Delaware House Minority Leader to call it quits

    State Representative Richard Cathcart says it comes from pressures of holding a public office — and a full-time job.

    House Minority Leader Richard Cathcart has announced that he will not seek re-election.

    Cathcart, who has served 17 years in the Delaware General Assembly, cited the increased pressure and stress of serving in the legislature while at the same time holding a full-time job.

    “This is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make,” said Cathcart, who is the Associate Vice President of University Operations at Delaware State University. “It was clear that I had to reduce the stress of doing two jobs. It was then that, with my wife Linda, I began to reassess my life and consider options. After weighing many factors and looking at what made the most sense for my family and me, there was only one difficult course of action — announce my retirement.”

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    Cathcart served as House Minority Leader the past two years and House Majority Leader the two years before that.

    The legislative session wrapped up last week when the governor signed the $3.3 billion operating budget for fiscal year 2011, which began July 1st.

    Cathcart was one of the lawmakers to vote against it, saying it was a missed opportunity to trim state government. Moments before the vote was taken in the House, Cathcart said he couldn’t figure out how a budget that was supposed to feature so many cuts actually grew by 6.5 percent.

    “It’s one thing to say we’re going to cut the size of state government,” he said last week. “But it’s a completely different thing to actually do it.”

    Governor Jack Markell issued the following statement Tuesday after Cathcart’s announcement:

    “Dick Cathcart has served the State of Delaware for many years as an active advocate for his caucus and his district.  We thank him for that service and wish him well in his future endeavors.” 

    Cathcart, who says he will finish the remainder of his term, is endorsing a longtime member of his campaign team, John Marino, of Lea Eara Farms, to run for his 9th District seat.

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