Former state GOP chair Audrey Scott withdrew her name from the race to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Sen. E.J. Pipkin in District 36 of the Upper Eastern Shore.
In an email late Friday afternoon to members of the Republican central committees of the four counties -- Caroline, Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne's -- Scott suggested that they vote for either Del. Mike Smigiel or Del. Steve Hershey since each legislator got the support of one of the county committees, "putting them each in a position to be our next State Senator," she wrote.
"I do not wish for my presence in the race to interfere with either person being selected," Scott said in the email. "I have deep respect for both Delegates and believe a selection of either will benefit our District."
Scott's candidacy was controversial, as detailed in a story Maryland Reporter.com posted earlier Friday --"Pipkin seat still up in the air, as GOP committee reneges; Harris denies involvement --, and another posted Wednesday, Audrey Scott is surprise front-runner in race to replace Pipkin, after she got the support of two county committees.
Caroline County's committee has yet to vote, and Queen Anne County GOP must take another vote now that Scott has withdrawn:
Here is the full text of Scott's email.
"The members of the Republican Central Committees of Queen Anne's County, Kent County, Cecil County and Caroline County and Diana Waterman, Chair of the Maryland Republican Party:
"Please accept this email as my notice of withdrawal from consideration to be appointed to the vacant State Senate seat for Legislative District 36, which includes Queen Anne's and Kent County and parts of Cecil and Caroline Counties.
"It is my hope that my withdrawal from consideration will permit Queen Anne's County to revote for another candidate of their choosing.
"I submitted my name last week for consideration after numerous Central Committee members contacted me to request that I submit my name. I wrote a detailed letter that was submitted to each Central Committee member that summarized my experience, my commitment to the party and discussed my great desire to avoid conflict within our party.
"Now, with both Delegate Smigiel and Delegate Hershey each receiving a vote from a Central Committee, putting them each in a position to be our next State Senator, I do not wish for my presence in the race to interfere with either person being selected. I have deep respect for both Delegates and believe a selection of either will benefit our District.