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Senate Democrats announce leadership for 151st General Assembly

Delaware News Desk
Senate Democrats voted Nov. 5 to elect new leadership ahead of the 151st General Assembly.

Senate Democrats voted Nov. 5 to elect new leadership ahead of the 151st General Assembly.

The newly expanded 14-member majority caucus chose Sen. Dave Sokola, D-Newark, to serve as President Pro Tempore.

"Delaware voters spoke this week in a clear voice that demanded change,” said Sokola. “The size and record-setting diversity of our Caucus reflects the values of our communities and their growing demand for racial justice, higher wages, better schools for our children, common-sense gun reforms and greater access to affordable health care. They also want legislators who will work to protect the public’s health and get our state back to work. I am honored my colleagues have trusted me to lead the State Senate as we renew our commitment to a more equitable Delaware for all.”

The Senate Majority Caucus also voted Wednesday to support Sen. Bryan Townsend, D- Newark, for Senate Majority Leader and Sen. Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman, D-Wilmington, as Senate Majority Whip.

“Our Caucus enters this new decade with a fresh perspective on the needs of our constituents,” said Townsend. “Over the last two election cycles, Delawareans have chosen legislators who are more reflective of our state’s rich diversity. Great things are happening here in Delaware and it is an honor to help lead the Democratic Caucus into the future.”

Lockman said she is deeply honored to join the leadership team at this pivotal moment for the Caucus.

“Our state is at a turning point and the trust my colleagues have shown in me to help lead us at this moment is something I take very seriously,” she said. “I look forward to continuing the work we began last year in creating real and meaningful change for people of color in our state, working toward a more equitable public education system and creating economic opportunity for all Delawareans.”

The full Senate will officially complete the process of electing the President Pro Tempore when it reconvenes for the first day of the 151st General Assembly on January 12, 2021, in accordance with Article II, Section 7 of the Delaware State Constitution.

At 14-7, Senate Democrats will enter the 151st General Assembly with a supermajority for the first time since 2012. The Senate also will include four new Democratic members next year.

Senator-elect Sarah McBride, a 30-year-old former spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, will succeed retired Sen. Harris McDowell, the longest serving state legislator in Delaware history, in north Wilmington’s 1st Senatorial District. 

Senator-elect Kyle Evans Gay, an attorney and mother of two, will replace former Senate Minority Whip Cathy Cloutier in the east Brandywine Hundred’s 5th Senatorial District.

Senator-elect Spiros Mantzavinos, a small business owner and father of two, will replace Republican Sen. Anthony Delcollo in Elsmere’s 7th Senatorial District.

Senator-elect Marie Pinkney will replace former Senate President Pro Tempore David McBride in the New Castle-area’s 13th Senatorial District.

Voters this week also returned incumbent Sens. Jack Walsh, D-Stanton; Bruce Ennis, D-Smyrna; and David Lawson, R-Marydel. Sokola and incumbent Sens. Nicole Poore, D-New Castle; Brian Pettyjohn, R-Georgetown; and Gerald Hocker, R-Ocean View, did not face challengers in the Nov. 3 general election.