Delaware Public Media

Harris challenges Sen. Carper on PAC campaign donations

Aug 28, 2018

Democratic challenger Kerri Harris is drawing attention to Sen. Tom Carper’s acceptance of money from special interests ahead of next week’s primary election.


Carper collected about $1.3 million from political action committees representing corporate, labor or political interests between January 2017 and July 1 of this year.

But Harris has ruled out taking money from PACs or lobbyists representing corporate interests - despite Carper far out-raising her. Campaign finance data from January of 2018 through August 17th shows Harris has generated about $120,500 for her campaign.

Harris told audience members at a debate with Carper Monday night she doesn’t want them to think she’s beholden to special interests.

“I never want you to question where my loyalties lie," she said. "And that is why I pledged and I have kept to my commitment that I will never take any form of corporate money, whether it’s PAC money or anything else because you need to know I’m there for you.”

Harris has accepted some PAC money, like a donation from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

Carper responded that he’s proud to be supported by unions like AFL-CIO and other groups. And he supports more transparency in campaign financing.

“I was for a Constitutional amendment that makes it clear that when people donate enormous amounts of money, that we actually know where the money came from and where it goes,” he said.

Harris is listed as having more than $51,000 cash on hand as of August 17th. Carper had about $1.3 million in cash through June 30th. One more campaign finance report is due before next week’s primary election.