Delaware Senate

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Delaware State Senate
Delaware General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
New session started
Bethany Hall-Long (D)
since January 17, 2017
President pro tempore
David Sokola (D)
since November 4, 2020
Majority Leader
Bryan Townsend (D)
since November 4, 2020
Minority Leader
Gerald Hocker (R)
since November 7, 2018
Delaware State Senate Partisan Breakdown.svg
Political groups
  •   Democratic (14)


Length of term
4 years
AuthorityArticle III, Section 1, Delaware Constitution
Last election
November 3, 2020
(11 seats)
Next election
November 8, 2022
(21 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
DE State Senate.jpg
State Senate Chamber
Delaware Legislative Hall
Dover, Delaware
Delaware State Senate

The Delaware Senate is the upper house of the Delaware General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. 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[edit]

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 Sokola Democratic 8
Majority Leader Bryan Townsend Democratic 11
Majority Whip Elizabeth Lockman Democratic 3
Minority Leader Gerald Hocker Republican 20
Minority Whip Brian G. Pettyjohn Republican 19


Map of current (May 2021) partisan composition of legislative districts for state senate:
  Republican senator
  Democratic senator
14 7
Democratic Republican
Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Republican Vacant
November 7, 2018[2] 14 7 21 0
Latest voting share 66.7% 33.3%


Below are the Senators as of the 150th General Assembly (2018–2020), following the most recent election.

District Name Party First elected Residence Seat up
1st Sarah McBride Dem 2020 North Wilmington 2022
2nd Darius J. Brown Dem 2018 Wilmington 2022
3rd Elizabeth Lockman Dem 2018 Wilmington 2022
4th Laura Sturgeon Dem 2018 Brandywine Hundred 2022
5th Kyle Gay Dem 2020 Heatherbrooke 2022
6th Ernesto Lopez Rep 2012 Lewes 2022
7th Spiros Mantzavinos Dem 2020 Westgate Farms 2022
8th David Sokola Dem 1990 Newark 2022
9th Jack Walsh Dem 2016 Newport 2022
10th Stephanie Hansen Dem 2017 Middletown 2022
11th Bryan Townsend Dem 2012 Westover Woods 2022
12th Nicole Poore Dem 2012 Barbs Farm 2022
13th Marie Pinkney Dem 2020 New Castle County 2022
14th Bruce Ennis Dem 2007 Clayton 2022
15th David G. Lawson Rep 2010 Marydel 2022
16th Colin Bonini Rep 1994 South Dover 2022
17th W. Charles Paradee Dem 2018 Dover 2022
18th David L. Wilson Rep 2018 Lincoln 2022
19th Brian G. Pettyjohn Rep 2012 Georgetown 2022
20th Gerald Hocker Rep 2012 Ocean View 2022
21st Bryant Richardson Rep 2014 Laurel 2022

Past composition of the Senate[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^[bare URL PDF]
  2. ^ 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

External links[edit]