Rep. Kenton won’t run for reelection: Milford Mayor Shupe aims to succeed him

Harvey Kenton

DOVER — Rep. Harvey Kenton, a Milford Republican, announced Friday he will not seek reelection this year.

Rep. Kenton has served the 36th Representative District since 2010.

“I will be 77 years old by the time election day rolls around,” he said in a statement. “After discussing it with my wife and colleagues, I’ve decided that it is time for me to pursue other interests.”

At nearly the same time, Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe announced he has filed for the seat, with the support of Rep. Kenton.

“I have given this opportunity much consideration and would be honored to continue serving my community and Sussex County at the state level,” Mr. Shupe, 33, said in a statement. “Rep. Kenton has been a strong advocate for the 36th District and I am humbled to have his support during this campaign.”

A Republican, Mr. Shupe has served as mayor since 2014.

Democrat Donald Allan Jr. has also filed for the 36th Representative District.

Rep. Kenton was first elected after V. George Carey, a 26-year member of the House, retired. He defeated Democrat Russell McCabe in 2010, pulling in 54.3 percent of the vote, and did not face an opponent in any of the three subsequent elections

He has been one of two House Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee, the powerful panel tasked with creating the state budget, for the past six years.

“I have sponsored and co-sponsored many dozens of pieces of legislation that I think have improved the lives of my constituents and all Delawareans,” Rep. Kenton said. “It has been a true honor to serve the people of my district and I have been humbled by the faith they have repeatedly shown in me.

“I have always thought of myself as an average person who has had an extraordinary opportunity to serve the public. I have no regrets about how the last eight years have unfolded and I feel blessed to have had this wonderful experience.”

Both Rep. Kenton and Mr. Shupe are natives of Milford.

Mr. Shupe, a local business owner, is president of the Sussex County Association of Towns and a member of the Kent Economic Partnership.

The 36th Representative District covers northeastern Sussex, stretching from Milford to just north of Milton and from the coast to Ellendale.
Democrats hold the edge, 5,680 to 5,573, in the district, but a Democrat has not held the seat since 1984.

Rep. Kenton is the fourth member of the House to announce plans not to run for reelection, and that list is expected to grow in the ensuing months.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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