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Conaway says he didn't send emails

Frank M. Conaway says he had nothing to do with emails that first called and then canceled a news conference Thursday at which he was supposedly to make an "important announcement."

The messages, which hit inboxes on the first day of early voting in the Democratic mayoral primary, set off speculation that Conaway was planning to withdraw from the race, as he did in 2007.

But Conaway, one of several candidates challenging Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in the Sept. 13 primary, said he did not send the emails.

"I didn't call for any press conference," he said. He declined to speculate on who might have sent the mysterious missives or what the motive might have been.

"You're asking me to explain something that I didn't have anything to do with," Conaway said.

The first email, which was sent shortly after 9:30 a.m., invited reporters to an event on War Memorial Plaza across from City Hall.

But the second email, sent shortly after 12:30 p.m., announced that the event had been canceled.

Both messages came from a Gmail account with the candidate's name and "2011" in the address. Conaway has used a Hotmail account during the campaign.

Conaway said he was recovering from injuries he suffered in an automobile accident on the way to a candidates forum Tuesday at the central Enoch Pratt Free Library.

Conaway, Baltimore's clerk of court for the last dozen years, has injected a note of levity into the mayor's race, reciting snatches of nursery rhymes at debates and releasing a rap song slamming his opponents.

julie.scharper@baltsun.com

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