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MoCo council member Knapp won't seek re-election; seeking role in region's biotech future instead

Mike Knapp -- a county council member and former congressional aide with years of public and private biotech experience -- announced Tuesday what his campaign finance reports have been saying for a while now: he's not seeking re-election to represent Montgomery's upcounty district.

After seven and a half years as a county official, Knapp said he wants to focus on helping turn Montgomery's bio-medical research firepower into successful products that help patients. He said his possible roles remain undefined. But among the ideas he'll explore in the next six to eight weeks: hooking up with a research institute, putting together a venture fund, or finding some other way to act as the connective tissue between universities, businesses and others with a stake in the region's biotech future.

"Everybody has a job, and they are all focused on their institution and there's nobody in between that can begin to connect the dots," Knapp said. Returning to the private sector, after his term is up at year's end, offers a public service and business opportunity, he said.

"Sometimes you have to look at where your skill sets are," said Knapp, who has made shaping a local biotech strategy one of his priorities in public office. "I can have a greater impact in implementing it on the ground."

Knapp said he's spoken with Del. Craig L. Rice (D) about whether Rice might run to succeed him, but there's been no formal endorsement or announcement there. "I didn't recruit him. I had conversations with folks to see if there was an interest," Knapp said. "There may be others. I haven't jumped on anyone's bandwagon yet."

Longtime Republican tax activist Robin Ficker is also running for the council seat.

By Michael Laris  |  June 8, 2010; 1:02 PM ET
Categories:  Michael Laris  | Tags: biotech, mike knapp, montgomery  
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Thank god he was able to use his public service to lock up his next job getting as much money as possible out of his science city vote.

Posted by: WashingtonPostMustDie | June 9, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Come on now, Wapo, let's be fair and balanced. Sharon Dooley, and Olney civic activist, declared her candidacy for Knapps seat long before Rice made any noise.

Posted by: VikingRider | June 9, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

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