The House Democratic caucus elected caucus leadership Nov. 7, selecting Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf as house speaker, Rep. Valerie Longhurst as majority leader and Rep. Larry Mitchell as majority whip.

First elected in 2002, Schwartzkopf served as majority leader from 2008 to 2012 and speaker since 2012.

“I want to welcome all of our new members to the House of Representatives and look forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting to work for Delaware,” said Schwartzkopf. “During our time in the majority we have spearheaded policies that have improved the lives of Delawareans, from defending basic equal and civil rights to increasing economic opportunities throughout our state. We will continue to build on that progress to make Delaware the best place to live, work and thrive.”

Although he was selected by the Democratic caucus, Schwartzkopf must be formally elected speaker by the full 41-member House of Representatives on the first day of session, Jan. 8, 2019.

Longhurst has served as majority whip from 2008 to 2012 and majority leader since 2012.

“It’s critical to have diversity in elected office to better represent the values of residents across our entire state. I am so proud that our caucus is the most gender and racially diverse in recent memory,” said Longhurst. “Diversity in experience and perspective helps our state grow and helps inform policies that are beneficial for all Delawareans. I’m excited to see how these new perspectives help shape our policy going forward.”

First elected in 2006, Mitchell has served on the Joint Finance Committee and Bond Bill Committee. He is a retired New Castle County Police officer.

“I am honored and excited by the challenge of serving as house majority whip. I want to thank my colleagues, and look forward to January when we can get to work,” said Mitchell. “I have been committed to my community, ensuring that they have the best quality of life and opportunities, and I will bring that same passion to my role as whip.”