Senator Chris Coons

Senator Chris Coons (D)

WDEL file

Delaware Senator Chris Coons will step into a role held by former Governor Jack Markell leading a national progressive organization.

Coons has been promoted from Honorary Regional Chair to Honorary Chair of NewDEAL, which its website describes as "a national network of rising state and local elected leaders who are pro-growth progressives."

NewDEAL CEO Debbie Cox Bultan told WDEL that Coons brings a lot of useful traits to the organization, that looks to connect politicians to policy and private sector leaders.

"He's such a leader on so many issues from service to workforce development to many more. We're really looking forward to having his partnership and his mentorship for these state and local leaders throughout the country."

Coons will take lead, along with Washington Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland and Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Steve Benjamin, of the May 26 Ideas Summit, where Bultan said they hope to share what is working well in various areas of the country and government.

"Help the leaders around the country talk to each other, share with each other best practices, a lot of leaders are looking at broadband, child care, and housing as places were some of that investment needs to be made to make transformational change going forward."

In a statement, Coons said learning from those at other levels of government can be key, even from a position of Senator.

"One lesson I learned during my 10 years in county government is that state and local officials solve problems. At this historic time, the efforts of state and local leaders will be critical to our recovery, and we will build back better and stronger when we can share ideas and learn from one another. I'm excited to work with the NewDEAL Leaders to tackle the country's biggest challenges, while also developing our next generation of leaders."

Bultan said that mentoring will be key during his two-year term.

"I think he'll also help mentor our leaders across the country as they govern where they are, and also move up the ladder to other positions of public service."

Markell had served as Honorary Co-Chair of NewDeal since 2015.