|Delaware State Senate|
|Delaware General Assembly|
New session started
|January 8, 2013|
President pro tempore of the Senate
Length of term
|Authority||Article III, Section 1, Delaware Constitution|
November 8, 2016|
November 6, 2018|
State Senate Chamber|
Delaware Legislative Hall
|Delaware State Senate|
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.
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.
|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|
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|145th legislature (2008–2010)||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)||11||10||21||0|
|January 17, 2017||10||20||1|
|February 25, 2017||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.
Past composition of the Senate
- List of Delaware State Senators (1776–1831)
- Delaware State Capitol
- Delaware General Assembly
- Delaware House of Representatives
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Democrat Stephanie Hansen elected to succeed Hall-Long.