Elections (Archived)

As Rep. Keller drops out of 184th, Farnese aide jumps in

State Rep. Bill Keller, right, shown here with fellow Rep. Jason Dawkins

State Rep. Bill Keller, right, shown here with fellow Rep. Jason Dawkins

Longtime state Rep. Bill Keller officially put an end to rumors he was mulling retirement from his perch in the 184th state House District. In a press release Friday, he acknowledged that he would not seek another term in office. 

“For the past 25 years, I have had the privilege of serving the people of the 184th District in South Philadelphia. I did so with honor, integrity and a relentless work ethic,” Keller wrote. “I take pride in transforming a modest, working-class district into one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Philadelphia.”

The Democrat had was known in Harrisburg for his bipartisan work promoting transportation funding for the Delaware Valley region as minority chair of the House Transportation Committee. 

City&State PA first wrote about Keller’s impending departure earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Rowan, an aide to state Sen. Larry Farnese with deep union ties, announced that he would enter the race for the 184th. Rowan had previously been eyed as a replacement candidate by some Keller backers – including members of the influential International Brotherhood Electrical Workers Local 98 – if Keller decided to drop out.

Today, Rowan put an end to those rumors.

“I am officially in as a candidate in the 184th seat,” he said.

Rowan had already made overtures to shore up political influence in the district. At a meeting with ward officials earlier in the week, he was announced as the new 39-A Ward Leader after the sudden passing of that ward’s longtime leader, Roseanne Pauciello.

He will face off against lawyer Bill Ciancaglini, retired police detective Nicholas DiDonato, Jr., former WHYY reporter Elizabeth Fiedler, and attorney Tom Wyatt in the May Primary.