Delaware Democratic Party
ChairpersonErik Raser-Schramm
GovernorJohn Carney
Lieutenant GovernorBethany Hall-Long
Speaker of the HousePeter Schwartzkopf
Senate President Pro TemporeDavid Sokola
House Majority LeaderValerie Longhurst
HeadquartersNew Castle, Delaware
Membership (2021)Increase362,181[1]
Modern liberalism
Political positionCenter to center-left
National affiliationDemocratic Party
Colors  Blue
Delaware Senate
14 / 21
Delaware House of Representatives
26 / 41
Statewide Executive Offices
6 / 6
United States Senate
2 / 2
United States House of Representatives
1 / 1
County Councils
16 / 24

The Delaware Democratic Party (DelDems) is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in the U.S. state of Delaware. It is headquartered in New Castle County and chaired by Erik Raser-Schramm.

The party is the dominant political party in Delaware and has existed since the Jacksonian Democrats broke away from the Federalists in 1825. President Joe Biden is a Delaware Democrat. The party also occupies all seats for the state in Congress, all statewide executive offices, and majorities in both houses of the state legislature.

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.[2] 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.[2] 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.[2] 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 far 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.[2] 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.[2] 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.[2] 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 21st century, the Democratic Party has risen to become the most popular party in Delaware. The party has control at the state level over the executive branch and the legislative branch.

Current elected officials

The following is a list of elected statewide and federal Democratic officeholders beginning in 2019:

Members of Congress

Democrats comprise all of Delaware's 3-member Congressional delegation - including both US Senators and the lone member of the House of Representatives.

U.S. Senate

Democrats have controlled both of Delaware's seats in the U.S. Senate since 2000:

U.S. House of Representatives

Democtats have controlled Delaware's lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2010:

District Member Photo
At-large Lisa Blunt Rochester
Lisa Blunt Rochester official photo.jpg

Statewide officials

Democrats control all six statewide elected offices.

State legislative leaders

State Senate

In 2019, Democrats control 13 of the statewide elected offices.[3] State Senators must be citizens of the United States 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.

Current makeup of Delaware State Senate

District Name Party First Elected Residence Seat up
1 Harris McDowell III Dem 1976 North Wilmington 2020
2 Darius Brown Dem 2018 East Wilmington 2022
3 S. Elizabeth "Tizzy" Lockman Dem 2018 West Wilmington 2022
4 Laura Sturgeon Dem 2018 Centerville 2022
5 Catherine Cloutier Rep 2000 Heatherbrooke 2020
6 Ernesto Lopez Rep 2012 Rehoboth Beach 2022
7 Anthony Delcollo Rep 2016 Elsmere 2020
8 David Sokola Dem 1990 Newark 2020
9 Jack Walsh Dem 2016 Stanton 2020
10 Stephanie Hansen Dem 2017 Middletown 2022
11 Bryan Townsend Dem 2012 Newark 2022
12 Nicole Poore Dem 2012 Penn Acres 2020
13 David McBride Dem 1980 Hawk's Nest 2022
14 Bruce Ennis Dem 2007 Clayton 2020
15 David Lawson Rep 2010 2020
16 Colin R. J. Bonini Rep 1994 South Dover 2022
17 Trey Paradee Dem 2018 North Dover 2022
18 David Wilson Rep 2018 Milford 2022
19 Brian Pettyjohn Rep 2010 Georgetown 2020
20 Gerald Hocker Rep 1996 Bethany Beach 2020
21 Bryant Richardson Rep 2014 Laurel 2022

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.

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 Executive Officials

President, former Vice President and former Delaware Senator Joe Biden
President, former 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 on January 20, 2009 and served until January 20, 2017.

In the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, Joe Biden was elected President of the United States alongside California Senator Kamala Harris, who was elected Vice President of the United States. He is the first Delawarean to be elected to the office of the President. He is sworn in on January 20, 2021.

See also


  1. ^ Winger, Richard. "March 2021 Ballot Access News Print Edition". Ballot Access News. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Boyer, William and Edward C. Ratledge. Delaware Politics and Government. Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska. 2009.
  3. ^ Delaware State Senate Home,, Accessed November 15th, 2011
  4. ^ Delaware House of Representatives,, accessed November 15, 2011