Leadership

Speaker of the House, 14th District

Representative Peter C. Schwartzkopf is the Speaker of the Delaware House of Representatives. He is a full-time legislator with an extensive background in public safety.

Rep. Schwartzkopf, who has represented the 14th District since 2002, is a retired Delaware State Police captain and troop commander with 25 years of service.

Rep. Schwartzkopf graduated from Wilmington College with a BS in Human Resource Management and continued his education with many certification courses during his career on the Delaware State Police.

Rep. Schwartzkopf is active with several non-profit organizations including the Delaware Special Olympics, the Midway Lions Club, the Delaware State Troopers Association, the National Kidney Foundation (having donated an organ), and the Jean & Joan Fund which raises money to help families and patients who are being treated at Tunnell Cancer Center. He is also a supporter of numerous national and local causes and actively attends charity events in the coastal community and across the state.   

Rep. Schwartzkopf is vice-chair of the House Administration, Ethics and Rules committees. He also serves on the Veterans Affairs Committee.

As a lifeguard for many summers in his youth, Delaware’s coastal communities have always held a special place in Rep. Schwarzkopf’s heart. These days, the representative and his wife Carol enjoy spending time with their children and grand-children while taking advantage of all the First State has to offer to residents and visitors alike.

Majority Leader, 15th District

Valerie J. Longhurst was first elected to the Delaware House of Representatives in November 2004 to represent the 15th District. The district consists of 20,000 people living in Bear, Delaware City and St. Georges.   In 2008, she was elected as the House Majority Whip and served for four years.  After the 2012 election, her caucus elected her House Majority Leader.  Representative Longhurst is currently chair of the House Administration, Ethics and Rules committees. She is also a member and the former chair of the House Manufactured Housing Committee.

Valerie spent her early adult years working in the insurance industry.  She formerly worked for AIG Insurance in Chadds Ford, Pa.  During her tenure, she advanced her career from corporate trainer to quality assurance manager and ultimately to director of operations.

In addition to her responsibilities in the General Assembly, she plays an important role in many local and national organizations, including:

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Board member, National Conference of State Legislators Women’s Network Advisory Council member , Council for State Governments Budget and Revenue Standing Committee member, Police Action League Board member, Community Involvement Advisory Board member, Delaware Sports Commission Advisory Council member, and YMCA Board member.

Prior to becoming a Legislator, she volunteered for local organizations, including:

Community Advisory Panel member for Delaware City Refinery; Delaware support group leader for National Alopecia Areata Foundation; board member, softball commissioner and coach for Bear Babe Ruth Little League; Vice President of Emerald Ridge Maintenance Corporation.

Majority Whip, 26th District

John J. Viola is a member of the Delaware State House of Representatives. He represents the 26th District, which covers part of southern Newark, and he has proudly been serving the district since 1998.

Raised in Delaware, John attended both parochial and public school in-state and is a graduate of Goldey Beacom College.

He joined military service (United States Air Force) during the Vietnam War and received an Honorable Discharge. John also served in the Air National Guard where he again received an Honorable Discharge. After his discharge from the Air Force, he joined a volunteer fire service and was a member for almost 40 years.

Besides military service, John has also served the community in many other capacities. Specifically, he has been: president of several civic associations; coach, manager, and vice president of the local Little League; and a volunteer instructor for the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association. He is also affiliated with the Newark Elks BPOE 2281, the New Castle Moose Lodge, St. Anthony’s Club of New Castle, and is on the Greater Newark Boys & Girls Club Board.

Rep. Viola sits on the House Ethics, Administration, Rules and Revenue & Finance committees.

Altogether, John has been involved in his local community for over 40 years, and he looks forward to continuing to serve his constituents for many years to come.