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|Michael N. Castle|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Delaware's At-large district
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Thomas R. Carper|
|Succeeded by||John C. Carney, Jr.|
|69th Governor of Delaware|
January 15, 1985 – December 31, 1992
|Lieutenant||Shien Biau Woo
Dale E. Wolf
|Preceded by||Pierre S. du Pont IV|
|Succeeded by||Dale E. Wolf|
|20th Lieutenant Governor of Delaware|
January 20, 1981 – January 15, 1985
|Governor||Pierre S. du Pont, IV|
|Preceded by||James D. McGinnis|
|Succeeded by||Shien Biau Woo|
July 2, 1939 |
|Alma mater||Hamilton College, Georgetown University Law Center|
Michael "Mike" Newbold Castle (born July 2, 1939) is a former Governor and former U.S. Representative for Delaware's At-large congressional district, serving from 1993 until 2011. He is a member of the Republican Party.
The district, which is the oldest in the nation, incorporates the entire state of Delaware. He was the longest-serving U.S. Representative in the state's history. Prior to his election to Congress, Castle served as a member of the Delaware General Assembly, first in the State House of Representatives (1966–1967) and then in the State Senate (1968–1976). He was the 20th Lieutenant Governor of Delaware from 1981 to 1985, and the 69th Governor of Delaware from 1985 to 1992.
On October 6, 2009, Castle announced his candidacy in the 2010 special election for the seat in the United States Senate held by Democrat Ted Kaufman. Kaufman, appointed by Governor Ruth Ann Minner to fill the vacancy created by Joe Biden (who resigned to become Vice President of the United States), was not a candidate in the special election. The election would determine who would fill the balance of Biden's term, which ends on January 3, 2015. In one of the most surprising election results of the 2010 campaign season, Castle was defeated in the Republican primary for the US Senate seat by Christine O'Donnell. He would have been heavily favored against Democrat Chris Coons in the general election, who went on to easily beat O'Donnell by 17%. On May 28, 2011, Castle was the keynote speaker at the commencement of the University of Delaware Class of 2011.
Castle, a direct descendant of Benjamin Franklin, was born in Wilmington, Delaware, to J. Manderson and Louisa B. Castle. His father was a patent lawyer for DuPont, a firm so central to the city that it was long known in Wilmington simply as "the company." After graduating from Tower Hill School in 1957, he attended Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Hamilton in 1961.
He married Jane DiSabatino May 23, 1992; they have no children. They are members of the Roman Catholic Church.
Following his admission to the bar, Castle returned to Wilmington and joined Connolly, Bove and Lodge, working as an associate (1964–1973) and later partner (1973–1975). A Republican, he served as Deputy Attorney General of Delaware from 1965 to 1966, and was elected to the Delaware House of Representatives in 1966. He served as a state representative for two years before winning a seat in the Delaware Senate, where he remained for eight years. He also served as minority leader from 1975 to 1976.
In 1976, Castle left the state legislature and returned to the full-time practice of law, founding his own firm with Carl Schnee (who was later nominated as U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware by President Bill Clinton in 1999). He returned to politics in 1980, when he was recruited to run for Lieutenant Governor of Delaware by Governor Pete du Pont. He defeated Democratic state senator Thomas B. Sharp, with 59% to 40% of the vote. He served from 1981 to 1985, and headed panels on education and drunken driving.
As the hand-picked choice of the popular Governor du Pont, he easily won election as Governor of Delaware, defeating former Delaware Supreme Court Justice William T. Quillen. In the campaign, Castle was criticized for being a shadow of his mentor and only promising an extension of du Pont’s program. Delaware voters however elected him to another term in 1988 when he defeated Democrat Jacob Kreshtool by a wide margin. Castle served two terms, cutting the second one slightly short when he resigned to begin his first term as U.S. Representative.
Castle’s terms marked the full establishment of what Delaware political commentator Celia Cohen has called “the Age of Incumbency.” Following du Pont’s very successful and popular terms as Governor, Delaware politics seemed to have reached a consensus, with leaders of both parties being regularly re-elected, while working closely and quietly together on a conservative fiscal low tax, pro business, and clean government agenda. Prior to du Pont only four men had served eight years as Governor and one of those had two non-consecutive terms. From 1977 until the present there have been four governors, two from each party, each emulating Castle in essentially carrying out the program initiated by Pierre S. du Pont, IV.
In 1992, Castle did not run again for Governor, due to constitutional term limits. The result was what became known as "the Swap." Castle ran for the seat of U.S. Representative Thomas R. Carper and Carper ran for Governor. Delaware’s political leadership had quietly worked out the arrangement and retained the services of two very popular office holders.
Castle was first elected U.S. Representative in 1992, defeating former Lieutenant Governor Shien Biau Woo. Since then, he has won election by wide margins eight times, defeating Democrats Carol Ann DeSantis in 1994, Dennis E. Williams in 1996 and 1998, Michael C. Miller in 2000 and 2002, Paul Donnelly in 2004, Dennis Spivack in 2006, and Karen Hartley-Nagle in 2008.
Castle is president of the Republican Main Street Partnership and is the co-chair of several Congressional caucuses, including the Diabetes Caucus, the Community College Caucus, the Biomedical Research Caucus and the Passenger Rail Caucus. He is also considered one of the most moderate Republicans in the U.S. House. In the wake of Tom DeLay's indictment in September 2005, liberal columnist E.J. Dionne named Castle as one of four lawmakers capable of leading an anticorruption reform of the Republican Party. Castle is a member of various moderate/liberal Republican Organizations, such as Republicans For Environmental Protection, The Republican Majority For Choice, Republicans For Choice and Christine Todd Whitman's Its My Party Too. Castle's centrist positions have made him the target of conservative groups such as Club for Growth, who ranked him the least conservative Republican in the U.S. House in 2008, and RemoveRINOs, who, in April 2010, named him the Ace of Spades on its most-wanted list.
Castle cosponsored the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. The bill proposed expanding the number of stem cell lines that are eligible for federally funded research, expecting that this funding would generate more research and ultimately greater progress in addressing many kinds of diseases. Presently only those lines derived before August 9, 2001 are eligible for federal funded research. This legislation removes that date restriction, along with proposing stronger ethical requirements. After successfully passing both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House, it received U.S. President George W. Bush’s first presidential veto in July 2006. Despite the production of induced pluripotent stem cell research, Castle is still pushing for the funding of embryonic stem cell research.
Castle suffered two minor strokes during the 2006 campaign, but fully recovered. Considering the general Democratic sweep of other offices, he won the election comfortably, but with a greatly reduced margin over previous years. Oddly enough, despite the increased Democratic sweep of the 2008 election, he, unlike many Republicans, managed to increase his margin of victory, winning over Democratic challenger Karen Hartley-Nagle by 23 points. Castle appeared in the documentary, Keeping the Peace, which focused on Michael Berg's 'anti-war' campaign for Castle's congressional seat in 2006. It premiered at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival in 2009 and won the Audience Award.
On November 9th, 2009, Congressman Castle's District was profiled by Stephen Colbert in his segment "Better Know a District."
In 2010, Congressman Castle ran to be the Republican candidate to fill the seat of Former Senator Joe Biden, now Vice President. Congressman Castle was defeated in the Republican primary on September 14, 2010, by Christine O'Donnell, the Tea Party favorite. The primary drew 57,000 voters, a small slice of the overall electorate. After the primary, Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind twice polled Delaware voters, running a hypothetical match-up between Castle and the Democratic candidate Chris Coons: Castle beat Coons by a 21 point margin (54%-34%) and also had a favorable rating of 48% compared to O'Donnell's 34%. Castle refused to support O'Donnell in the senate campaign against Democrat Chris Coons. Coons went on to defeat O'Donnell decisively in the general election.
In June 2010, Castle was one of only two Republicans to vote in favor of the DISCLOSE Act, intended to limit spending on political campaigns by corporations in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The bill requires added disclosure for political spending by corporations and prohibits some corporate political spending.
A town hall style meeting organized by Rep. Castle to discuss health care reform with constituents was featured on the Drudge Report with the headline "VIDEO: Congressman's town hall erupts over Obama birth certificate...". The story was linked to a tape documenting a few minutes of the event and hosted on YouTube. The incident sparked discussion of the topic in relation to the moderate Republican Congressman and commentators surprise at the audience reaction. The Congressman was heckled and booed after calmly responding to a protester, "If you’re referring to the President there, he is a citizen of the United States.”  The incident has become a focus of attention in some  evaluations of the period.
Reporting in the international press on the explosion of interest in the subject has focused on the central role of the Castle incident The British newspaper The Guardian reported, "But the real impact has been a video that has garnered hundreds of thousands of hits on the web (in which congressman) Mike Castle, address(es) a town hall meeting on health care in Delaware last month when a woman suddenly stands up waving a bunch of papers...The encounter was a warning to Republican officials how far the conspiracy theory has permeated parts of their party."
The Delaware News Journal has reported that Castle's next town hall meeting would be "YouTube-proof" and that the Representative had decided to talk with Delawareans randomly selected by telephone rather than in person.
Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. Members of the Delaware General Assembly take office the second Tuesday of January. State Senators have a four year term and State Representatives have a two year term. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor take office the third Tuesday of January and have four year terms. U.S. Representatives take office January 3 and have a two year term.
|Delaware General Assembly
(sessions while Governor)
|1985–1986||133rd||Democratic||Richard S. Cordrey||Republican||Charles L. Hebner|
|1987–1988||134th||Democratic||Richard S. Cordrey||Republican||B. Bradford Barnes
Terry R. Spence
|1989–1990||135th||Democratic||Richard S. Cordrey||Republican||Terry R. Spence|
|1991–1992||136th||Democratic||Richard S. Cordrey||Republican||Terry R. Spence|
|Office||Type||Location||Began office||Ended office||notes|
|State Representative||Legislature||Dover||January 10, 1967||January 14, 1969|
|State Senator||Legislature||Dover||January 14, 1969||January 11, 1977|
|Lt. Governor||Executive||Dover||January 20, 1981||January 15, 1985|
|Governor||Executive||Dover||January 15, 1985||December 31, 1992||resigned|
|U.S. Representative||Legislature||Washington||January 3, 1993||January 3, 2011|
|Delaware General Assembly service|
|1967–1968||124th||State House||Democratic||Charles L. Terry, Jr.||6th|
|1969–1970||125th||State Senate||Republican||Russell W. Peterson||1st|
|1971–1972||126th||State Senate||Republican||Russell W. Peterson||1st|
|1973–1974||127th||State Senate||Republican||Sherman W. Tribbitt||1st|
|1975–1976||128th||State Senate||Republican||Sherman W. Tribbitt||1st|
|United States Congressional service|
|1993–1995||103rd||U.S. House||Democratic||Bill Clinton||Education, Financial Services||at-large|
|1995–1997||104th||U.S. House||Republican||Bill Clinton||Education, Financial Services||at-large|
|1997–1999||105th||U.S. House||Republican||Bill Clinton||Education, Financial Services||at-large|
|1999–2001||106th||U.S. House||Republican||Bill Clinton||Education, Financial Services||at-large|
|2001–2003||107th||U.S. House||Republican||George W. Bush||Education, Financial Services||at-large|
|2003–2005||108th||U.S. House||Republican||George W. Bush||Education, Financial Services||at-large|
|2005–2007||109th||U.S. House||Republican||George W. Bush||Education, Financial Services||at-large|
|2007–2009||110th||U.S. House||Democratic||George W. Bush||Education, Financial Services||at-large|
|2009–2011||111th||U.S. House||Democratic||Barack Obama||Education, Financial Services||at-large|
|1980||Lt. Governor||General||Michael N. Castle||Republican||128,827||59%||Thomas B. Sharp||Democratic||88,224||40%|
|1984||Governor||General||Michael N. Castle||Republican||135,250||55%||William T. Quillen||Democratic||108,315||45%|
|1988||Governor||General||Michael N. Castle||Republican||169,733||71%||Jacob Kreshtool||Democratic||70,236||29%|
|1992||U.S. Representative||Primary||Michael N. Castle||Republican||18,377||56%||Janet C. Rzewnicki||Republican||9,812||30%|
|1992||U.S. Representative||General||Michael N. Castle||Republican||153,037||55%||Shien Biau Woo||Democratic||117,426||43%|
|1994||U.S. Representative||General||Michael N. Castle||Republican||137,945||71%||Carol Ann DeSantis||Democratic||51,793||27%|
|1996||U.S. Representative||General||Michael N. Castle||Republican||185,577||70%||Dennis E. Williams||Democratic||73,258||27%|
|1998||U.S. Representative||General||Michael N. Castle||Republican||119,811||66%||Dennis E. Williams||Democratic||57,446||32%|
|2000||U.S. Representative||General||Michael N. Castle||Republican||211,797||68%||Michael C. Miller||Democratic||96,488||31%|
|2002||U.S. Representative||General||Michael N. Castle||Republican||164,605||72%||Michael C. Miller||Democratic||61,011||27%|
|2004||U.S. Representative||General||Michael N. Castle||Republican||245,978||69%||Paul Donnelly||Democratic||105,716||30%|
|2006||U.S. Representative||General||Michael N. Castle||Republican||143,897||57%||Dennis Spivack||Democratic||97,555||39%|
|2008||U.S. Representative||General||Michael N. Castle||Republican||235,419||61.1%||Karen Hartley-Nagle||Democratic||146,399||38.0%|
|2010||U.S. Senator||Primary||Michael N. Castle||Republican||27,021||46.9%||Christine O' Donnell||Republican||30,561||53.1%|
|Ancestors of Michael Castle|
|Wikinews has related news: Tea Party-endorsed Christine O'Donnell wins Delaware Senate primary election|
|United States House of Representatives|
Thomas R. Carper
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Delaware's At-large congressional district
John C. Carney, Jr.
Pierre S. du Pont IV
|Governor of Delaware
Dale E. Wolf
James D. McGinnis
|Lieutenant Governor of Delaware
Shien Biau Woo