Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden on Thursday announced he will not seek re-election in 2014 in order to run for governor.
“Over the past few months, as I’ve been planning to run for re-election, I have also been giving a great deal of thought to running for governor in 2016,” said Biden in a statement his office released. “What started as a thought – a very persistent thought – has now become a course of action that I wish to pursue.”
“After careful consideration, I have concluded that it is not right to ask for your support in 2014, knowing that my focus would be divided between doing my job as attorney general while at the same time running as a candidate for governor,” he added.
Biden, who took office in 2007, backed a bill last year that extended marriage rights to same-sex couples in Delaware. He attended a gay Wilmington couple’s wedding that took place last July on the first day same-sex couples could legally marry in the state.
Biden joined 14 state attorneys general who filed two amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court ahead of last March’s oral arguments in cases that challenged the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.
“I know that momentum is on our side on this,” Biden told the Washington Blade during a March 2013 interview.
Biden also backed a transgender rights measure that Gov. Jack Markell signed into law last June.
“We are grateful for the support and leadership that Attorney General Biden has provided with respect to matters of LGBT equality during his time as attorney general for the great state of Delaware,” Equality Delaware Foundation President Mark Purpura told the Blade after Biden made his announcement. “In Delaware, we feel blessed to have the strong support of many of our elected officials, including Attorney General Biden.”
Biden would succeed Markell if elected.