Alex Pires, who filed Monday to challenge U.S. Sen. Tom Carper as an Independent Party candidate, quickly opened a surprising new line of attack against the Democratic incumbent, questioning Carper’s health.
Pires suggested that Carper is concealing a serious illness, and called Carper’s health the “most important issue” in the race. He called on Carper to release the results of his most recent physical.
“Is Carper competent to go another six years, physically and mentally?” said Pires, a successful lawyer and Dewey Beach business owner. “If he won’t release his physical, obviously he’s not. I think the vast majority of people who watch him at all know he’s not well.”
Carper’s campaign called Pires’ attacks “unfounded and outrageous.”
“Tom Carper has never missed a day of work because of illness in over 30 years,” said campaign manager John Collins. “There’s no confusion here about whether or not he has a serious health issue –he doesn’t.”
Collins also called Carper a “picture of good health, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet.” He did not respond to the request to make Carper’s health records public.
Pires was certified on Monday as the Independent Party candidate in the race for Carper’s Senate seat, a surprise given that Pires had been attempting to collect enough signatures to add his name to the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate.
Unaffiliated candidates must collect signatures from 1 percent of registered Delaware voters to appear on general election ballots. “Mr. Pires failed miserably to achieve the first, single, most basic goal of his campaign, which was to convince just 1 percent of Delaware voters to sign his petition to get on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate,” Collins said. “Now he’s changed his voter registration and is attempting to distract voters with a sad and transparent smear campaign.”
Not true, says Pires, who insists that campaign workers collected more than 9,000 signatures statewide – more than is necessary to certify an unaffiliated candidacy. Pires said the positioning of unaffiliated candidates on the right edge of November ballots was “untenable,” adding that he was prepared to produce copies of his petition for Carper’s campaign to review read more