Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, a fourth-term congresswoman representing Delaware, announced Wednesday morning that she is running for the U.S. Senate. Blunt Rochester is viewed as the frontrunner to win the open Senate seat, and her election would make her only the third Black woman to ever serve in the U.S. Senate.
Blunt Rochester officially launched her campaign with a new video posted on YouTube and social media. The video is titled “Bright Hope,” the name of the Baptist church where Blunt Rochester worshipped as a child, and the title also represents the theme of her new campaign. In the video, the congresswoman recounts the highs and lows of her life, including the loss of her husband Charles Rochester to medical complications from an injury as well as her decision to run for Congress. The video also highlights the turmoil of the Jan. 6 insurrection, during which Blunt Rochester famously led other members of Congress in prayer while sheltering in the House chamber and also handed out masks to colleagues.
She has represented Delaware since 2017. The announcement that she is running for the Senate has been expected for some time, and she is already the heavy favorite to win the election in 2024. Delaware only has one representative in the U.S. House, and Blunt Rochester has already won statewide election in Delaware four times. Now, Blunt Rochester is running for an open seat to replace sitting Democratic Sen. Tom Carper, who announced earlier this year that he would not seek reelection. Carper endorsed Blunt Rochester to replace him when he announced his retirement, and other leading Democrats in the state have already expressed their support for her as well. Delaware is a reliably Democratic state; President Joe Biden, who held the state’s other Senate seat for 36 years prior to becoming vice president under President Barack Obama, won his home state by nearly 20 points in 2020. Blunt Rochester is a national co-chair of Biden’s 2024 campaign, virtually guaranteeing that she will in turn receive his support in her Senate run.
Blunt Rochester is the first Black person and first woman to represent Delaware in Congress, and if elected in 2024, she would be only the third Black woman to serve in the U.S. Senate, after Carol Moseley Braun and Kamala Harris. Her campaign comes during an era in which Black woman, such as Harris, have gained prominence in American politics and particularly within the Democratic Party. Earlier this year, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., announced her campaign for U.S. Senate, seeking the seat currently held by retiring Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Angela Alsobrooks of Maryland and Pamela Pugh of Michigan are also running for Senate seats in their respective states.
We will see how Blunt Rochester and the other Black women running for U.S. Senate progress as the campaign season heats up. With her strong and historic Senate campaign and her role in Biden’s reelection bid, Blunt Rochester is a rising figure within the Democratic Party and will likely be a major political force for years to come.