Former Senator Ernesto B. Lopez (R)

Senator (SD 6)
photo of legislator
Legislative Hall
411 Legislative Ave.
Dover, DE 19901
Leghall Phone: 302-744-4136

Legislative Service

State Senator 2012-present


B.A., Gettysburg College; M.A., Ed. D., University of Delaware

Dr. Ernesto B. “Ernie” López is a Delaware State Senator serving the 6th District which includes Dewey Beach, Harbeson, Lewes, Milton, Rehoboth and surrounding areas.

Senator López made history in 2012 becoming the first Hispanic American elected to the Delaware State Senate.  Senator López came to Delaware as a young child from Puerto Rico with his parents and has lived in the “First State” for over 40 years. He holds a B.A. from Gettysburg College and an E.dD. in Educational Leadership from the University of Delaware where he has worked for over two decades.

 Senator López currently serves on the following Senate and joint legislative committees: 

Elections & Government Affairs

In 2015, Senator López drafted the landmark legislative bill: Riley’s Law, allowing children access to physician prescribed medicinal cannabis. The law is named after Rylie Maedler, a constituent of Senator López from Rehoboth Beach. In 2018, Senator López was the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 200, an internationally recognized piece of legislation, banning offshore drilling and seismic testing from the coast of Delaware. In 2021, Senator López joined as a co-prime sponsor of Senate Bill 31, the second leg of an amendment to Delaware’s Constitution, prohibiting discrimination based on race, color or national identity.      

Nationally, Senator López has been called to lead alongside elected officials from across the United States.  He currently serves the Eastern Region of the Council of State Governments as chair of the Education Committee and on the Executive Committee of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators as Vice-Chair of the Healthcare Taskforce.  Here in the “First State,” Senator López serves on the Advisory Council of the Delaware Cancer Consortium and the Redding Consortium for Educational Equity, in addition to representing the Senate minority caucus on the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council for the State of Delaware.   

Senator López takes great pride in constituent service and his reputation in the General Assembly as a consensus-builder and bipartisan problem solver, is valued statewide.  Senator López is active in supporting the many nonprofit and volunteer organizations in the 6th District. Among his most recent accomplishments, Senator López, working alongside Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf, successfully repurposed the former Troop 7 barracks of the Delaware State Police into the only Code Purple cold weather homeless shelter in Eastern Sussex County.   

The Senator lives in Lewes and is the father of two daughters, both of whom attend local public schools in the Cape Henlopen School District.  He worships at St. Edmond Roman Catholic Church in Rehoboth Beach

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