Riley says he won't seek re-election next year Towson councilman open to other political races

November 06, 1997|By Suzanne Loudermilk | Suzanne Loudermilk,SUN STAFF

After months of speculation about his political career, Baltimore County Councilman Douglas B. Riley, a Towson Republican, has announced that he will not seek re-election next year.

But the two-term councilman -- who says government works best when officials offer fresh ideas and perspectives -- is keeping open other opportunities.

"I would enjoy the challenges of a new office in the years ahead and hope to be kept in mind as the elections of 1998, 2000 and 2002 unfold," Riley said in a letter about his decision.

The 44-year-old attorney, who lives in Wiltondale, has been mentioned for such offices as county executive, Maryland attorney general and state legislator.

But Riley, who spends many evenings at community meetings, also said he wants to devote more time to his family. His wife, Eileen, is a lawyer, and they have three children, ages 8 to 14.

Riley, who made a campaign pledge in 1990 to serve only two terms, said he wanted prospective candidates to have early notice about the opening on the council, on which Democrats outnumber Republicans, 5 to 2.

Republican Kathleen Beadell, 37, president of the Greater Timonium Community Council, has announced her intention to seek the 4th District seat.

"It's because Doug isn't [running]," she said yesterday. "We've worked so hard for community conservation."

Democrat Steve Lafferty, 48, who also has been mentioned as a possible candidate, said he has no plans to run for the office.

Lafferty, a manager of neighborhood revitalization in the county Office of Community Conservation, said yesterday: "I like my job. I'm enjoying my work."

Several Towson residents said they understood Riley's decision.

"It's kind of an exhausting job," said Richard Parsons, vice president of the West Towson Neighborhood Association. "He's been an extraordinarily good councilman, very attentive to his constituents."

Riley stressed that there is much work to do in his remaining year in office, including the $4.5 million streetscape and traffic roundabout project that has torn apart Towson's business district for months.

In his letter, Riley said, "I am determined to end [my term] without a single construction cone left in Towson."

Pub Date: 11/06/97

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