Added responsibilities for Delaware senator following lieutenant governor vacancy

(File/NewsWorks)

(File/NewsWorks)

Delaware Senate President Pro Tempore Patricia Blevins will pick up some of outgoing Lt. Gov. Matt Denn’s responsibilities beginning next year.

Blevins, D-Elsmere, will serve as the presiding officer over the Senate when Denn leaves his post in January to take over as Delaware attorney general. 

Denn will replace Attorney General Beau Biden, who did not seek a third term in office because he plans to run for governor in 2016.

Delaware law prohibits an appointment to the office or a special election. Despite efforts from both parties to pass legislation to fill the lieutenant governor’s seat, nothing was approved last session.

Democrats had pushed for a bill that would allow the governor to choose the replacement from the same political party as the outgoing lieutenant governor while Republicans wanted a special election for the seat.

As it stands now, Denn’s lieutenant governor seat will remain vacant until 2016.

No other leadership changes were reported by Delaware Senate Democrats for the 148th General Assembly.

“It is a tremendous honor to have my colleagues in the majority caucus again put my name before the full Senate to serve as president pro tem,” said Blevins in a statement. “During my time in the Senate, I’ve had the privilege of seeing some excellent presiding officers at work, and I will take those lessons to heart in January. Our sessions will be fairly run and I hope I can reflect the finest traditions of Senate leadership.”

Sen. David McBride, D-Hawks Nest, will return as majority leader and Sen. Margaret Rose Henry, D-Wilmington East, as majority whip.

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