Republicans in the Delaware House of Representatives have selected new leadership for the 146th General Assembly.
The House Minority Caucus chose State Rep. Greg Lavelle (R-Sharpley) to be its Minority Leader. Rep. Lavelle is a 10-year House veteran representing constituents in a portion of northern New Castle County.
State Rep. Gerald Hocker (R-Ocean View) was chosen by his colleagues to be the new Minority Whip. Rep. Hocker, a noted Sussex County entrepreneur and business owner, was first elected to office in 2002 representing southeast Sussex County.
This is the first time either legislator has served in a leadership role.
The selections by the 15-member House Minority Caucus were made tonight (12/7) at a meeting in Legislative Hall – the first time the group has gathered since the General Election.
The House Minority Caucus lost two seats in the fall races, giving House Democrats a super-majority of 26 members.
The new Minority Leader and Minority Whip represent districts at opposite ends of the state, but they say they’re united in their vision of the role their caucus will play in the two-year General Assembly session. Reps. Lavelle and Hocker cited fiscal issues and private sector job creation as the most pressing items for the upcoming legislative session.
“The top concerns I’m hearing from my constituents are the need for more jobs, while reducing the size of state government,” Rep. Hocker said. “They think the government is growing completely out of control.”
Rep. Lavelle says even though they’re in the minority, House Republicans will continue to advocate for smaller government and reduced state spending. “We spend a ton of money in the State of Delaware on a per capita basis – we’re in the top five [states] in the country – and that’s not something that can continue.”
Rep. Lavelle added that House Republicans’ support for state and local government reforms would continue and that his caucus, while ready to work with Democrats, will not shy away from presenting a different perspective. “We will continue to be a loyal opposition, a principled opposition and a cooperative partner – all combined,” he said.
The General Assembly begins its legislative work on January 11th.