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12/7/2010
Greg Lavelle Elected GOP Minority Leader

Congrats to 11th District State Representative Greg Lavelle. From DFM News:

http://www.delawarefirst.org/government_and_politics/gop-house/

Reorganization hands DE House Republican leadership positions to Lavelle and Hocker

The Republican leadership in the State House of Representatives has been overhauled as the Delaware General Assembly prepares to go into session next month.

State Representative Gregory Lavelle (11th District -Sharpley) was elected Minority Leader Tuesday at a meeting of the House GOP Caucus at Legislative Hall in Dover.

Lavelle won more votes than the other candidate, previous House Minority Whip Daniel Short (39th District – Seaford). Short also lost in the vote for Minority Whip, which was won by Representative Gerald Hocker (38th District -Ocean View).

The reorganization of the House Republican leadership came about following the decision by last session’s minority leader, Representative Richard Cathcart (9th District – Middletown) to step down instead of seek re-election.

GOP House Minority Leader Greg Lavelle and Minority Whip Gerald Hocker discuss their priorities for the upcoming legislative session (Click here to listen)

Delaware was one of few states in which the GOP did not gain seats in the November general election. Republicans will be outnumbered 26-15, after Democrats gained two seats on election day. That gives Democrats a super majority in the House, and the ability to pass even revenue bills without any Republican support.

Lavelle says the GOP will continue to put the focus on state spending and shrinking the size of state government. “We spend a ton of money in the State of Delaware on a per-capita basis. We’re top-five in the country in that. That is not something that can continue,” said Lavelle.

Hocker said Delaware cannot afford to lose its AAA bond rating. “We’ve got to get that debt per-capita under control,” he said.

Lavelle said facing a Democratic super majority will not greatly influence how his caucus will proceed. “We stood strong against tax increases with our caucus before,” he said. “We will continue to be a loyal opposition, a principled opposition, and a cooperative partner, all combined.”

“We have a super minority, and we will have a strong voice,” added Hocker.

GOP House Minority Leader Greg Lavelle says the GOP can remain relevant in the House by continuing to highlight sending issues (Click to listen here)

Lawmakers in 2011 also face the task of redistricting, required every ten years following the US Census. A decade ago the issue dragged out for over a year. “With both houses under control of the Democrats, I wouldn’t forsee that sort of delay,” Lavelle said. “That does not mean we will be silent in the redistricting process, when we see things that are inappropriate.”

Lavelle sees the role of Minority Leader as being representative of the caucus, as well as for the State of Delaware. “I get along with everyone. I’m the last of seven kids,” Lavelle said. “If I didn’t get along with my six older brothers and sisters, I would not have been in a good position. I know how to work well with people and I’m not worried about that at all.”

The 146th General Assembly convenes January 11th, 2011.

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