Citing "practical politics," pure and simple, Annapolis Alderman Ellen O. Moyer withdrew from the race for the 1st Congressional Districtseat Thursday, the deadline for removing her name from the primary ballot.
"I feel a real letdown," said Moyer, who has represented Ward 8 on the Annapolis City Council since 1987. "I'm not happy about it."
As the only female candidate to file for the race, Moyer, 55, said she could offer fresh ideas and perspectives for residents in the newly drawn district.
"I tend to speak out on things. I do believe this country is in a great big crisis," she said, adding that some new approaches are needed to deal with the area's problems. "I think I'm a visionary."
However, she said, she had decided early on that if Representative Tom McMillen, D-4th, entered the 1st District race, she would have to consider dropping out.
"It'll be exceedingly difficult to raise resources (with McMillen in the race)," she said. "I did not think it would be fair to my supporters to take their $25 contributions if I did not think I could run a credible campaign."
Moyer, a lobbyist for the Maryland State Teacher's Association, said she could have run a bare-bones campaign with $100,000, but to run a "credible campaign" using radio and direct mail and a full-time campaign manager, she would have needed closer to $150,000.
With McMillenin the race, she said, she did not think she could raise that kind of money. News reports indicate that McMillen of Crofton already has more than $500,000 for his re-election campaign.
"Without him, it would have been a level playing field," said Moyer. She added that sheexpects McMillen will win the Democratic primary.
The old 1st District, which included the Eastern Shore and Harford County, is represented by Republican Wayne T. Gilchrest. Under the redistricting plan adopted by the General Assembly last fall, the 1st District picked upa large part of Anne Arundel County and lost Harford County.
McMillen now faces four Democratic challengers in the March 3 primary: state Delegates John C. Astle of Annapolis and Samuel Q. Johnson of Wicomico County; James Brown, a Caroline County drug-treatment worker; and Herbert A. Mamet, a retired auctioneer from Ocean City.
Five Republicans, including Gilchrest, are vying for the seat in the Republican primary. Gilchrest's challengers are: Robert P. Duckworth, a retired federal urban affairs analyst who took 41 percent of the vote against McMillen in 1990; Lisa G. Renshaw, a parking garage owner from Severn; Michael P. Jackson of Annapolis; and Edward Taylor of Arnold, a teacher at Chesapeake High School.