Castle rejects write-in Senate bid

The Washington Times

Rep. Michael N. Castle, stunned in the Republican Senate primary in Delaware last month by a “tea party”-backed rival, has announced that he will not stay in the race as a write-in candidate.

Mr. Castle declined to endorse primary winner Christine O’Donnell, whose Sept. 16 victory has been one of the biggest upsets of the midterm-election cycle.

Mr. Castle, a moderate, has served nine terms in the House. He had been seen as a heavy favorite to win the former seat of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

While saying he had received “strong encouragement” from supporters to run as an independent, Mr. Castle added in a statement released late Wednesday night, “I do not believe that seeking office in this manner is in the best interest of all Delawareans.”

The decision could prove double-edged for Ms. O’Donnell, who trails in polls against New Castle County Executive Chris Coons, the Democratic nominee. Polls also show that most Castle voters would back Mr. Coons in a two-way race with Ms. O’Donnell.

A Rasmussen Reports poll released Monday — before Mr. Castle‘s announcement — showed Mr. Coons leading Ms. O’Donnell by 49 percent to 40 percent.

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