BY SUSIE CURRIE — Less than a week after filing paperwork to defend his seat on the Hyattsville City Council, Ward 1 representative Eric Wingard withdrew his bid.
Wingard, a NASA engineer, said that just days after he declared his re-election bid, he was offered a chance to work on a joint project with the European Space Administration (ESA). The job will involve frequent travel to Europe, he said.
Since September, he’s been working most of each week in California, which has meant frequent absences from council meetings.
“It was an honor to sit on the council,” said Wingard, who was elected two years ago to finish Marc Tartaro’s term after Tartaro was elected mayor. “[But] this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”
It’s not the only transition ahead for the 14-year city resident. By September, he says, “my family and I will be relocating to another part of the state.” (So, too, is Council President Matt McKnight.)
“The community is fantastic, and it was a tough decision,” said Wingard.
His abrupt decision brings the total of open seats on the council to five, meaning that half the council will be freshmen after the May 7 election.