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Lame-duck Carney jumps into race for Wilmington mayor

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(The Center Square) — Lame-duck Delaware Gov. John Carney is jumping into the race for mayor of the state’s largest city as he winds down his second and final term in the governor’s office.

Carney, a Democrat, has announced that he is running for mayor of his hometown, Wilmington, to succeed Mayor Mike Purzycki, who is not seeking re-election after serving two terms.

At a campaign kick-off event on Monday, he touted his accomplishments as governor, including financial investments in Wilmington he has made during nearly eight years as the state’s top elected official.

“We’ve driven new job creation in Wilmington, invested more than ever in affordable housing, expanded the Port of Wilmington, and built the first new public school in 50 years,” Carney, 67, said in a statement on his candidacy. “As mayor, I would stick to those priorities and focus on the future of our city.”

In the statement, Carney also pledged to improve public education, boost the amount of affordable housing, and invest in small and minority-owned businesses in the city.

“And as we’ve done at the state level, I will protect taxpayer dollars and make sure the city has a strong, sustainable financial position,” he said. “Our state can be successful only if our city is successful. It’s as simple as that.”

Carney, a fixture in Delaware’s Democratic politics, has served two terms as governor, eight years as lieutenant governor and six years as the state’s at-large U.S. representative in Congress. He had previously hinted at running for mayor of Wilmington, where he and his wife have lived for nearly 40 years.

He will face former state treasurer and current city Treasurer Velda Jones-Potter in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary. Jones-Potter ran unsuccessfully for Wilmington mayor in 2022, losing a contentious three-way race.

The latest campaign finance records show that Carney has a lead in fundraising with more than $100,000 in his campaign kitty as of Dec. 31, compared to Jones Porter’s $21,240.

So far, no Republicans have entered the race for Wilmington mayor.

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