Gray announces candidacy for 38th District representative

“This is it. This is what I have wanted to do my whole life. I am here to officially announce that I am a candidate for state representative for the 38th District.”

Ron E. Gray said those words to a packed house (or tent) at an outside event at Bayside off of Route 54 this week.

“Last Monday, we had 26 people. I don’t know where you all came from, but I am flattered that you are all here. I hope to see you all back here on Nov. 6 for my victory party!”

Sussex County Council members, state representatives and senators came out to support Gray, as did other candidates, volunteers and people from the community.

Current 38th District Rep. Gerald Hocker (R), who introduced Gray, said he couldn’t think of anybody better to work with than Gray. Should he be elected to the 20th District senatorial seat, Hocker said, he was looking forward to sharing with Gray the same type of close relationship he has shared with retiring state Sen. George H. Bunting (D-20th).

“We are talking about a man who was raised here — on a farm, a businessman, someone who knows what it is to make a payroll, to build a business and to deal with DelDOT and DNREC,” Hocker said of Gray, to laughter.

Gray said he was looking to preserve that right — the right to build a business and have a job.

“I was raised on a farm. We knew our neighbors. We knew our neighbors’ neighbors. I had a wonderful American Delaware childhood. In essence, I have had the American dream.”

Gray said he was concerned with preserve that dream, because “government has too much regulation and control and has gotten too big and too expensive.”

“I am going to work hard and be thankful, and I will do my best,” he said of his plans if he is elected. “I am going to ask and continue to ask about the cost benefit of any regulation proposed.”

Gray explained that his father had started a business in his 40s, at a time when he “should’ve been slowing down and retiring.” After his father died, Gray and his wife, who had lived in several states after he finished college, started to talk about moving back to Delaware. They eventually did and then expanded his family’s business, Shady Park Inc., a mobile home park, and opened several other businesses.

Along with his family, Gray operates Shady Park Inc., the West Fenwick and Mason Dixon car washes and West Fenwick Self-Storage. He also owns and operates a civil engineering firm, R.E. Gray & Associates and has now completed what he calls “his dream project,” The Refuge community on Route 54, with partner Coleman Bunting.

Gray grew up on a farm along Route 54 between Fenwick Island and Selbyville and graduated from Indian River High School. He earned a degree in civil engineering from the University of Delaware and an MBA from Indiana University. He and his wife, Candice, have been married for 31 years and have three children.

He is a member of Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church and frequently worships with his wife and family at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Bethany Beach. He has been active in many volunteer organizations, including the Indian River Soccer Boosters, Ocean City Recreation and Lower Sussex Little League.

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