Delaware Republicans Look to Regroup After Midterm Defeats - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Republicans Look to Regroup After Midterm Defeats

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DOVER, Del.- State lawmakers on Wednesday returned to Legislative Hall in Dover with Republicans looking to fill a pair of leadership vacancies resulting from election night defeats in the First State.

House and Senate Republicans looked to replace House Minority Whip Debbie Hudson (R-New Castle County) and Senate Minority Whip Greg Lavelle (R-Sharpley), a pair of northern GOP lawmakers defeated in Tuesday's general election.

The losses came on a night when Democrats swept races for statewide offices and handed a loss to State Treasurer Ken Simpler, whom many Republicans considered a rising star in the party and possible governor candidate.

Senate Republicans quickly moved to replace their retiring leader, Gary Simpson (R-Milford), and Lavelle with Sen. Gerald Hocker (R-Ocean View) and Sen. Cathy Cloutier (R-Brandywine Hundred).

Hocker said in a phone interview that the party has to do a better job of communicating its message.

"We've got to build our Republican base. It's very strong in Sussex County but we've got to build a base in the rest of the state," he said.

Sen. Dave Wilson (R-Lincoln), who moved from the House to the Senate in this year's elections, said Republicans faced tough opposition from Democrats in the 2018 elections.

"The people seem to be on the Trump deal," Wilson said. "They just honestly felt like they wanted to support the Democratic Party. I don't know how you turn that around."

House lawmakers and Democratic Senators were set to vote on leadership Wednesday night.

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