Senate republicans name Lavelle minority whip, re-elect Sen. Simpson as minority leader

Newly elected state Senator Greg Lavelle was selected to serve as Senate Minority Whip during the first state Senate Republican caucus meeting since the election. Lavelle previously served as Minority Leader in the state House of Representatives.

Lavelle said his experience in the House of Representatives will help make the transition to the other side of Legislative Hall a little easier.

“The opportunities I had on the house side, through leadership and committees and getting to know people in the building will serve me well on the Senate side as well,” he said.

Lavelle added that he’s ready to get to work on the big issues on the agenda such as taxes, the economy and education.

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“The big issue is always money and with a number of tax increases sunsetting in Delaware, those will have to be dealt with,” he said. “We’ll have the impact of whatever the federal government does with respect to changes and fiscal cliff type issues that are likely to impact the state and continue to improve education.”

During the caucus meeting, the party also re-elected Sen. Gary Simpson as Senate Minority Leader. Simpson has held the position since 2008.

“It’s an honor,” said Simpson. “I look forward to working with a whole new group of legislators. There are four new ones coming into the senate this year and I look forward to working with them as well as the other folks who are returning.”

Also newly elected to the Senate is Sen. Gerald Hocker (R-Ocean View), who served as former House Minority Whip, as well as Sens. Brian Pettyjohn and Ernie Lopez.

During the election earlier this month, Republicans picked up one seat in the Senate altering the Democrats’ lead to 13-8.

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