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McKown opts not to run again

York County Coroner Doug McKown said he's focused on healing, not politics.

As first reported at heraldonline.com Thursday morning, McKown announced he won't try to get his name on the November ballot.

Statistically, McKown said, he couldn't win the election, and he didn't want to be a "spoiler" candidate.

"I don't ever want to get into something I can't win," he said. "Making a difference in the election just doesn't appeal to me."

McKown, who previously ran as a Republican, chose not to file for re-election earlier this year, saying he had more important things to worry about. To get his name on the ballot, McKown would have to get at least 5 percent of the county's registered voters to sign a petition asking for his name to be placed on the ticket. That would mean getting more than 5,000 signatures by noon July 15.

McKown, 39, was acquitted of three cocaine charges May 24 but was convicted of unlawfully possessing a prescription drug, a misdemeanor offense. Until he resumed the coroner's duties Monday, McKown had been suspended from office since July 2006. His suspension ended after he was acquitted of the felony charges.

McKown's announcement came a day after The Herald reported the State Law Enforcement Division is investigating allegations of official misconduct against him. At Thursday's news conference, McKown insisted the SLED investigation had nothing to do with his decision not to run, saying he called reporters before The Herald published its story.

"Those things will take care of themselves," he said of the allegations.

McKown said he doesn't know if he'll run for office again, and he hasn't decided what he'll do when his term ends in seven months.

"I've been given a second chance at life," he said. "It's time to heal. It's time to move forward."

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