A few Republicans have heard there’s a possibility that Speaker of the House Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, plans on stepping down by the end of the week.
Rep. Kevin Hensley, R-Odessa, said during a Zoom meeting with the Delaware GOP that there is speculation that a new speaker will be elected by Friday.
“So the speculation, just keep in mind speculation, is that Speaker Schwartzkopf will be stepping down as speaker. … There will be an election for speaker,” he said. “There are a couple individuals that have expressed interest. … It will be interesting to see how it plays out, but we’re expecting that to happen at some point on Friday.”
Schwartzkopf, who was first elected in 2002, served as the majority leader in 2008 and became the speaker of the house in 2012.
The Democrats’ other House leaders include Rep. Valerie Longhurst, D-Bear, as the House majority leader and Rep. Melissa Minor-Brown, D-New Castle, as the House majority whip.
Longhurst, who was first elected in 2004, was elected majority whip in 2008 and became majority leader in 2012.
Minor-Brown, who was first elected in 2018, became majority whip in November 2022.
Schwartzkopf, Longhurst, and Minor-Brown did not respond to a request for comment. Drew Volturo, deputy chief of staff for communications with the House Democratic Caucus, also did not respond to a request for comment.
Rep. Mike Ramone, R-Pike Creek, said he’s heard rumors that in the shuffling of positions, Minor-Brown could become the new House majority leader, and Rep. Kerri Evelyn Harris, D-Dover/Magnolia, could be the new House majority whip.
“Now the rumor is, some have heard that, I guess Valerie’s gonna keep [Minor-Brown], who is the whip, to move to leader … and going to make [Harris] the whip,” Ramone said. “That’s the rumors we’re hearing, but who knows?”
Hensley said that there are many factions within the House Democrats.
“You’ve got a group of typically younger, very progressive folks,” Hensley said. “You have a legislative Black caucus that was formed a few years ago. They tend to have their own priorities. Then you have the old-time Democrats I guess I’ll call it that have been around a while that may not see eye to eye on some of these more progressive issues. So it’s an interesting dynamic to watch.”
Ramone said Democrats will probably follow a familiar process in filling their leadership positions, but newer Democrats may complicate things.
“They believe they’ve got their process, and they’re gonna follow the process,” Ramone said. “But we’ll know Thursday night after the process is over, or Friday morning that maybe everybody doesn’t feel they need to follow that process. You have got to remember you got a lot of new people in there. A lot of new Democrats who have only been there either one or three years.”
Share this Post