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Baltimore Senator Verna Jones-Rodwell To Retire

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Sen. Verna Jones-Rodwell, a Democrat who has represented a Baltimore district for 15 years, will retire when her term ends in January.

Jones-Rodwell, the deputy majority whip and chairwoman of the city's senate delegation, announced Monday in Baltimore that she is ending her re-election campaign.

"It became clear that this is not where I wanted to do my next four years of public service," she said in an interview later.

She said she didn't feel right about soliciting further donations and volunteer hours when she doesn't feel completely committed to working another term.

Jones-Rodwell was elected in 1998 to represent Maryland's 44th District in the House of Delegates. After one term, she won a race for Senate. She has served as chairwoman of the Legislative Black Caucus and a subcommittee overseeing pensions.

She plans to ramp up her advocacy efforts with prisoner re-entry to society and Alzheimer's issues.

Two years ago she helped arrange a symposium on prisoners transitioning back into the community, with representatives from public agencies and advocacy groups. She is planning a similar event this fall.

"I'm just trying to get the state more engaged," she said.

She also serves on the national board of the Alzheimer's Association and has worked on state legislation related to the disease. She said it afflicted her mother for many years.

Before serving in the legislature, Jones-Rodwell founded a leadership consulting and training firm, Collaborative Solutions.

Her exit leaves Democrat Del. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam and attorney Bernard Reiter, a Republican, in the race for the seat.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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