U.S. Senate Candidates

U.S. Senate candidates at debate in Wilmington on October 30, 2018. (From L to R) Senator Tom Carper (D), Demitri Theodoropoulous (G), Nadine Frost (L), Rob Arlett (R).

A week before the general election, the candidates for U.S. Senate debate in Wilmington on WDEL.

Incumbent Democratic Senator Tom Carper, also the incumbent, said his number one priority is dealing with climate change.

"The greatest challenge we face as a planet is the warming of our Earth, recently we received an update two weeks ago from the United Nations that said we don't have 30, 40, 50, 60 years to get ready for this, 2030," said Carper.

Other candidates had other priorities, including Green Party candidate Demitri Theodoropoulous, who said big oil influences legislators too much.

"The root cause of all of our problems in federal government, campaign finance reform," said Theodoropoulous.

Nadine Frost is the Libertarian Party candidate, and she went in a different direction, but also stayed on the subject of money.

"My primary goal will be to reduce the deficit and the debt, this is crushing all of us," said Frost.

Republican Sussex County Councilman Rob Arlett has targeted a couple of issues.

"My focus is to find good, quality paying jobs for our families to keep them together, that's number one priority," said Arlett. "Number two priority is obviously a good, quality education."

Arlett also mentioned a need for affordable healthcare.  He said expanded competition is needed in the market, but he supported two parts of the Affordable Care Act, which were keeping pre-existing conditions and parents being able to keep children on their healthcare until they were 26-years-old.

Frost said a real actual open market is needed while Theodoropoulous would like to see lower drug prices negotiated like 'Romneycare' in Massachusetts.

Carper did say that most systems are working well, but the Trump Administration is doing everything it can to destroy Obamacare.

The one contentious moment of the night occurred when the candidates were asked about where they would part ways with their party to help Delaware.

Arlett pointed out that Carper didn't really answer the question especially when bringing up Massachusetts Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren wants to federalize franchise fees charged to corporations which benefits the state.

"He won't touch it, but I will," Arlett said. "I will defend Delaware at all times because I will be your representative in Washington, D.C. and not my own party's because that is unacceptable for Delaware."

Senator Carper fought back, and he admitted, in this case he would go against his party.

"Read my lips, over my dead body," said Carper. "With all respect to my colleague Senator Warren, that ain't going to happen. I'm not going to let it happen, [Senator] Chris Coons is not going to let it happen, [Representative] Lisa Blunt Rochester is not going to let it happen."

Arlett did say he disagreed with how the Republican Senate handled Merrick Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court in 2016, Theodoropoulous breaks with his party on term limits for Congress, and Frost breaks with her party on abortion, as she's pro-life.

The candidates also discussed mass shootings and gun control, Brett Kavanaugh, abortion, Roe v. Wade, and Saudi Arabia.

The candidates debated on WDEL from Theatre N at the Nemours Building in downtown Wilmington on Tuesday night, October 30, 2018.