One thing is clear following Tuesday’s Delaware primary – a significant change in the leadership is coming to the General Assembly.
Senate President Pro Tem Anthony DeLuca’s Democratic primary loss to Bryan Townsend in the 11th Senate district means both chambers will have a new face in its top leadership spot next year.
DeLuca’s ouster follows House Speaker Robert Gilligan’s decision to retire last summer.
Gov. Jack Markell – who endorsed DeLuca in the 11th District primary – says change is inevitable and something he is ready to face if he gains a second term.
“Every two years there are changes in the General Assembly and you learn to work with it,” said Markell. “There are going to be a lot of great people back in Dover [next year]. Many of them have been there before. Some of them will be new. I look forward to working with all of them, on both sides of the aisle, should I be fortunate enough to be re-elected myself.”
Markell faces Republican Jeff Cragg in the November general election.
State Senator Karen Peterson has indicated she will seek the President Pro Tem spot. Peterson was a supporter of Townsend’s primary bid against DeLuca. Peterson is running unopposed in the 19th Senate district.
In the House, the Speaker’s position is not the only leadership position open. Republican Minority leader Greg Lavelle will not be back. He is running for the 4th District seat in the state Senate against incumbent Michael Katz. Two years ago, Katz challenged DeLuca for President Pro Tem in the State Senate. Katz lost that challenge by one vote.