Congressman John Carney won a second two-year term in the House of Representatives Tuesday night.
Carney received 249,905 votes (64.4 percent), while Republican challenger Tom Kovach, the outgoing New Castle County Council president, received 129,749 votes (33.4 percent). The Green Party's Bernard August and Libertarian Scott Gesty each earned 1.1 percent of the vote – just over 4,000 votes apiece.
Carney, flanked by his family and campaign workers, was grateful in speaking to nearly 400 Democrats gathered at Wilmington's Queen Theater.
"I thank the people of Delaware for putting trust in me to do work in Washington," Carney said. "It's a responsibility that I take very seriously."
Carney said the night's results, both in Delaware and nationally, sent a message to Washington's most conservative lawmakers that Americans were ready for progress.
"I know better than most, because I go to work every day in the U.S. House of Representatives, what those Tea Party Republicans who have control of the chamber…want to do for the country and they want to take our country back – and you know what that means," he said. "Well I want to take our country further and I want to take our country forward."
But then he shifted to a more conciliatory tone.
"[Voters] aren't asking much," he said. "They just want us to do our job. They just want us to get things done."
Carney also reflected on the difficulty of the campaign, telling his sons that watching them play high school football for a few hours every Saturday afternoon was a welcome distraction from the stress of the campaign.
"For two-to-three hours each weekend I got to watch them play, and it was the greatest thing ever," he said. "They gave me the break that I needed without doing anything but being themselves."
Kovach called Carney to concede Tuesday, but told GOP supporters gathered at Dover Downs that his campaign would have a lasting impact.
"Things didn't turn out our way, but we made a difference," said Kovach. "We challenged the incumbent. Let's spend the next two years holding our incumbents accountable. Let's spend the next two years working for a better Delaware. Let's spend the next two years working for a better United States."
Kovach said he helped bring another viewpoint to the table, highlighting important policy differences between himself and Carney.
"Let's spend the next two years bringing those sides together," he said.
He thanked the members of his family for all their support.
"My family has been my rock," he said.
Then he closed by addressing all citizens: "Independents, Democrats, Republicans — let's move forward for a better Delaware and a better America."
Page 2 of 2 - August said he was proud of his Green Party candidacy and said he felt he worked hard and made some voters consider issues they maybe hadn’t previously.
“I’m enormously elated about my vote total,” he said. “I worked as hard as I could and brought important issues forward.”
August said he was hopeful an embattled House of Representatives could work together, but said he was not optimistic. He did, however, say he hoped President Obama would recognize progressives helped him considerably in securing a second term.
“Progressives backed him and we hope he takes the subtle hint and works on green energy and infrastructure and moving this country forward,” he said.
-News Editor Ben Mace contributed to this story