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Smith withdraws from District 3B race

May 01, 2002|BY LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

The only announced candidate for a newly created state delegate district in southern Washington and Frederick counties said Tuesday he's dropping out of the race.

Charles E. Smith, 53, of Knoxville, said he realized he would not have time to serve as a delegate and keep running his own businesses. After soul-searching, the Democrat said he decided to withdraw from the race.

"It's been a hard decision to make. I just realized I had too much on my plate," he said.

Smith owns a heating and air conditioning business in Frederick, a nursery in Wilson, N.C., and is planning housing developments in Maryland and North Carolina. He also owns several rental properties.

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By leaving the race, Smith said he is probably giving up any chance of returning to politics. He served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1974 to 1982, chairing subcommittees on banking and unemployment insurance.

Smith filed to run on March 4 after being encouraged by House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr., D-Allegany, who was elected to the House the same year Smith was.

Taylor was touring the tornado damage in southern Maryland and was unavailable for comment Tuesday, his office said.

"That was the most difficult call for me because he had asked me to run. He understood. You cannot be a slave to multiple masters," Smith said.

Smith received about $2,500 in campaign contributions, which he said he plans to return to the donors.

Smith's exit leaves District 3B wide open for competition because no incumbents live there.

The district includes about 28,000 people in southern Frederick County, Md., including the city of Brunswick, and about 11,000 people in Washington County, including Sharpsburg and Fairplay.

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