Del. LeRoy E. Myers, R-Washington/Allegany, announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2014, ending a run as a state legislator that began with an upset victory in 2002 over longtime House Speaker Casper R. Taylor, a Western Maryland Democratic heavyweight.
Myers, who is 61, is getting ready for a second act in politics.
“You can expect an announcement in September,” Myers said, adding that he was looking at several options.
“There are some opportunities for me,” Myers said. “If I want to fulfill those other aspirations, I’ve got to do it now.”
“I look at where our state is at, I look at where our county is going and I think there are some opportunities ... statewide and in the county,” he said.
He would not elaborate on his plans and did not comment on speculation that he might challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. John Delaney for the 6th district congressional seat.
The election for that seat is in November 2014.
Myers said he received a call from Delaney on Wednesday, after the congressman learned of his decision.
“It was a personal call,” Myers said.
Myers said he announced his plans so that other possible candidates who might be interested in running for District 1C — an area comprising parts of Allegany and Washington counties — could come forward and start planning their campaign for the 2014 elections.
“When I first ran, I wanted to be a citizen legislator. I never wanted to be a career politician, captured by the system,” Myers said in a statement released Wednesday. “I am making this announcement now so that people who have been called to serve can give it proper consideration.”
He has been the chairman of the Washington County delegation and currently chairs the Western Maryland delegation.
He also runs Myers Building Systems, a Clear Spring-based general contracting firm that he owns.
“My business is doing well. We are busy ... but that’s not why I am doing this,” Myers said.
Del. Andrew A. Serafini, R-Washington, who is the chairman of the Washington County delegation, said Myers has been successful in bringing a “business perspective” to Annapolis.
“Some people don’t have any idea of how influential or respected LeRoy is. They know him, they like him ... he gets invited to backroom meetings,” Serafini said.
Myers is politically astute, and many people have asked him to run for a higher political office, Serafini said.
It was Myers who guided him when he arrived in Annapolis as a new delegate in 2008, Serafini said.
“It can be very hard for a new legislator in Annapolis. He accelerated my learning experience and helped me function properly,” Serafini said.
During the 2013 session of the Maryland General Assembly, Myers voiced his frustration at the passage of measures such as the gun-control bill, the repeal of the death penalty and the increase in the state gasoline tax. Those measures, he said, were unpopular with his constituents in Western Maryland.
“I feel that the state is in worse shape, and I look at it mostly from a business standpoint,” said Myers, who will be in Annapolis for one more session of the Maryland General Assembly in 2014 before his term expires.
“We do what we can to take ... the things that are near or dear to us to Annapolis whether it is Marcellus shale, whether it is coal ... we have to support and defend Western Maryland,” Myers said.
He pointed out that he likes challenges.
“I’ve grown my business by doing that,” he said.