Beau Biden, VP's son, won't seek US Senate seat
Published: Monday, January 25, 2010 at 12:28 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 25, 2010 at 12:28 p.m.
DOVER, Delaware — Beau Biden announced Monday that he will not seek election to the U.S. Senate seat long held by his father, Vice President Joe Biden, putting another Democratic-held Senate seat in jeopardy and dealing another blow to President Barack Obama's flailing party.
The Delaware attorney general told supporters in an e-mail that he will run for re-election to his state post in November instead of running against Republican Mike Castle, a popular former governor and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Biden said he declined to run for the seat held by his father for 36 years because he needs to focus on prosecution of high-profile child molestation case.
"I have a duty to fulfill as attorney general, and the immediate need to focus on a case of great consequence. And that is what I must do," Biden, 40, wrote. "Therefore I cannot and will not run for the United States Senate in 2010."
He left open the door of a candidacy in future years.
With Biden declining to run, Democrats in Washington were scrambling for a new candidate for the November election.
The Democratic Party and its leader, Obama, are licking their wounds following Republican Scott Brown's victory last week for the Senate seat in Massachusetts once held by Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. The Republican win ended the Democrats' 60-seat supermajority in the Senate that would have allowed them to override Republican delaying tactics on legislation.
At least six other Democratic seats in the 100-seat Senate are vulnerable in November, with three senators facing tough races and three incumbents declining to run for varying reasons.
Biden's decision was a surprise, given that his father's confidant and former Senate chief of staff, Ted Kaufman, was appointed to the seat by Delaware's governor essentially to keep it warm for the son until he was able to run.
Since returning home in September after a yearlong deployment to Iraq with his National Guard unit, Beau Biden had been focused on his family and his job as attorney general.