CUMBERLAND — Del. Mike McKay announced Friday that he is running for state Senate.

McKay (R-Allegany, Washington) made the decision following news earlier this week that Sen. George C. Edwards will retire when his term ends in January 2023.

“After thoughtful consideration and conversations with my family, I have decided to seek election as the next senator from District 1,” McKay said. “Over my two decades of public service, I have consistently delivered measurable successes for Western Maryland and put our people ahead of politics.”

McKay was elected to the Allegany County Board of Commissioners in 2010, where he served one four-year term. He was elected to the House of Delegates in 2014 and is serving his second term.

“I think the time is now for me to toss my hat into the ring,” he said. “I think the successes that we’ve had as a delegate representing both Allegany and Washington counties will allow the people of Garrett County to decide if I could take the next step and be the next senator.”

McKay and his wife Kimberly have eight children and live in Cumberland. A small business owner, he opened multiple drycleaning stores in Allegany County beginning in 1997.

“I have been a passionate champion for the state rural communities, especially in the areas of economic and workforce development and with health care,” he said. “With health care, I have coined myself the dental delegate.

“There are three different things we have done, including an innovative program to address the dental needs of adults with disabilities,” McKay said. “We’ve extended the dental coverage of women during the postpartum period to ensure they have health care for themselves and newborns and then recently making sure the dental coverage is flexible enough to accommodate the schedule of business families coordinating appointments for multiple children.”

McKay said he has also been a supporter of workforce development, working to obtain funding for makerspace locations like the Western Maryland Works facility in LaVale.

“I helped shepherd critical funding for Western Maryland Works so future generations can pursue education in technology, manufacturing, robotics and more,” he said. “We are working to support a statewide program for makerspace (sites) across the state and Baltimore City.”

Maryland’s primary election is June 28, 2022. The general election follows Nov. 8.

“I think seven years’ experience on the appropriations committee and having a subcommittee on capital as well as public administration, that gives me a good understanding of the budget and where exactly we will getting funding for our constituents here,” he said. “George Edwards started in appropriations and he has been a mentor and he plotted the course on how to be successful and I will follow in the same path.”

McKay will be at the Allegany County Fair on Sunday at 7 p.m. at a porch design near the multipurpose building.

“I am inviting all voters to come to my fair porch to discuss some old-fashioned porch politics,” he said.

Greg Larry is a reporter at the Cumberland Times-News. To reach him, call 304-639-4951, email glarry@times-news.com and follow him on Twitter.

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Greg Larry is a reporter at the Cumberland Times-News. To reach him, call 304-639-4951, email glarry@times-news.com and follow him on Twitter @greglarryctn.