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Parrott says he's running for delegate

September 28, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

BOONSBORO -- Republican Neil Parrott committed on Monday to running for the seat now held by state Del. Christopher B. Shank, who has not announced his plans for next year's election.

Parrott, who organized a Hagerstown TEA Party protest group, said he's moving ahead as if Shank isn't running for re-election.

"I don't have any intention to run against Chris Shank," he said.

Shank, R-Washington, attended Parrott's campaign announcement on Monday and hinted that Parrott's assumption was correct.

"I don't think I would have shown up today if I was going to in any way circumvent his plans," Shank said in an interview afterward. "That would be awkward."

Nearing the end of his third term, Shank maintained that he still is "leaning" toward running against Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, in a 2010 GOP primary, but reiterated that he won't make his plans public until after Thanksgiving.

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Parrott has said for several weeks that he was thinking of running for the Subdistrict 2B seat. In early August, he announced he had formed a fundraising committee.

In a downtown Boonsboro storefront on Monday, Parrott told dozens of supporters in green campaign T-shirts that he's running as a lifelong Marylander concerned about his state.

"I care deeply about the current financial conditions in our state and in our country," Parrott said.

He said he'd work to roll back Gov. Martin O'Malley's tax increases, keep services free of sales tax and reduce bureaucratic obstacles for businesses.

Parrott, 39, lives near Hagerstown. He was a state traffic engineer, then deputy director of public works for engineering with the City of Frederick, Md., before starting his own business, Traffic Solutions Inc., in August 2007.

Munson, seeking a sixth Senate term, said he expects to face Shank in 2010.

"I've already begun substantial campaign efforts," he said.

Parrott hasn't officially filed to run.

Among local state delegate and Senate seats, only Republican Andrew A. Serafini, currently representing Subdistrict 2A, and Republican Michael Hough in Subdistrict 3B had filed as of Monday.

Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, who is part of Parrott's steering committee, said he'd stay neutral if Shank ran against Munson.

"The only thing that's clear is that Chris doesn't appear to be running again for re-election," Mooney said.

Parrott steering committee member Marilee Kerns said the Washington County Republican Central Committee, which she chairs, doesn't take sides in primaries. She said she's helping Parrott, a friend, outside of her party duties.

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