There may have been a big shake up nationally during the 2016 election, but that wasn’t the case in Sussex, with all 11 incumbents, 10 Republicans and 1 Democrat, re-elected to their seats.
With the impending departure of Sen. Gary Simpson and Rep. Dave Wilson’s decision to seek Simpson’s seat, Sussex countians in the 18th Senatorial and 35th Representative districts already know change is coming in 2018.
More recently, constituents of the 36th Representative District learned they’ll have a new legislator; Rep. Harvey Kenton announced Feb. 9 he would not be seeking re-election. Kenton, a Republican, has held the seat since 2010.
“I will be 77 years old by the time Election Day rolls around,” Kenton said in a prepared statement. “After discussing it with my wife and colleagues, I’ve decided that it is time for me to pursue other interests.”
For the last six years, Kenton has been a member of the Joint Finance Committee, which is responsible for crafting the state’s annual multibillion dollar operating budget.
Just as in the 35th district, where Wilson is supporting Bridgeville businessman Jesse Vanderwende, Kenton has already thrown his support behind Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe in the GOP primary.
“I am fully embracing Bryan Shupe as the candidate to lead in Dover where I have left off,” said Kenton.
Shupe, who has been mayor of Milford since 2014, officially filed his candidacy paperwork with the county Feb. 9.
“I have given this opportunity much consideration and would be honored to continue serving my community and Sussex County at the state level,” said Shupe in a prepared statement.
Shupe was born and raised in Milford and has a bachelor degree in political science from the University of Delaware. He owns and operates two small businesses – Milford Live and Fur-Baby Boutique & Doggie Daycare.
Shupe is president of the Sussex County Association of Towns, a member of the governor’s Commission on Community and Volunteer Service and the Kent Economic Partnership.
Shupe is the second person to file as a candidate in the 35th Representative District. Democrat Donald Allan announced his candidacy in January and filed paperwork Feb. 9 in the Democratic primary.
The deadline for candidates to file for a statewide office and all other offices is noon, Tuesday, July 10.
The statewide primary election is Thursday, Sept. 6. The deadline to register to vote in the primary is Saturday, Aug. 11.
The statewide general election is Tuesday, Nov. 6. The deadline to register to vote in the general election is Saturday, Oct. 13.