New Castle County Executive and Democrat Chris Coons vowed to bring “new energy and a new approach” to Washington when he launches his campaign with a three-county tour later in February.

New Castle County Executive Chris Coons, a Democrat, today announced that he has filed papers with the Federal Elections Commission to become a candidate for Delaware’s open seat in the U.S. Senate in 2010. Coons will formally launch his campaign with a traditional three-county tour later in February.

“People here in Delaware are hurting, and Congress has failed to deliver the change we voted for in 2008. I’m running to bring new energy and a new approach to Washington,” Coons said. “Before I was elected in 2004, the county government was mired in scandal. I restored integrity and confidence in county government. I cut wasteful spending, helped businesses to create jobs, and made our communities safer. I want to take my strong track record of getting real results to the U.S. Senate because the people of Delaware deserve leadership that represents their values.”

As New Castle County executive, Coons represents approximately 530,000 people – two-thirds of Delaware’s population.

Coons,  46, grew up in Hockessin, and now lives in Wilmington with his wife, Annie, and their three young children, Michael, Jack and Maggie. He received degrees from Amherst College, Yale Law School, and Yale Divinity School. Coons worked as in-house counsel for W.L. Gore & Associates, the Delaware-based company that makes GORE-TEX® fabrics and other innovative materials. He has also worked with several nonprofits, including the National Coalition for the Homeless, the education-oriented “I Have a Dream” Foundation, and the South African Council of Churches.

Coons was elected County Council president in 2000, then county executive in 2004, following a three-way primary and competitive general election. He won re-election without opposition in the general election of 2008.