Lawrenceville’s Keith Roche won’t seek third City Council term

Keith Roche announced Monday evening he will not seek a third term on Lawrenceville City Council. (Tyler Wilkins / tyler.wilkins@ajc.com)
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Keith Roche announced Monday evening he will not seek a third term on Lawrenceville City Council. (Tyler Wilkins / tyler.wilkins@ajc.com)

Lawrenceville officials held back tears Monday evening after a two-term councilmember announced his name will not be on the ballot in November.

Councilmember Keith Roche, who took office in 2014, will not seek a third term on City Council. He said he made the difficult decision so he could spend more time with family.

“I’ve had the privilege of working side-by-side with some of the greatest public servants that you’re ever going to find,” Roche said before council’s Monday meeting. “I am, however, a little tired. I look forward to not living by a calendar and occasionally being bored.”

Roche said he’s proud to have carried forward the vision for Lawrenceville created by his predecessors. He noted major projects in which he played a role, including the SouthLawn residential development, Lawrenceville Performing Arts Center and College Corridor.

He also praised the Gwinnett city’s work on the remodel of the Hooper-Renwick School into a library and museum, new businesses in Lawrenceville’s entertainment district and various infrastructure improvements done over the past eight years.

“We have hopefully changed the whole complexion of Lawrenceville as a destination, a place to come live, work and play,” Roche said.

Roche previously served on the city’s Planning Commission until pushed to run for City Council. He said he was “hoping I would win and praying I wouldn’t” while campaigning, but it turned out “to be one of the most incredibly rewarding experiences of my life.”

“He has a true servant heart,” Lawrenceville Mayor David Still said. “We will miss you.”

Jen Young, a member of the city’s Planning Commission and executive director of Impact46, announced Monday night that she will run for Roche’s seat with his endorsement.