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Friday, Feb 27, 2015

Schenck to leave politics after term expires


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State Representative Robert Schenck says he will exit politics next year, when his term limits require him to step down.

It’s time, he said, to take a u-turn in his life and head down a new road.

“I’m kind of excited for the next chapter in my life,” Schenck said. “My kids are excited to have me home more and be a normal dad.”

Schenck, who has a 12-year-old and 9-year-old, said he has not thought about what he will do once he leaves. He’s keeping his options open.

“I’m looking at a number of different things but right now, there is still work to be done on behalf of Hernando County,” he said.

The Republican state representative said he has been “supremely honored and blessed” working on behalf of his constituents on the state and local level.

During his time on the county commission, Schenck said he worked hard on economic development issues and brining jobs to the community.

On the state level, Schenck said he is proud of reforming Medicaid to save billions, reforming the state pension system to prevent penalties and double-dipping and helping stem the tide of prescription drug abuse, or pill mills.

Schenck, 37, says he has been approached regularly about running again for Hernando County commission in District 4, now that Commissioner Dave Russell announced his intentions not to seek re-election in 2014.

But Schenck, who was elected to the Hernando County commission in 2002 before seeking a state seat, said the county commission is not on his radar.

Schenck was first elected in 2006, won reelection in 2008 and 2010, defeating Jason Melton and Diane Rowden respectively.

Last year, Schenck defeated his former county commissioner Rose Rocco.

By law, a state representative is limited to four two-year terms.

Schenck, a former teacher from Central High School, said he had no plans to re-enter the education field.

County Commission Chairman Dave Russell said Schenck is “leaving at the top of his game,” as evidenced by his chairmanship of the rules committee.

“Rules committee chairman is one of the most revered positions in the House and that speaks volumes to the individual who’s achieved that rank,” Russell said. “I think Robert will excel in anything he puts his mind to in the private sector.”

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