BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – A longtime Berkeley County lawmaker is set to retire after years of service to the community.

A private retirement party was held Tuesday for State Representative Joe Daning (R-Berkeley County) to celebrate his decades-long career in public service.

Rep. Daning began serving as an elected official in Goose Creek during the late 1970s.

“I had a neighbor approach me and asked if I would consider running for city council, and I told her I would give it some thought – and I did,” he recalled.

He was elected to Goose Creek City Council in 1978 and has served 24 years, his name can be seen throughout the city.

Daning later headed to the State House in Columbia.

“An opportunity came; my predecessor retired and there was a special election held … I was blessed enough to win that election,” he said.

Daning said he loved helping people fix problems.

“When you get a phone call, somebody’s fighting with the bureaucracy. You make a couple of phone calls for them and you get them some help- that’s the best feeling in the world. Just trying to help people.”

The intersection of Highways 176 and 52 in Goose Creek is now called the Joe Daning Intersection.

“I would like to say that I think my legacy, I hope, would be that people remember me that I was helpful,” he said. “I tried to help people when I was up there and that’s it. that’s all.”

Goose Creek Mayor Greg Habib said he believes part of Daning’s legacy includes how he and other members of Goose Creek’s early government shaped the city.

“All we try to do now was to emulate what Joe Daning and the previous councils had done and Joe was a leader in that way of identifying the core functions of municipal government,” said Mayor Habib.

He is now planning for retirement.

“We hope to get out a little bit, spend some more time with the kids, you know. We have great-grandchildren now we’ll get to see them more often,” he said. “I’d like to say thank you so much for the honor of allowing me to do this it’s been my honor; it’s been a blessing, been my pleasure to try and help whoever I could help.”

Rep. Daning will continue to be a state representative until shortly after the election to determine his replacement in November.