No Need for Term Limits in Delaware

It’s Kevin Ohlandt Day at Blue Delaware.  He recently went through a list of General Assembly members in talking about term limits.  I decided to reorganize the data he presented to show how recently elected, or new, most members of the General Assembly are.  As you see, twenty (20) of the sixty-two (62) members of the next General Assembly in 2019 will have been elected prior to 2008.   So you have two-thirds of the General Assembly elected in 2008 or later.  That is a pretty good turnover by the voters and the elected officials themselves.  In some cases, the voters revolt and turn out incumbents, like in 2006, 2008 and 2016.  In other cases, legislators retire and new blood is elected.

My point in showing you this is that term limits aren’t needed here.   Elections are term limits.

Class of 76 – 42 years
Sen. Harris McDowell (D)
Class of 78 – 40 years
Sen. Robert Marshall (D)
Sen. David McBride (D) – McBride was elected to the House in 1978. He was elected to the Senate in 1980.
Class of 80 – 38 years
Class of 82 – 36 years
Sen. Bruce Ennis (D) – Ennis was elected to the House in 1982. He was elected to the Senate in a special election in 2007.
Class of 84 – 34 years
Class of 86 – 32 years
Class of 88 – 30 years
Class of 90 – 28 years
Sen. David Sokola (D)
Class of 92 – 26 years
Class of 94 – 24 years
Sen. Colin Bonini (R)
Rep. Deborah Hudson (R)
Class of 96 – 22 years
Class of 98 – 20 years
Sen. Cathy Cloutier (R) – Clouter was elected to the House in 1998. She was elected to the Senate in 2000.
Rep. Michael Mulrooney (D)
Rep. John Viola (D)
Class of 00 – 18 years
Sen. Greg Lavelle (R) – Lavelle was elected to the House in 2000. He was elected to the Senate in 2012.
Class of 02 – 16 years
Sen. Gerald Hocker (R) – Hocker was elected to the House in 2002. He was elected to the Senate in 2012.
Rep. Helene Keeley (D)
Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf (D)
Class of 04 – 14 years
Rep. Valerie Longhurst (D)
Rep. William Outten (R)
Class of 06 – 12 years
Rep. Larry Mitchell (D)
Rep. Gerald Brady (D)
Rep. John Kowalko (D)
Rep. Daniel Short (R)
Class of 08 – 10 years
Rep. Quinton Johnson (D)
Rep. David Wilson (R)
Rep. Mike Ramone (R)
Rep. Earl Jaques (D)
Rep. William Carson (D)
Class of 09 – 9 years
Rep. Ruth Briggs King (R)
Class of 10 – 8 years
Sen. Dave Lawson (R)
Rep. Stephanie Bolden (D)
Rep. Debra Heffernan (D)
Rep. Ed Osienski (D)
Class of 12 – 6 years
Sen. Ernie Lopez (R)
Sen. Bryan Townsend (D)
Sen. Nicole Poore (D)
Sen. Brian Pettyjohn (R)
Sen. Gerald Hocker (R)
Rep. Charles Potter (D)
Rep. Jeff Spiegelman (D)
Rep. Trey Paradee (D)
Rep. Kim Williams (D)
Rep. Stephen Smyk (R)
Rep. Paul Baumbach (D)
Rep. Andria Bennett (D)
Rep. Ronald Gray (R)
Rep. Tim Dukes (R)
Class of 14 – 4 years
Sen. Bryant Richardson (R)
Rep. Kevin Hensley (R)
Rep. Sean Matthews (D)
Rep. Sean Lynn (D)
Rep. Lyndon Yearick (R)
Rep. Richard Collins (R)
Class of 15
Rep. David Bentz (D)
Class of 16 – 2 years
Sen. Anthony Delcollo (R)
Sen. Jack Walsh (D)
Rep. Charles Postles (R)
Class of 17 – 1 year
Sen. Stephanie Hansen (D)
Class of 18 
New Senator from the 2nd SD
New Senator from the 17th SD unless Trey Paradee wins.
New Senator from the 18th SD unless Dave Wilson wins.
New Representative from the 5th RD
New Representative from the 7th RD
New Representative from the 16th RD
New Representative from the 22nd RD
New Representative from the 36th RD

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

6 comments on “No Need for Term Limits in Delaware

  1. “Kevin Ohlandt day”… good lord! That is a frightening thought! The way you paint this it does make me rethink my desire for term limits. 2012 was a huge year!

  2. Mitch Crane

    Helene Keeley was first elected in 1996, in RD 5. Redistricting put her in RD3 in 2002.

    And she does a good job

    • Delaware Dem

      Thanks for the correction. It doesn’t change the math overall though. And she is a good representative. Wish she won the Speaker race a while back.

  3. cassandram

    Killer blogging, Kevin!

    I’m with DD — voters have the chance to impose term limits at every election. I like to ask people who their legislators are AND how many times they have voted for them. If they aren’t willing to impose it at the ballot box, why should you ask the state to do it?

    But I will ask a heretical question. Should there be official Party/Caucus effort to protect incumbents from primary challengers?

    • Delaware Dem

      No. If there is a primary, the party and its constituent RD committees must not ever interfere or endorse.

      • cassandram

        What about the governing caucus groups? They spend some effort on helping to retain their incumbents too.

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