Posted: April 13, 2012


By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer

There are people who know they are leaving the legislature, people who hope they are not leaving the legislature, and people who hope they are coming to the legislature.

This is the time of year when Legislative Hall in Dover has the look of a bus terminal.

Springtime is the season when political campaigns start to round into shape, as sitting legislators decide whether to go for another term and candidacies form in the wake of their decisions.

Because of redistricting and retirements, the Delaware General Assembly can expect to count in double digits the number of new members that the 2012 election will bring. That is a lot for a legislature with 62 lawmakers.

The actual total is anybody's guess, complicated by what Donald Rumsfeld, the former defense secretary and philosopher king, would call the known knowns, the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns.

The known knowns are the legislators who have declared their intentions to retire or run for a different office, the known unknowns are the open seats created by redistricting, and the unknown unknowns are any legislators whom the voters will be sending home on Election Day.

At this point, though, the known knowns and the known unknowns can be charted, so here they are.

Legislator District Party Reason
Bob Marshall Senate 3rd D Running for mayor, or at least he says he is
Liane Sorenson Senate 8th R Retiring after 20 years, once redistricting combined her with Dave Sokola, a Democratic senator
George Bunting Senate 20th D Retiring after 30 years in politics
Dennis P. Williams House 1st D Running for mayor
Greg Lavelle House 11th R Running for state senator against Michael Katz, a first-term Democrat, after his own seat was lost in redistricting
Manolakos/Miro House 22nd R Redistricting put Nick Manolakos and Joe Miro together, so a primary will decide who stays and who goes
Gerald Hocker House 38th R Running for state senator to replace Bunting
Biff Lee House 40th R Retiring after 22 years
  Senate 6th   A new Sussex County district, attracting a Democratic primary between Bob Frederick and Andy Staton and a Republican primary between Ernie Lopez and Glen Urquhart
  House 11th   A new district straddling New Castle County and Kent County with Lynne Newlin, a Democrat, as the only declared candidate
  House 20th   A new Sussex County district contested by Marie Mayor for the Democrats and Steve Smyk for the Republicans