by Terry Rogers
On Friday, February 9, Representative Harvey Kenton confirmed that he will be retiring at the end of his term in November. Representative Kenton has served the 36th Representative District since 2010, taking a seat previously held by the late George Carey.
“I will be 77 years old when my next term would start, and it was time to step down,” Representative Kenton said. “There is nothing wrong with my health, I want to make that clear. I am perfectly healthy, but after discussing this with my wife and family, I felt it was time to take some time and slow down a little.”
Representative Kenton graduated from Milford High School and served in the United States Navy from 1959 to 1962. He graduated from Wesley College in 1964. He has been married to his wife Jeanie Warnick Kenton, since 1964 and the couple has three children, Dawn, Chris and Debbie. He has served as a Board of Director for the Delaware State Fair, People’s Place II and the Felton Bank. He has been Vice President of the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club and is a member of the Milford Church of God. He has also been a member of the Milford Jaycees, Milford Lions Club, Milford Elks, Milford Rotary, Carlisle Fire Company and Milford Board of Education.
“It has been a blessing and an honor to serve the people of this area,” Representative Kenton said. “Even though I will be leaving in November, I will continue to serve the people up until the day I retire. I have worked hard my entire life and I will not stop now. At 77, I have returned to school. I have been in agriculture my entire life, but have decided to learn the business end of it. I have been able to provide my classmates with some hands-on experiences that they may not have gotten otherwise. This is a new chapter for me and I am looking forward to it.”
Representative Kenton said that he is proud of the legislators in Delaware. He said that even though they may not agree on everything and may vote differently, they are all still friends outside of Legislative Hall. He said that they spend time together, eat lunches and dinners together and respect each other’s opinions. There is nothing he regrets about his time in the legislature, saying that of all the votes he has cast, he would not change one of them.
“I like to tell people that I am an average person who has had an extraordinary opportunity to serve the public,” Representative Kenton said. “If I had one regret, it would be that I did not do this 20 years ago, but George Carey was in the seat and he was doing an outstanding job.”
Representative Kenton said that he had not made it a secret that he was considering retirement at the end of the session. Representative Dave Wilson, who filed to run for the Senate seat vacated by Senator Gary Simpson who is also retiring, said Representative Kenton’s plans to retire was one of the reasons he decided to move to the Senate.
“I had been talking about this for a month or so,” Representative Kenton said. “I thought it was time for me to step aside and let someone bring in some new ideas. There are a few in the legislature that I think have stayed longer than they should. Government needs fresh ideas and I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds.”
Representative Kenton officially endorsed Mayor Bryan Shupe who filed on Friday to run for the seat. In addition to Bryan Shupe, Don Allan of Milton has filed to run for Representative Kenton’s seat and Cathy Cohee has announced her intentions to run.
Disclaimer: Bryan Shupe is the current owner of MilfordLIVE, a business he started in 2010.
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.