Posted: July 17, 2012
LONGEVITY GETS SHORTER
By Celia Cohen
Before the last election or two, Delaware had a fairly robust Thirty Years Club, people in elected office for longer than three decades.
Politics has taken its toll, though, as it will.
Mike Castle, the Republican congressman and governor, was ousted by the Tea Party in 2010 in that shocker of a Senate primary. The Tea Party also got Nancy Cook, the Democratic legislator who was a state senator longer than anybody else.
Now Bob Gilligan, the Democratic speaker who spent 40 years in the state House of Representatives, is retiring, and so is Biff Lee, the senior member on the Republican side of the aisle after a mere 22 years in the chamber.
It means the General Assembly will convene in January without a state representative even in a Twenty Years Club.
Across Legislative Hall, the Senate Republicans are also losing their most-tenured member with the retirement of Liane Sorenson, the minority whip who became a state senator in 1994 after two years as a state representative.
It leaves Colin Bonini, elected in 1994, as the Senate's senior Republican at the politically youthful age of 47 years old.
"The most senior Republican is still the youngest state senator," Bonini quipped.
Current officeholders in bold