and other early intervention
projects; demanding accountability from students, parents and teachers;
and ending social promotion. Since instituting those reforms, students
have continued to demonstrate across-the-board improvements in
math and reading.
In July of 1998, Tom Carper was selected by his colleagues to
serve as Chairman of the National Governors' Association (NGA).
During his chairmanship, he focused on raising student achievement
nationwide by promoting education accountability, expanding learning
opportunities for all children, and harnessing technology for student
growth. Shortly before becoming chairman, Governor Carper served
as the lead Democratic governor within the NGA on welfare reform
in a successful effort to develop the unanimous endorsement of
all governors for policies that provided the foundation on which
the 1996 federal welfare reform law was based.
Leader in Congress
Before being elected Governor, Tom Carper was elected to and served
five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. As a congressman,
he chaired the House Subcommittee on Economic Stabilization and
was a member of the Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee
and the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee. Congressman Carper
used his leadership to focus on an agenda of fiscal responsibility
that encouraged economic growth and protected for the health and
safety of Delaware's families.
Life of Public Service
Tom Carper fell in love with Delaware's beauty the first time
he saw it from the window of a military transport aircraft during
his early years of active duty service as a naval flight officer.
After completing his military service, he earned an MBA and then
worked in Delaware's economic development office from 1975 to 1976.
He was elected at age 29 to the first of three consecutive terms
as State Treasurer.
As Treasurer, Tom Carper began his solid
record of financial responsibility. He developed Delaware's first
cash management system and played a key role in improving the
state's credit rating from worst in the nation to a respectable "AA" rating.
Senator Carper is also a former member of the nation's nine-member
Amtrak Board of Directors. He currently serves as chairman of the
executive committee of the board of Jobs for America's Graduates
and was chairman of the National Governors' Association Center
for Best Practices from 2000-01. While governor, Tom Carper served
as Vice-Chair for the American Legacy Foundation Board of Directors.
Caring Father and Husband
Born in Beckley, West Virginia on January 23, 1947, Tom Carper
grew up in Danville, Virginia. He attended Ohio State University
as a Navy ROTC midshipman, graduating in 1968 with a bachelor's
degree in economics. He completed five years of service as a Naval
flight officer, serving in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
He went on to serve another 18 years in the Naval Reserve and retired
with the rank of Captain. Tom Carper moved to Delaware in 1973,
where he earned an MBA at the University of Delaware.
He is married to the former Martha Ann Stacy. They reside in Wilmington,
Delaware with their two sons Chris and Ben both attend a public
charter high school in New Castle County.