DEVELOPING: Hagerstown Mayor Keller to step down, join Moore’s Opioid team

UPDATE (4:30pm): City of Hagerstown has released a statement on the resignation of Mayor Emily Keller. Full release is below.

In a press conference today, groundbreaker and trailblazer Emily Keller revealed the newest path down which she is about to embark hours after Maryland’s Governor-elect Wes Moore announced her appointment as his administration’s Special Secretary of Opioid Response.

The current Mayor of the City of Hagerstown will be resigning her elected position within the next two weeks in order to join the new Governor’s team in Annapolis.

“I am extremely honored to represent Maryland in this new role as Special Secretary of Opioid Response. I applaud Governor-Elect Moore’s emphasis on creating a Maryland where no one is left behind. By focusing on the recovery and health of those struggling with substance use disorder, as well as creating more robust prevention methods for youth and adults alike, we can work to absolutely achieve a Maryland where no one is left behind,” Keller said.

Keller was elected the first woman Mayor of Hagerstown in 2020 following a term as Councilmember from 2016-2020. She is the owner-operator of the Emily Keller Insurance and Financial Agency – Farmers Insurance. In her two-plus years in office, Keller has worked to transform the position of Mayor from a figurehead to a person who is accessible, relatable, and engaged in the community. During her administration, Hagerstown created positions to ensure public transparency that included a liaison from the police department to the community and a LGBTQIA+ liaison for the community—a position in which she has personally served.

Her passion continues to be to assist people with a substance use disorder and find innovative ways to help solve the substance use crisis our country faces. For several years she has been the Co-Chair of Washington Goes Purple, a community movement to educate the youth and community about the dangers of drugs, the importance of making healthy choices, and celebrating those in recovery. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the Phoenix Foundation, which has the only Recovery High School in the State of Maryland. She has also supported and advocated for increased and robust harm-reduction programs, fighting tirelessly to show this crisis as exactly what it is—a public health emergency that we must treat as such. 

Keller’s resolute efforts have been recognized by those she has partnered with politically to accomplish those goals, including Maryland 6th District Congressman David Trone.  “From Day One, Mayor Keller has been a passionate leader in the fight against substance abuse disorder.  By spearheading effective, community-driven initiatives to combat this epidemic.  Mayor Keller has proven to be an invaluable partner to me and an incredible resource to others across our state.  I am looking forward to continuing our partnership in her new role in Governor Moore’s administration and I am grateful she’s been given this well-deserved opportunity.  Maryland is better for it,” Trone said.

Keller’s resignation is effective January ­­­31.  The City Council will determine her replacement as Mayor.

17 January 2023- Mayor Emily Keller announces during a press conference today that she will be stepping down in her roll as mayor after being appointed as the Special Secretary on Opioid Response for Maryland Governor-Elect Wes Moore. Keller said during the press conference today that she will be transitioning out of her roll as Mayor in the next two weeks but did not specifically say what would happen to her position.

Elected to office as Mayor in 2020, Keller focused much of her campaign and policy initiatives at combating a spreading opioid crisis in Hagerstown which claimed the life of one of her best friends. Keller will be transitioning to her roll in Annapolis in the coming weeks. Keep tuned to News Talk 1037FM and for updates for leadership in Hagerstown.