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Politics & Government

State Senator Margaret Rose Henry won't run again

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James Dawson, Delaware Public Media
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Another Democratic State Senator is walking away from political life.

Margaret Rose Henry announced Thursday she will not seek re-election in 2018.

The Senate Majority Leader was the first African American woman elected to the state Senate in 1994 and is currently the only African American in that chamber.

The Wilmington Democrat called the decision a difficult one.

"I’ve spent my life working on behalf of other people, and I’ve treasured that work. But, since joining the Senate I’ve become a grandmother, and my time with my family becomes more precious with each passing year," said Henry in a statement. "And I’ve seen the growth of a generation of leaders who give me hope for a brighter future. It’s time to allow them to lead."

The 73-year-old Henry is the second Democratic State Senator to pass up running again on 2018.

Last month, Dover-area state Senator Brian Bushweller announced he’s retiring at the end of his current term – also citing family reasons.

Democrats currently hold a slim 11-10 majority in the State Senate, though Henry's 2nd District seat is considered fairly secure with Democrats holding a huge registration advantage there.

And there is already at least one person interested in replacing Henry. Wilmington City Councilman Sam Guy announced Thursday he intends to run to fill that 2nd District seat.

"Several years ago Senator Henry and I had a political discussion that concluded with her sharing with me that she would let me know if she decided to retire from the Delaware Senate. During that conversation I let her know that I would run for the seat after, and only after, she retired," said Guy in a statement. "After this years Labor Day Parade, Senator Henry directly informed me that she was retiring from the Delaware Senate in November 2018 at the end of her current term. She let me know her decision was not a confidential secret."

The 58-year-old Guy is in his second stint as a Wilmington City Councilman.  He previously served on council from 1997 to 2001.  He returned to council in January

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