Delaware Democratic Party

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Delaware Democratic Party
Chairperson John D. Daniello
Headquarters New Castle, DE
Ideology Liberalism
Social liberalism
National affiliation Democratic Party
Colors Blue
Seats in the Upper House
14 / 21
Seats in the Lower House
26 / 41

The Delaware Democratic Party is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in the state of Delaware, headquartered in unincorporated New Castle County.

John D. Daniello is the state Chair. The Delaware Democratic Party is one of the two biggest parties in the state of Delaware (the other being the Republican Party) and has existed since the Jacksonian Democrats broke away from the Federalists in 1825. Besides their most prominent current political figure, Vice President Joe Biden, the party has occupies all federal seats for the state in Congress and currently has majority control over the state legislative and executive branch.

History of the party

Party creation

As the first state of the United States, Delaware was at the forefront of the creation in U.S. political parties. The origins of the Delaware Democratic Party can be traced back to the original anti-federalist party. While key difference divide this part from the Democratic Party today, key issues involving government involvement and ideologies such as Jeffersonian and Jacksonian can be linked to modern day ideals of the Delaware Democratic party.[1] Yet, despite being one of the first states with true parties, the spiritual predecessor of the Democratic party struggled to support its agenda in the state. It wasn't until the splitting of parties into federalists and Jacksonians that the Democratic party got its first true start. With only one bad loss in 1855 to the American Party, the Democratic Party dominated politics up until the end of Reconstruction in the United States.[1] Most fascinating of all, was how the party maintained its popularity during the Civil War. Despite being a northern state, Delaware Democrats opposed the abolition of slavery and named themselves "the white man's party" as they fought the Republican congress during Reconstruction.[1] With 36 years of election dominance, the Democrats eventually fell out of power due to one major factor, the growth of industry in the state.

An era of weakness

Following the ousting of the Democrats in both the federal and state sector, the Republican party remained the dominate party throughout the early 1900s and up until World War II. Even when John Addicks attempted to illegally purchase the Republican seat in the U.S. Senate, the Democrats were unable to capitalize. To emphasize just how fare the party had fallen, the seat that Addicks attempted to take lay vacant for four consecutive terms with the Democrats unable to take it despite the clear corrupt actions of the Republican candidate Addicks.[1] From 1897 to 1936, Delaware Democrats were irrelevant in politics with Republicans either dominating the state senate and house of Representatives or the Democrats completely absent from federal politics. With the power of industry overriding agriculture, the Democratic Party was not be able to regain an equal footing in the state until Franklin D. Roosevelt came into office.

Trading time with the Republicans

Following its period of weakness, the Democratic Party of Delaware began to regain an equal foothold with its Republican Rival following World War II. While evidence Republican domination could be still be see in the form of J. Caleb Boggs and John J. Williams, the third member of this "Big Three" was a Democrat named Elbert Carvel. Carvel served two terms as the governor of the state and helped keep his party relevant even when they did not control the state.[1] Despite what occurred in the past, The Democrats of the late 1970s to 2000 held an equal footing in the state, neither party gaining serious ground on the other. Democrats would end up holding the Governor position in the state for 30 years in comparison to their counterparts possession of the position for 29.[1] Even after the Republicans had held the office of the Governor more than 20 years, the Democrats simply took it back and continue to occupy it to this day.

Recent glory

In the past few years, the Democratic Party has risen to become the most popular party in the state of Delaware. With Democrats controlling the 5 of 6 state executive positions, 14 of 21 State Senate Seats, 26 of 41 State House of Representatives Seats, and all three seats in the federal legislative branch, the party has control over the federal and state levels of both the Legislative and Executive branch.


The Delaware Democratic Party basis of its platform on the policy of inclusiveness and using this policy to help strengthen and assist the citizens it is tasked to govern.[2]

  • Families: The Delaware Democratic Party believes that there are many types of families in the world and that all of them should be supported. No matter what a family looks like, the party believe that diverse families make up the backbone of American society. With policies supporting social security, women's choice, reduction of poverty, and improved health care, the Democratic party of Delaware hopes to strength family units that make up society.[2]
  • Education: For the Delaware Democratic Party, all children are entitled to a good public education and enrollment to college if they choose to pursue it. The party seeks to make education affordable for everyone, improve the system damaged by No Child Left Behind, and expanding education opportunities.[2]
  • Environment: As a members of the United States, the Delaware Democratic Party supports the use of clean energy and promotes the usage of green methods to improve the environment. Options such as offering incentives to those who utilize green methods, supporting energy transition from fossil fuels to alternative fuels, and increasing public transportation are just some of the things that the Delaware Democrats support.[2]
  • Economy: In pursuing economic interests, the Delaware Democrats believe the most vital aspect is strong leadership. Democrats for this state support increased leadership for their state in the federal realm, account leaders in their state, and developing ways for incorporating new technology and ideologies in their government and economic system.


  • Organized labor: In support of those employed in Delaware, the party seeks to enact policies such as a living wages, enforce fair collective bargaining agreements, and require employers to provide insurance for their employees.[2]
  • Safety and emergency preparedness: The Democratic Party of Delaware believes that one of the main responsibilities of government is protecting its citizens. The party pledges to serve its citizens in office by focusing on crime prevention, allocating resources to prevent disasters and speed up recovery, and make sure that the state is prepared to deal with emergencies and prevent social injustices.[2]
  • Military and veteran services: As one of the vital cogs of America, the Delaware Democrats support programs and opportunities that assist those who serve or have served in the military. The party believes in keeping the Dover airbase open, ensure adequate funds for veterans, and supporting the families of those who fight on behalf of the United States.[2]
  • Civil rights: The party's stance on civil rights is a position in support of diversity and against all forms of discrimination. The Democratic Party of Delaware wants equality in the workplace, larger penalties for hate crimes, and relationship recognition regardless of orientation.[2]

Elected officials

Federal executive

Current Vice President and former Delaware Senator Joe Biden

In the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, Senator Joe Biden was elected Vice President of the United States alongside Illinois Senator Barack Obama, who was elected President of the United States. Biden is the first Delawarean to run on a presidential ticket, and the first Delawarean to be elected and hold the office. Biden assumed the Vice Presidency in on January 20, 2009.

  • Vice President of the United States: Joe Biden

Statewide officers

Executive branch

Beginning in 2011, Democrats control five of the six statewide elected offices.

State Senate

In 2011, Democrats control fourteen of the statewide elected offices.[3] State Senators must be citizens of the United State and have resided in Delaware for three years. Candidates must also have been a resident of their respective district for at least one year preceding their election. The age requirement to run for this elected seat is 27 years old.

  • 1st Senate District: Harris McDowell III
  • 2nd Senate District: Margaret Henry
  • 3rd Senate District: Robert Marshall
  • 4th Senate District: Michael Katz
  • 7th Senate District: Patricia Blevins
  • 8th Senate District: David Sokola
  • 9th Senate District: Karen Peterson
  • 10th Senate District: Bethany Hall-Long
  • 11th Senate District: Anthony J Deluca
  • 13th Senate District: David McBride
  • 14th Senate District: Bruce Enis
  • 17th Senate District: Brian Bushweller
  • 20th Senate District: George Bunting Jr.
  • 21st Senate District: Robert Venables Sr.

Current makeup of Delaware State Senate

District Name Party First Elected Residence Seat up
1 Harris McDowell III Dem 1976 North Wilmington 2014
2 Margaret Henry Dem 1994 East Wilmington 2012
3 Robert Marshall Dem 1978 West Wilmington 2012
4 Michael Katz Dem 2008 Centerville 2012
5 Catherine Cloutier Rep 2000 Heatherbrooke 2014
6 Liane Sorenson Rep 1995 Hockessin 2012
7 Patricia Blevins Dem 1990 Elsmere 2014
8 Bryan Townsend Dem 2012 Newark 2014
9 Karen Peterson Dem 2002 Stanton 2014
10 Bethany Hall-Long Dem 2008 Glasgow 2012
11 Anthony J. DeLuca Dem 1998 Varlano 2012
12 Dorinda Connor Rep 1997 Penn Acres 2014
13 David McBride Dem 1980 Hawk's Nest 2014
14 Bruce Ennis Dem 2007 Clayton 2014
15 David Lawson Rep 2010 2014
16 Colin R. J. Bonini Rep 1994 South Dover 2012
17 Brian Bushweller Dem 2008 North Dover 2012
18 F. Gary Simpson Rep 1999 Milford 2012
19 Joseph W. Booth Rep 2009 Georgetown 2014
20 George Bunting, Jr. Dem 1996 Bethany Beach 2014
21 Robert Venables, Sr. Dem 1988 Laurel 2012

State House of Representatives

In 2011, Democrats control 26 of the 41 statewide elected offices.[4] Any candidate running for the House of Representatives must have lived in Delaware for three years and be a U.S. citizen. The candidate must also live in the district at least one year prior to running for office and be at least 24 years of age.

  • 1st Representative District: Dennis Williams
  • 2nd Representative District: Stephanie Bolden
  • 3rd Representative District: Helene Keeley
  • 4th Representative District: Gerald Brady
  • 5th Representative District: Melanie George
  • 6th Representative District: Debra Heffernan
  • 7th Representative District: Bryon Short
  • 8th Representative District: S. Quinton Johnson
  • 9th Representative District: Rebecca Walker
  • 10th Representative District: Dennis Williams
  • 13th Representative District: John Mitchell Jr.
  • 14th Representative District: Peter Schwartzkopf
  • 15th Representative District: Valerie Longhurst
  • 16th Representative District: James Johnson
  • 17th Representative District: Michael Mulrooney
  • 18th Representative District: Michael Barbieri
  • 19th Representative District: Robert Gilligan
  • 23rd Representative District: Teresa Schooley
  • 24th Representative District: Edward Osienski
  • 25th Representative District: John Kowalko, Jr.
  • 26th Representative District: John Viola
  • 27th Representative District: Earl Jaques, Jr.
  • 28th Representative District: William Carson, Jr.
  • 31st Representative District: Darryl Scott
  • 32nd Representative District: E. Bradford Bennett
  • 41st Representative District: John Atkins

Current make-up of Delaware House of Representatives

District Name Party First Elected Residence
1 Dennis Williams Dem 1996 Wilmington North
2 Stephanie Bolden Dem 2010
3 Helene Keeley Dem 1996 Wilmington South
4 Gerald Brady Dem 2006 Wilmington West
5 Melanie George Dem 2002 Bear/Newark
6 Debra Heffernan Dem 2010
7 Bryon Short Dem 2007
8 S. Quinton Johnson Dem 2008 Middletown
9 Rebecca Walker Dem 2010
10 Dennis Williams Dem 2008 Talleyville
11 Gregory Lavelle Rep 2000 Sharpley
12 Deborah Hudson Rep 2000 Fairthorne
13 John Mitchell Jr. Dem 2006 Elsmere
14 Peter Schwartzkopf Dem 2002 Rehoboth
15 Valerie Longhurst Dem 2004 Bear
16 James Johnson Dem 2002 Jefferson Farms
17 Michael Mulrooney Dem 1998 Pennwood
18 Michael Barbieri Dem 2008 Newark
19 Robert Gilligan Dem 1972 Sherwood Park
20 Nick T. Manolakos Rep 2006 Limestone Hills
21 Michael Ramone Rep 2008 Drummond Hill
22 Joseph Miro Rep 1998 Pike Creek Valley
23 Teresa Schooley Dem 2004 Newark
24 Edward Osienski Dem 2010
25 John Kowalko, Jr. Dem 2006 Newark South
26 John Viola Dem 1998 Newark
27 Earl Jaques, Jr. Dem 2008 Glasgow
28 William Carson, Jr. Dem 2008 Smyrna
29 Lincoln Willis Rep 2010
30 William Outten Rep 2004 Harrington
31 Darryl Scott Dem 2008 Dover
32 E. Bradford Bennett Dem 2008 Dover
33 Harold Peterman Rep 2010
34 Donald Blakey Rep 2006
35 David Wilson Rep 2008 Bridgeville
36 Harvey Kenton Rep 2010
37 Ruth Briggs King Rep 2009 Georgetown/Lewes
38 Gerald Hocker Rep 2002 Ocean View
39 Daniel Short Rep 2006 Seaford
40 Clifford "Biff" Lee Rep 2000 Laurel
41 John Atkins Dem 2008

Federal officers in the 112th United States Congress

U.S. Senate

Senior Delaware Senator Tom Carper (left), Junior Delaware Senator Chris Coons (center) and incumbent Delaware Representative John Carney (right).

Democrats control both of Delaware's U.S. Senate seats:

U.S. House of Representatives

Democrats control Delaware's lone seat in the U.S. House:

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Boyer, William and Edward C. Ratledge. Delaware Politics and Government. Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska. 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Party Platform, Delaware Democratic Party,, accessed December 4th, 2011
  3. Delaware State Senate Home,, Accessed November 15th, 2011
  4. Delaware House of Representatives,, accessed November 15, 2011

External links