Brian Bushweller, State Senator

17th District of Delaware

About Brian

Brian grew up in New York and moved to Dover in 1981. He and his wife Rocky (married since 1966) have five grown children and ten grandchildren. All five Bushweller kids graduated from Dover High School and went on to graduate from college and undertake successful careers ranging from law enforcement and teaching to banking and marketing. Five of the grandchildren now attend school in the Caesar Rodney School District at McIlvaine, Simpson, Postlethwaite, Fifer and CR High.


Bushweller Family Photo

Brian, his wife Rocky, and their five children.

With ten grandchildren, Brian knows the value of a good education and the need for all our kids to be able to thrive in the increasingly competitive world in which we live.

Brian himself holds an Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts from Ulster County Community College in New York, a Bachelor’s degree in Music from Oklahoma City University in Oklahoma and a Master’s degree in Education from Stanford University in California. He also earned a second Master’s in Management and Supervision from Central Michigan University through a program at Dover Air Force Base.

Starting his career as a Junior High music teacher in a traditional suburban school district, Brian moved to elementary classroom teaching at a church-affiliated special school for disadvantaged children where he had been serving as a part-time Chapel Choir Director. He later joined the staff of the teachers’ union in Florida and then in New York. A job with the Delaware State Education Association brought him and his family to Dover.

Through his experience in education and in representing working people, Brian gained a fundamental understanding of our education system and of the concerns of everyone who works for a living.

In 1993, Brian left the union to become then-Governor Tom Carper’s Legislative Liaison. For the next six sessions of the Delaware General Assembly, he worked closely with members of the House and Senate on important issues like job creation, education reform and improving the emergency medical response system.

In 1998, the Governor nominated Brian to serve as Secretary of the Department of Public Safety (now called the Department of Safety and Homeland Security). He was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the State Senate.

As Secretary, Brian developed a full appreciation for the key role our State’s first responders — police, fire and EMS — play in helping make our communities safe and crime free.

When Tom Carper was elected to the United States Senate in 2000, Brian & Carper 3accompanied him as State Director, responsible for the three offices Senator Carper maintains here in Delaware. As State Director, Brian further developed his understanding of the needs and aspirations of Delaware’s citizens, most especially right here in the 17th District. In 2007, Brian retired from his State Director position in part to be able to devote full time to his own campaign for the State Senate.

Over the years, Brian and Rocky have been the primary caregivers for both of their mothers. Brian’s mother, Helen, moved to Dover from New York to be close to family and lived here for several years before she passed in 1999. Rocky’s mother, Bea, moved here from Florida and lived with them until she had to move to a nursing home. Before Bea passed in 2010 at age 98, either Brian, Rocky or both would have lunch with her nearly every day at Silver Lake Center.

Brian’s experience with both his mother and mother-in-law taught him well the need for government to keep taxes on senior citizens low, to provide crime free neighborhoods for seniors to live in and to insure that medical care for seniors is not only accessible but also of the highest quality.

Brian is currently involved in community activities that support and enhance the quality of life in Central Kent County. He also spends a good deal of time learning as much as he can from his ten grandchildren and loves devoting full time as our Senator helping to insure the educational, economic and retirement vitality of Central Kent County.

Consistent Commitment  To Our Community

  • Parent volunteer in PTA’s; PTO’s; Band, Chorus and Football Boosters; and Scouting.
  • 3 time Honorary Commander at Dover Air Force Base.
  • Board Member, Dover Inner-city Cultural League.
  • Advisory Council Member and Board Member, Dover Community Partnership.
  • Chair, Delaware Emergency Medical Services Oversight Council (DEMSOC).
  • Chair, Delaware State Emergency Response Commission (SERC).
  • Member, Delaware Criminal Justice Council (CJC).
  • Chair, Criminal Justice Council Legislative Committee.
  • Governor’s Liaison to the Delaware General Assembly.
  • Secretary of the Department of Public Safety.
  • U.S. Senator Tom Carper’s State Director.
  • 23 years as a teacher and teacher union representative.
  • Long time member, 31st District Democratic Committee.
  • Active member of numerous community and government councils, commissions and committees.