David Rakes stepped down from the Howard Community College board of trustees last night because of his candidacy to represent District 2 on the Howard County Council.
Maryland governors appointed Rakes to six-year terms on the college board in 1994 and in 2000. Rakes was vice chairman of the board from 1995 to 1997 and from 1997 to 1999. Two weeks ago, Rakes won the primary to become the Democratic nominee for the council seat, which represents east Columbia.
"I am working as hard as I can to become a member of the Howard County Council, and therefore am not able to devote the time to the board that I believe it deserves," Rakes said in a statement.
The college board of trustees does not prohibit board members from running for political office, although its bylaws require members to avoid conflicts of interest.
At its meeting last month, members of the board raised concerns about having members who were also political candidates or elected officials. They chose to discuss the matter at a later time, even as they agreed Rakes was balancing his obligations effectively.
Rakes, of Columbia, is president and chief executive officer of the Rakes Group, an entertainment and media-consulting firm in Columbia.
In a statement, he said, "It was a difficult decision to make, but one that I believe is in the best interest of the college and the students it serves."