DE House & Senate Caucuses Meet to Choose Leadership


Following Tuesday’s elections, the Delaware House and Senate caucuses met Wednesday to elect leadership for the 150th General Assembly.

The House Democratic Caucus selected Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf as House Speaker, Rep. Valerie Longhurst as Majority Leader and Rep. Larry Mitchell as Majority Whip.

First elected in 2002, Rep. Schwartzkopf has served as majority leader from 2008-2012, and speaker since 2012. Rep. Longhurst has served as majority whip from 2008-2012, and majority leader since 2012. First elected in 2006, Rep. Mitchell has served on the Joint Finance Committee and Bond Bill Committee. He is a retired New Castle County Police officer.

State Rep. Danny Short, R-Seaford, was selected as House Minority Leader. The most tenured member of the House Republican Caucus, Rep. Short was first elected in 2006 and has served as House Minority Leader since 2012.

State Rep. Tim Dukes, R-Laurel, was chosen to serve as House Minority Whip. This is the first caucus leadership position for Rep. Dukes, who was elected to his first term in office in 2012 as a member of the 147th General Assembly.

Senate Democrats have nominated Sen. David McBride, D-Hawk’s Nest, to return to his position as President Pro Tempore of the 150th General Assembly. McBride has served in the General Assembly since 1978 and as President Pro Tempore since 2017. The Senate will formally elect the President Pro Tempore when it returns to session on January 8, 2019.

The Senate Majority has also elected Sen. Nicole Poore, D-New Castle, to succeed former Sen. Margaret Rose Henry, D-Wilmington, as Majority Leader. Henry retired this year after 24 years of service to the 2nd Senate District.

Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Newark, will round out the Senate Majority’s leadership team as Majority Whip.

The Senate Republican Caucus selected Senator Gerald Hocker, R-Ocean View, as the new Senate Minority Leader. Hocker was first elected to the Senate in 2012 following 10 years in the House of Representatives, and previously served as House Minority Whip.

In addition, the Senate Republicans have chosen Sen. Cathy Cloutier, R-Heatherbrooke, as the new Senate Minority Whip. Cloutier served one term in the House and was elected to the Senate in 2000. She served for many years as a member of the Joint Finance Committee.

The 150th Legislative Session begins on January 8, 2019.