Freshmen Lawmakers Bringing Family History to Dover - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Freshmen Lawmakers Bringing Family History to Dover

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DOVER, Del.- There will be many new faces in the Delaware General Assembly when it goes back in session next month.

There are 13 freshmen lawmakers this year.

And some of them already have quite a bit of history in the capital.

Democratic freshman Rep. Trey Paradee, D-Clayton, has some very old photos of his ancestors.

They also happen to be photos of former Delaware lawmakers.

"In the last couple weeks, with the help of some friends, we started piecing together the entire history," Parade said.

Paradee counts himself as the seventh member of his family to serve in the capital.

That dates back to 1809.

"[That's] my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Stephen Paradee," he said. "It's just part of who I am, part of who our family is. We feel very connected to this state.

Paradee is actually the first member of his family to serve in a good, long while.

It's been so long, in fact, the last Paradee served in the general assembly when it met at the old statehouse.

That's not the case for Republican freshman Rep. Ron Gray.

His grandfather and his father both served in the current statehouse.

Gray was a kid when his dad was a state rep.

"The biggest thing I remember is all the phone calls we would get at home - constituents. The phone constantly rang whenever he was there," he said. "When he was sworn in, I remember being up in the balcony and looking down. I visited here on June 30. I went up to the balcony, looked down and thought 'I've been here before.'"

Both men say they're looking forward to making their own marks in Dover.

But they'll be thinking about those who came before them when they're sworn in.

"I want to be able to honor the memory of my ancestors," Paradee said. "If they're up there looking down on me, I'd want them to be very proud of me."

"I think they'll be looking down and smiling," Gray said. "Hopefully they'll be very proud that I carried on a family tradition."

Paradee and Gray will be sworn in when the 2013 legislative session opens Jan. 8 in Dover.

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