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Bob Schaller, of Leonardtown, the former director of the St. Mary’s County Department of Economic and Community Development, filed as a candidate for county commissioner Tuesday morning for this year’s election.

He is the first Democrat to file for the District 2 seat, which represents the Hollywood and Leonardtown areas. Republican Mike Hewitt has already filed for the job, which Commissioner Dan Morris (R) said he is not interested in running for again.

“I want to continue to serve the community,” Schaller, 59, said. “I want to do it in an official capacity again, not just in economic development, but to help the community.”

He was director of the economic and community development office from 2007 until 2012 when he resigned after the board of county commissioners notified him “that the will of the commissioners was for me not to continue as director,” he said then.

“I’ve had a lot of folks say to me, ‘You ought to run,’” Schaller said Tuesday.

He said he talked about his candidacy with friends, family and even Commissioner Morris, “making sure it fits and so far it does,” Schaller said.

He said there is still “unfinished business that got interrupted” in economic development when he was a department head. “The time is now to really address that. I just think that I could help with my experience.”

Schaller is currently the site director and associate professor of business for the Florida Institute of Technology. He also served as a professor of business and economics and department chair at College of Southern Maryland. He and his wife of 40 years, Wendy, have seven children and seven grandchildren.

Though he attended Ryken High School, he graduated from Chopticon High School in 1972 and holds a doctorate degree in public policy from George Mason University.

The deadline for candidates to file for the June 24 primary election is Tuesday, Feb. 25.

jbabcock@somdnews.com