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Progressive political newcomer to challenge Sen. Chris Coons in 2020

Chris Both
Courtesy of Jess Scarane For Delaware

Delaware’s junior U.S. senator will face a progressive primary challenge next year.


Jessica Scarane announced she will run against Senator Chris Coons in next fall’s Democratic primary. It is the 34 year-old’s first campaign for office.  Her progressive platform includes support for Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and a $15 minimum wage.

“Chris Coons has come out and said he thinks $15 an hour is too high," she said. "We know that in the State of Delaware, to afford a reasonable, median one-bedroom apartment, you have to make $18 an hour.”

Scarane says there is support in the First State for her positions. “I believe our culture is moving forward because people are moving forward, and Delaware is more progressive than the representation is has right now in the U.S. Senate ”

Coons was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010 after serving as New Castle County Executive and on County Council. Scarane works as Director of Business Strategy at The Archer Group, a digital marketing company, but says her experience as board president at the nonprofit Girls, Inc. of Delaware prepares her. 

“I live in Wilmington, which is a city that has some of the worst wealth and income disparities in our state, and I see how that affects peoples’ lives,” said Scarane.

The only candidate to officially file for Delaware’s 2020 U.S. Senate race so far is Mark Turley with the Independent Party of Delaware.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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