Posted: July 9, 2009


Politicians who get into office in Delaware usually stay in office in Delaware. They seem to get out about as often as what happens in Las Vegas does.

Thurman Adams, a Bridgeville Democrat who spent more than 36 years in the state Senate, was a reminder of the longevity factor when he died last month. He was tied at the time for the longest-serving legislator and remains for now the longest-serving state senator in Delaware history.

Here are the record holders.

Officeholder Party Years Offices Notable
Joe Biden D 38+ NCC councilman, senator, vice president His six senatorial terms are a state record. His time as vice president might not count toward Delaware unless he drops that "kid from Scranton" stuff
Mike Castle R 38+ Legislator, lieutenant  governor, governor, congressman He's the state's only 9-term congressman. He's tied with Tom Carper for 12 statewide wins. Castle is the last Sixties guy, elected a legislator before Biden finished law school
Tom Carper D 32+ Treasurer, congressman, governor, senator Castle caught him with 12 statewide victories. Will Carper also have to share with Castle the rare "Triple Crown" of politics, winning congressman, governor and senator?
Bob Gilligan D 36+ State representative No one has served longer in the Delaware General Assembly
Thurman Adams D 36 State senator He would still be in the state Senate, if the time had not come to answer another roll call
Nancy Cook D 35+ State senator Elected in February 1974 in a special election, she is on track to overtake Adams in tenure. Cook is not known in Legislative Hall as "The Queen" for nothing