Charles L. Copeland

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Charlie Copeland
Chair of the Delaware Republican Party
In office
July 20, 2013 – April 29, 2017
Preceded byJohn C. Sigler
Succeeded byMike Harrington
Minority Leader of the Delaware Senate
In office
Succeeded byF. Gary Simpson
Member of the Delaware Senate
from the 4th district
In office
January 14, 2003 – June 2008
Preceded byDallas Winsow
Succeeded byMichael Katz
Personal details
Born1963 (age 55–56)
Political partyRepublican
EducationDuke University (BA, MBA)

Charles L. "Charlie" Copeland (born 1963) is an American politician. A member of the Republican Party, he served in the Delaware Senate as minority leader and also as chair of the Delaware Republican Party.

Early life and career[edit]

Copeland is the grandson of Lammot du Pont Copeland and a member of the du Pont family.[1] Copeland attended Tower Hill in Wilmington, Delaware, graduating in 1981. He enrolled at Duke University, where he earned a degree in physics and computer science.

As a teenager, he did not want to work at the family company, DuPont, but nevertheless began working there in 1985 after graduating from college.[1] He worked in several departments but left after seven years.[1] He later expressed criticism of the merger between DuPont and Dow Chemical in 2017 to create DowDuPont, claiming it would be "catastrophic for Delaware."[2]

In 1994, he obtained an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business and moved back to Wilmington to manage a family commercial printing company. Three years later, he co-founded the Challenge Program, a Wilmington-based vocational training and job placement program for at-risk youth. The program provides training in construction skills and includes a workshop that produces high-end furniture.[3] Copeland now serves on the board of directors.[4] He previously served on the board of the Longwood Foundation, which was founded by Pierre S. du Pont in 1937, as well as on the board for the Mt. Cuba Center in Brandywine, Delaware.

Political career[edit]

In 2002, Copeland challenged incumbent Republican senator, Dallas Winslow, for the Senate District 4 seat, which covers parts of Brandywine Hundred and Hockessin. He won both the primary election and general election by wide margins. He was elected minority leader in 2006 until he resigned his seat in June 2008 to run for lieutenant governor, which is elected independently from the governor in Delaware. However, he lost in the general election by 22 percent to Democrat Matt Denn, who was then the state insurance commissioner.[5]

In June 2013, he was elected chair of the Republican State Committee of Delaware at a special convention in Dover to replace John C. Sigler, who had abruptly resigned in May.[6] As chair, he was a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention and strongly defended Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.[7][8] He resigned as party chair in 2017 after becoming president of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a nonprofit organization that builds conservative values among college students.[9][10]

Electoral history[edit]

  • In 2002, Copeland challenged incumbent Republican Dallas Winslow and won the primary election with 2,151 votes (62.8%).[11] He went on to win the general election with 11,592 votes (72.3%) against Democrat nominee Fred J. Boykin.[12]
  • In 2004, Copeland was unopposed in the general election, winning 16,289 votes.[13]
  • In 2008, Copeland ran for lieutenant governor but lost in the three-way general election to Matt Denn, who gained 61.3% of the vote.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Nagengast, Larry (March 31, 2014). "The Past, Present and Future of DuPont". Delaware Today. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  2. ^ Lurye, Sharon (December 14, 2015). "Scion of DuPont family calls merger with Dow 'catastrophic'". PhillyVoice.
  3. ^ Woodill, Vittoria (June 22, 2018). "Challenge Program Offers New Opportunities For Delaware's At-Risk Youth". CBS Philly.
  4. ^ "Challenge Program People". Challenge Program. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "State of Delaware General Election Official Results". Office of the State Election Commissioner. Delaware Department of Elections. November 4, 2008. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  6. ^ Starkey, Jonathan (May 29, 2013). "Sigler abruptly resigns as Delaware GOP chairman". First State Politics. Delaware Online.
  7. ^ Tumulty, Brian (July 20, 2016). "Delaware delegates want Donald Trump unchanged". Star Press.
  8. ^ Bittle, Matt (July 16, 2016). "Delaware GOP officials say party unified behind Trump". Delaware State News.
  9. ^ Dawson, James (March 24, 2017). "GOP chair, two others to step down from party executive team". Delaware Public Media.
  10. ^ Albright, Matthew (April 29, 2017). "New Delaware Republican leaders named". The News Journal.
  11. ^ "State of Delaware General Primary Official Results". Office of the State Election Commissioner. Delaware Department of Elections. September 7, 2002. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  12. ^ "State of Delaware General Election Official Results". Office of the State Election Commissioner. Delaware Department of Elections. November 5, 2002. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  13. ^ "State of Delaware General Election Official Results". Office of the State Election Commissioner. Delaware Department of Elections. November 2, 2004. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
Party political offices
Preceded by
John C. Sigler
Chair of the Delaware Republican Party
Succeeded by
Mike Harrington