Delaware state Rep. Helene Keeley announces retirement

After more than 20 years representing Wilmington residents, state Rep. Helene Keeley has announced she will retire at the end of her term.

Legislative Hall in Dover. (Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

Legislative Hall in Dover. (Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

As the longest-serving member of the Delaware House of Representatives, Rep. Helene Keeley announced Tuesday she will retire at the end of her current term.

Delaware State Rep. Helene M. Keeley (Provided)

“This is a bittersweet moment, and one that I struggled with during the past month. I’ve always had this tradition to file for re-election on or around May 15 – my birthday – but ever since I filed this year, I could not shake the feeling that it is time for someone else to have an opportunity to serve the 3rd Representative District,” said Keeley, D-Wilmington South.

When the 53-year-old was elected in 1996, she was one of only two female members in the House Democratic Caucus. She dedicated more than 20 years representing the city of Wilmington, championing legislation to further criminal justice reform, improve addiction help, combat human trafficking and predatory payday lending.

“We have the opportunity to enact real change and impact lives through our work in the General Assembly, and I have been lucky enough to represent the city of Wilmington, a city I was born and raised in, for the last 22 years,” Keeley said. “I hope that another individual will find the same pride and satisfaction I have felt with this great responsibility.”

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The next legislative session will see a lot of turnover; Keeley is the latest to announce her retirement from the General Assembly. Several members of both parties and in both chambers have said this year marks the end of their political careers.

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