HARRISBUG, Pa. – Rep. Mark Keller (R-Perry) released the following statement Thursday regarding his decision to not seek re-election.
“In 2006, I proudly took my first oath of office in the Pennsylvania State Capitol to represent the 86th District as a legislator in the House of Representatives. Little did I know, it was the start of a journey of a lifetime that has not only been a privilege, but also has proven more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined. Over the past several months, I have reflected on this amazing opportunity; and while it is a difficult decision, I have decided to join my wife, Sally, in the ranks of retirement and will not seek re-election once my term wraps up in November 2020.
“Looking back over the years, I have so many memories. There have been countless accomplishments and a few setbacks, but this experience has been nothing short of remarkable. One of the most unforgettable moments happened in 2011 when then-Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law seven of my bills focused on municipal government operations. Having seven bills become law on the same day was simply incredible.
“Some of the other successes I am proud to claim are changing the law to help clarify discrepancies in the profession of auctioneering and incorporating agriculture science funding into our state budgets. Another feat was the formation of the Commission for Agricultural Education Excellence and securing jobs and additional tax credits for rural communities.
“Advocating for agriculture has been integral to my public service. My long-running tradition of hosting an annual farmers’ breakfast has allowed for farmers and government leaders to gather at the same table to discuss pressing issues face to face while sharing in a delicious meal. Many productive discussions have been held at these breakfasts over the years. I have also enjoyed supporting the FFA program and the exemplary students committed to agriculture. These young people are a special group, deserving of the strongest level of support from our government leaders. I will always emphasize the important role the FFA plays in promoting and protecting Pennsylvania’s leading industry.
“The best part of this career has always been the people. The countless relationships fostered over time are what I treasure most. Seeing friendly faces at the Perry County Fair, our annual Senior Citizens Expo, the Farmers’ Breakfast and the various public seminars have been some of the most enjoyable moments of my tenure. Not breaking from tradition, I am looking forward to hosting these events in the coming year.
“This has certainly not been a solo experience, and I have so much appreciation for my loyal and hardworking staff. Paula Stiffler (who recently retired) was by my side from day one. Kori Weikle and Kristin McGee came on board in 2006; Allyson Shaffer joined the team in 2012; and Patience Hill recently became my newest associate in the New Bloomfield office. To each one, I owe much credit and praise.
“I want to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the constituents of the 86th District for placing your trust in me over the years. I never felt like this position was a job, but rather a humbling opportunity and tremendous responsibility to be the voice for our conservative, rural community in Harrisburg. Your unwavering support provided the strength I needed to power through times of challenge and adversity. For this, I can never give enough thanks.
“Still, there is much work to be done! I am looking forward to serving out the rest of my term and pledge to keep working hard for you until my term concludes in November 2020.”
Representative Mark Keller
86th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Fitch