The 14th Representative District Democratic Committee salutes Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf as he steps down from the speakership of the Delaware House of Representatives. Pete's keen sense of the rhythm of Legislative Hall, and his jovial, yet firm leadership style helped ensure that some of the most protective legislation in Delaware's history was enacted during his decade of service as speaker of the House.
Pete instinctively knew exactly when to bring some of the most important – and by definition, controversial – pieces of legislation to the House floor and how to work with his Senate colleagues to get that legislation across the finish line. Recognizing that some of this legislation would require more than a simple majority vote, Pete worked across party lines to get things done for the 14th District and for Delaware as a whole.
A master in forging consensus, Pete helped enact critical protections and benefits for working families, including codifying increased wages, and protections and equality for the LGBTQ+ community. He also helped make Delaware a leader in gun safety, in reproductive health, in criminal justice reform and in strengthening voting rights. Thanks to Pete's leadership, Delaware is one of the safer, more welcoming states in the nation.
As if that record is not enough, Pete ensured that, even as he stepped down from the speakership, he was working strategically to pave the way for the first female speaker of the House in Delaware's history. This move, in turn, provided an opening for the first person of color to step into the majority leader position, and when she was elevated to majority leader, the first member of the LGBTQ+ community stepped into the majority whip position.
Whether bringing hot coffee and bagels to Democratic and Republican party poll workers alike or offering a warm hug or encouraging handshake, Pete's legacy is as much about being a friend as a strong leader. The 14th RD Democratic Committee is grateful that we will still have Pete as our representative for the remainder of his term. Thank you, Mr. Speaker!
Jeff Balk, chair
Michael Weiss, vice chair
Cheryl Fruchtman, secretary
Greg Kordal, treasurer
Pattie Magee, GOTV chair
Dick Byrne, past chair
Leslie Ledogar, past chair
-Banking, Business, Insurance & Technology Committee
-Environment, Energy & Transportation
-Housing & Land Use
-Legislative Oversight & Sunset
Dover, Del., July 29, 2022 -- In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Delaware Governor John Carney signed House Bill 455 on June 29 to expand abortion access and protect those traveling to the state to terminate pregnancies.
The law allows licensed physician assistants, certified nurse practitioners and nurse midwives to provide procedural abortions. It also protects those who come to Delaware for an abortion and the health care providers who perform them.
Among other provisions in the bill, it will protect medical privacy; limit extradition to other states for criminal charges related to abortion; shield people from civil actions in other states and protect professional licenses. As Democratic state House Rep. Melissa Minor-Brown, the bill’s sponsor observed, “It's a great day for women in Delaware. I can't stop crying."
Gov. John Carney taking legislative action during the 151st session of the General Assembly.
14th District Dems Oppose Flying Confederate Flag Outside Marvel Museum
Lewes, Del., August 24, 2022 – At its latest meeting on August 10, the 14th District Democratic Committee took a stand regarding the Confederate flag which flies outside the Marvel Museum in Georgetown. Stating that the flag belongs inside the museum, not flying outside, the group approved a resolution encouraging all elected Democrats in Delaware to “refuse to ride in the carriages provided by the Marvel Museum for the Returns Day Parade until such time as the Confederate flag is removed from outside the Marvel Museum.”
“We felt it important to speak out against the display of the Confederate flag outside the museum and at the Returns Day Parade,” said Jeff Balk, Chair of the 14th District Democratic Committee. “There’s no place for that divisive symbol of oppression in community events. Instead, we need to take more steps to grapple with our shared history of racism.”
Since issuing the statement, the group has been circulating the resolution among state Democratic leaders. The 14th RD Democratic Committee represents Democrats who live in the communities surrounding Lewes, south to Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach, and west to Angola.
WASHINGTON, DC - Delaware Democratic Party Chair Betsy Maron, Governor John Carney, U.S. Senator Chris Coons, and other party leaders presented their proposal to the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee for Delaware to host a Pre-Window Presidential Primary. The proposal focused on The First State’s diversity, strategic competitiveness, and the feasibility of moving Delaware’s presidential nominating contest. The Delaware Democratic Party’s presentation featured video of prominent state and party leaders expressing their support for the state’s proposal.
Delaware is more diverse than many of the states in the region, boasting a vibrant electorate that is increasingly making its voice heard in local elections. Since 2016 Delaware’s General Assembly has become more representative of this electorate. So much so that in 2020 Delaware welcomed its most diverse class of freshman legislators ever. As it currently stands nearly 1/3rd of Democrats in Delaware’s General Assembly belong to a historically underrepresented group. Similarly, women make up 45% of the Democrats in our legislature.
This diverse electorate and legislature paired with high Democratic registration have made Delaware a showcase for Democratic leadership. Delaware is a well-run state – attracting new businesses to the state, making record-breaking investments in our infrastructure, making focused new investments in schools, keeping taxes low, and making progress in protecting personal rights to health care decisions and the right to vote. Delaware’s geography also gives campaigns a unique opportunity to hone their campaign messaging and strategy. In Delaware, candidates can easily travel the entire state in just a few hours and encounter a variety of types of voters along the way. From urban voters in the City of Wilmington which is within the Philadelphia / Southern NJ media market, through New Castle County, to rural voters in Kent and Sussex Counties which include parts of the Salisbury and Baltimore, MD media markets, Delaware is the perfect state for presidential candidates to get facetime with an electorate that mirrors America.
If chosen by the RBC, Delaware is in an excellent position to reschedule and conduct its Presidential Primary. Leaders in both chambers of Delaware’s General Assembly have expressed support for moving Delaware’s Presidential Primary and intend to make it a legislative priority if the state is selected. Should the legislation come to his desk Governor John Carney has also conveyed his plan to sign the new date into law. The Delaware Department of Elections has also indicated it has the capacity to conduct a Presidential Primary earlier in the calendar year with minimal budgetary or administrative impact.
Following their presentation Delaware Democratic Party Chair, Betsy Maron stated, "I truly believe Delaware has made an incredibly convincing case for hosting an early Presidential Primary. No other state offers quite the same medley of diverse voters, vibrant political landscape, and legislative expediency that Delaware does, which makes us a perfect proving ground for presidential nominees. I look forward to the Rules and Bylaws Committee's decision and the possibility of welcoming presidential hopefuls to Delaware.”
Copyright © 2022 Delaware's 14th Representative District Democratic Committee - All Rights Reserved.
14th Representative District Democratic Committee
P. O. Box 1541 - Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971