House Democrats Elect Leadership for 149th General Assembly

DOVER – After successfully defending all 25 seats in last week’s election, the House Democratic Caucus returned Reps. Pete Schwartzkopf, Valerie Longhurst and John Viola to their leadership posts for the 149th General Assembly on Monday night.

The leadership team, first elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2014, has worked with caucus members to fund much-needed infrastructure improvements, pass legislation promoting equality and fairness, increase public safety, expand access to voting and raise the minimum wage.

House Speaker Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, was first elected in 2002. He served as majority leader from 2008-12. Majority Leader Longhurst, D-Bear, was first elected in 2004. She previously served as majority whip from 2008-12. Majority Whip Viola, D-Newark, was first elected in 1998. He previous served on the Joint Bond Bill Committee.

“We have accomplished a lot for the people of Delaware during the past several years. We have invested more than $300 million to rebuild our aging infrastructure, expanded upon our landmark Clean Indoor Air Act, improved our justice system for juveniles, passed common-sense gun control laws that respect the Second Amendment and protect residents, and protected women in their workplaces, doctors’ offices, homes and schools,” said Rep. Schwartzkopf.

“Our caucus is committed to working with Governor-elect Carney, Lieutenant Governor-elect Hall-Long and our colleagues in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle to address the issues facing Delaware. We have many challenges facing us, and we will not shy away from them. We will continue working to improve the lives of every Delawarean, fostering an environment that brings good-paying jobs to the state, and creating an education system that prepares our children to compete for quality jobs. All of this requires everyone to come to the table with ideas and open minds. We look forward to the task ahead.”

House committee assignments will be announced at a later date. The 149th General Assembly will begin on January 10, 2017.