Democrats agree on Schwartzkopf for Speaker

Full legislative vote to be held Jan. 10
November 18, 2022

The House Democratic Caucus has chosen Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, as the Speaker of the House-elect, a position that will be voted on by the entire House of Representatives in January.

“I’m very grateful to have the support of our caucus to lead the House for the upcoming legislative session,” said Schwartzkopf in a statement released following the caucus decision. “I’m proud of the record of accomplishment of our caucus, the House and the General Assembly as a whole during the past several years. I’m also proud to see our caucus grow in diversity by leaps and bounds, better reflecting the residents of Delaware we represent. This allows different perspectives to shape the legislative process, which ultimately leads to better policy and better outcomes for Delaware.” 

Schwartzkopf has served as speaker of the House since 2012. Before that, he was majority leader from 2008 to 2012. He was first elected to office in 2002.

Rep. Valerie Longhurst, D-Bear, was chosen as majority leader for the caucus, and Rep. Melissa Minor-Brown, D-New Castle, was chosen as majority whip.

On the Senate side, Sen. Dave Sokola, D-Newark, was chosen to serve a second term as president pro tempore. The full Senate will vote on his position in January. Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Newark, was elected majority leader, and Sen. Elizabeth Lockman, D-Wilmington, was elected majority whip.

Democrats increased their supermajority in the Senate with the win of Sen. Russ Huxtable, D-Lewes, to flip the Senate District 6 seat that had previously been held by Republican Ernie Lopez.

With a 15-6 seat advantage, officials said, the Senate Democratic Caucus will enter the 152nd General Assembly with its largest majority since 2010.


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