Michael N. Castle: Wikis


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Michael N. Castle

Assumed office 
January 3, 1993
Preceded by Thomas R. Carper

In office
January 15, 1985 – December 31, 1992
Preceded by Pierre S. du Pont, IV
Succeeded by Dale E. Wolf

In office
January 20, 1981 – January 15, 1985
Preceded by James D. McGinnis
Succeeded by Shien Biau Woo

Born July 2, 1939 (1939-07-02) (age 70)
Wilmington, Delaware
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jane DiSabatino
Residence Wilmington, Delaware
Alma mater Hamilton College, Georgetown University Law Center
Profession lawyer
Religion Catholic

Michael Newbold "Mike" Castle (born July 2, 1939) is an American lawyer and Congressman from Wilmington in New Castle County, Delaware. He is a member of the Republican Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly, as Lieutenant Governor of Delaware, and two terms as Governor of Delaware. He is serving his ninth term as congressman. On October 6, 2009 he announced his candidacy for the Senate seat once held by current Vice President Joseph Biden. Currently Castle is seen by some as the front-runner for the Republican nomination as he appears to lead in aggregate polling against potential Democratic opponents.[1] Polling shows him ahead of the 2008 Republican Party candidate Christine O'Donnell in the Republican Senate primary, and of the Democratic candidate Beau Biden, Vice President Biden's son, in a hypothetical general election matchup.[2]


Early life and family

Castle is a graduate of Tower Hill School in Wilmington, Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, and Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. He married Jane DiSabatino in 1992 and they have no children. They are members of the Roman Catholic Church. He is a direct descendant of Benjamin Franklin.[3]

Professional and political career

Castle was Deputy Attorney General in Delaware in 1965 and 1966 and was elected to the Delaware House of Representatives in 1966. He served one term there during the 1967/68 session and then was elected to the Delaware State Senate, serving two terms from the 1969/70 session through the 1975/76 session. Following this he returned to the full time practice of law.

In 1980 Castle was recruited to run for Lieutenant Governor of Delaware by the incumbent Governor, Pierre S. du Pont, IV. With that endorsement, he was elected, defeating State Senator Thomas B. Sharp. He served one term from January 20, 1981 to January 15, 1985.

Governor of Delaware

Lt. Governor Castle (left) with Governor Dick Thornburgh of Pennsylvania (center) and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, July 1982.

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 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.

United States Representative

In 1992, when Castle retired as 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 to the U.S. Representatives 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 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, Castle, unlike many Republicans, managed to increase his margin of victory, winning over Democrat challenger Karen Hartley-Nagle by 23 points.

On November 9th, 2009, Congressman Castle's District was profiled by Stephen Colbert in his segment "Better Know a District."

Committee assignments


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)
Year Assembly Senate Majority President
pro tempore
House Majority Speaker
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
Public Offices
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
Delaware General Assembly service
Dates Assembly Chamber Majority Governor District
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
Dates Congress Chamber Majority President Committees Class/District
1993–1995 103rd U.S. House Democratic William J. Clinton, Jr. Education, Financial Services at-large
1995–1997 104th U.S. House Republican William J. Clinton, Jr. Education, Financial Services at-large
1997–1999 105th U.S. House Republican William J. Clinton, Jr. Education, Financial Services at-large
1999–2001 106th U.S. House Republican William J. Clinton, Jr. 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 H. Obama Education, Financial Services at-large
Election results
Year Office Election Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
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%


  1. ^ http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2010/senate/de/delaware_senate_castle_vs_biden-1068.html
  2. ^ http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections2/election_2010/election_2010_senate_elections/delaware/election_2010_delaware_senate
  3. ^ Barone, Michael; Richard E. Cohen, Grant Ujifusa (2008). The Almanac of American Politics. Washington, D.C.: National Journal Group. pp. 370. ISBN 362-076X. http://www.nationaljournal.com/almanac/2008/about.php.  


  • Barone, Michael; Richard E. Cohen (2005). Almanac of American Politics. Washington: National Journal Group. ISBN 0-89234-112-2.  
  • Boyer, William W. (2000). Governing Delaware. Newark, Delaware: University of Delaware Press. ISBN 1-892142-23-6.  
  • Cohen, Celia (2002). Only in Delaware, Politics and Politicians in the First State. Newark, Delaware: Grapevine Publishing.  
  • Hoffecker, Carol E. (2004). Democracy in Delaware. Wilmington, Delaware: Cedar Tree Books. ISBN 1-892142-23-6.  
  • Martin, Roger A. (1995). Memoirs of the Senate. Newark, DE: Roger A. Martin.  


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