The Delaware Senate is the upper house of the Delaware General Assembly, the state legislature of the US state of Delaware. It is composed of 21 Senators, each of whom is elected to a four-year term, except when reapportionment occurs, at which time Senators may be elected to a two-year term. There is no limit to the number of terms that a Senator may serve. The Delaware Senate meets at the Legislative Hall in Dover.

In order to accommodate the ten-year cycle of reapportionment, the terms of office of the several Senators are staggered so that ten Senators are elected to terms of two years at the first biennial general election following reapportionment, followed by two four-year terms, and eleven Senators are elected at the said election for two four-year terms, followed by a two-year term.

Like other upper houses of state and territorial legislatures and the federal U.S. Senate, the Senate can confirm or reject gubernatorial appointments to the state cabinet, commissions, boards, or justices to the Delaware Supreme Court.


Senators must be citizens of the United States, have lived in Delaware for three years, and have been a resident of their respective district for at least one year preceding their election. They must also be at least 27 years old at the time of their election.

Senate Leadership

The Lieutenant Governor of Delaware serves as the President of the Senate, but only casts a vote if required to break a tie. In his or her absence, the President Pro Tempore presides over the Senate. The President Pro Tempore is elected by the majority party caucus followed by confirmation of the entire Senate through a Senate Resolution. The President Pro Tempore is the chief leadership position in the Senate. The other Senate leaders are elected by their respective party caucuses.

Position Name Party District
President of the Senate/Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long Democratic
President Pro Tem David McBride Democratic 13
Majority Leader Margaret Rose Henry Democratic 2
Majority Whip Nicole Poore Democratic 12
Minority Leader F. Gary Simpson Republican 18
Minority Whip Gregory Lavelle Republican 4


11 10
Democratic Republican
Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Vacant
145th legislature (2008–2010)[2] 15 6 21 0
146th legislature (2010–2012) 14 7 21 0
147th legislature (2012–2014) 13 8 21 0
148th legislature (2014–2016) 12 9 21 0
Begin of 149th legislature (2016)[3] 11 10 21 0
January 17, 2017[4] 10 20 1
February 25, 2017[5] 11 21 0
Latest voting share 52.4% 47.6%


Below are the Senators as of the 149th General Assembly (2016–2018), following the most recent election.

District Name Party First Elected Residence Seat up
1 Harris McDowell III Dem 1976 North Wilmington 2020
2 Margaret Rose Henry Dem 1994 East Wilmington 2018
3 Robert I. Marshall Dem 1978 West Wilmington 2018
4 Gregory Lavelle Rep 2012 Sharpley 2018
5 Catherine Cloutier Rep 2000 Heatherbrooke 2020
6[permanent dead link] Ernesto Lopez Rep 2012 Lewes 2018
7 Anthony Delcollo Rep 2016 2020
8 David Sokola Dem 1990 Newark 2020
9 Jack Walsh Dem 2016 2020
10 Stephanie Hansen Dem 2017 Middletown 2018
11 Bryan Townsend Dem 2012 Westover Woods 2018
12 Nicole Poore Dem 2012 Barbs Farm 2020
13 David McBride Dem 1980 Hawk's Nest 2020
14 Bruce Ennis Dem 2007 Clayton 2020
15[permanent dead link] David G. Lawson Rep 2010 Marydel 2020
16[permanent dead link] Colin R. J. Bonini Rep 1994 South Dover 2018
17[permanent dead link] Brian Bushweller Dem 2008 North Dover 2018
18[permanent dead link] F. Gary Simpson Rep 1999 Milford 2018
19[permanent dead link] Brian G. Pettyjohn Rep 2012 Georgetown 2020
20[permanent dead link] Gerald Hocker Rep 2012 Ocean View 2020
21[permanent dead link] Bryant Richardson Rep 2014 Laurel 2018

Past composition of the Senate

See also


  1. ^ https://budget.delaware.gov/budget/fy2018/documents/hb275-hs1.pdf
  2. ^ The Senate of the 145th Legislature originally started with 16 Democrats and 5 Republicans, but Republican Joseph W. Booth won a special election on August 3, 2009 to succeed Sen. Thurman Adams Jr. (D), who had died on June 23 that same year. This election yielded the 15 D-6 R margin that ended the 145th Legislature.
  3. ^ Delaware legislators' terms begin the second Wednesday in November (i.e. the day after Election Day), even though they are not sworn in until January. Constitution of Delaware, Article II, Section 3
  4. ^ Democrat Bethany Hall-Long (District 10) resigned upon becoming Lieutenant Governor of Delaware. Hall-Long broke ties to give Democrats control until a special election was held.
  5. ^ Democrat Stephanie Hansen elected to succeed Hall-Long.

External links