Gray seeking fourth term as 38th District representative

GEORGETOWN – Three-term 38th District State Representative Ron Gray this week filed for a fourth two-year legislative term, saying there is more business to be done in Dover.

Ron Gray

“There are many things I wanted to do, and I haven’t accomplished all of those things,” said Rep. Gray. “So, I am delighted to be running again.”

A resident of the Selbyville area, Rep. Gray, 62, formally announced his re-election at a gathering June 25 with Republican House of Representatives colleagues Steve Smyk (20th District), Tim Dukes (40th District) and Danny Short (39th District) at the Old Sussex Courthouse in Georgetown.

“There is a lot of things from the public’s perspective that don’t seem to make a whole lot of sense,” said Rep. Gray. “I think the Republican caucus that we are all a part of is trying to bring sanity to those issues. We are a conservative view of that. We try to think about things before we just run out do it.”

He addressed current issues as the General Assembly zeroes in on closing the books on fiscal year 2018 on June 30 as well as other issues.

One was a bill supporting the effort to fully legalize marijuana, which was defeated in the House of Representatives June 27 by a 21-15 margin.

“All these controversial things always seem to come up the last week,” said Rep. Gray. “’Why didn’t you bring it up earlier?’ Well, it’s because there is so much going on, a lot of times the other side thinks they can get it passed.”

“My take on the marijuana is we need to wait and see,” Rep. Gray said. “We think we are going to get a lot of tax revenue from that, and we may, but I say, let’s see what is happening in Washington and Colorado in a couple more years and make sure that there is not a lot of other issues that are going to cost our Delaware families things that we don’t want to see in the future.”

Items on his priority agenda include jobs, dredging and public safety.

“The western side of the state needs jobs. I’ll be a pusher for that. I was part of the right-to-work process. Tim (Dukes) had a bill. I had a bill. We need to convince the unions that right to work is not a bad thing for them either. We need jobs for everybody in the state,” Rep. Gray said. “Jobs, jobs, jobs – it is very important that we need to do something, especially the western side of the state, that we can get good paying jobs – $25-to-$30-a- hour jobs.

“We’re doing some things on bringing the internet,” Rep. Gray said. “Broadband, there has been an effort to do that the last few years. That’s real important,” said Rep. Gray. “They already have a good deal of the infrastructure with Rt. 13. DuPont was over there, and they had 5,000 employees. So, there are several facilities over there that could be revamped for some businesses to come in.”

Evacuation education is another.

“We continue to really need to focus on public safety,” Rep. Gray said. “I hope, if I am re-elected, to really focus on evacuation routes, and making that very prevalent. Someone jumps on Rt. 1 and goes north, they can get in trouble off the bridge. We need to do a better job of educating people on the best evacuation route. Public safety is very important.”

“Efficient and cost-effective government, we need to continue to look at that. There are always better ways we can do it or some way of doing it better,” said Rep. Gray. “The classic one is dredging. I’ve looked at that myself, and Gerald Hocker said it before, before I got there. We need to get some money together and go forward and have a contractor come in when they can get complete jobs. We’ve got 60,000 boats out there and a lot of people now are saying they can’t even go anywhere in their boats around the inland bays.

“I really hope to do something on the inland bays, to do dredging and see what we can do to have a really good effort on dredging and help clean up the inland bays,” said Rep. Gray.

In Dover, Rep. Gray serves on committees that include Economic Development/Banking/Insurance/Commerce, Housing & Community Affairs, Labor, Natural Resources, Revenue & Finance and Veterans Affairs.

A graduate of Indian River High School, Rep. Gray earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Delaware and a Master of Business Administration from Indiana University. He is the owner of R.E. Gray & Associates Engineering Co., part owner and operator with family’s Shady Park, Inc., West Fenwick Car Wash, Mason Dixon Car Wash and West Fenwick Self Storage.

Thus far, Rep. Gray has one opponent: Democrat Meghan M. Kelly of Dagsboro, who filed on March 23.

Rep. Gray defeated former state representative Shirley Price in the 2012 election in succeeding Gerald Hocker, who won election to the state senate in 2012. Rep. Gray was not challenged in re-election bids in 2014 and 2016.

“I’m serving my third, and running for my fourth term,” said Rep. Gray.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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