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State Rep. Keeley is latest lawmaker to retire

James Dawson, Delaware Public Media
Rep. Helene Keeley

The list of state lawmakers retiring at the end of this session continues to grow.

State Rep. Helene Keeley (D-South Wilmington) announced Tuesday she will not seek re-election.

Fifty-three-year-old Keeley has represented her South Wilmington district for more than 20 years. She was first elected in 1996.

Keeley said she hopes to count legalizing recreational pot as one of her legislative accomplishments. She said she’s been promised a floor vote on her amendment to the bill before the end of the month.

“I would to love to be able to walk away from a 22-year career and be able to say that you know I was the one who was able to legalize the use of cannabis adult use cannabis in this state," she said. "It would be a wonderful triumph.”

She already counts a mortgage modification program, payday lending legislation and a needle exchange program among her biggest accomplishments.

Keeley is the 11th member of the General Assembly - and the 8th member of the House not to seek re-election.

She said she will continue working as Community Relations Director at the Delaware Department of Labor.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.
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