He has had a full career in Howard politics and can't run again in 2006, but that didn't stop the Republican Party Central Committee from selecting former County Council member Charles C. Feaga for the West County seat vacated by Alan H. Kittleman.

Feaga, 72, served three terms on the County Council from 1986 to 1998 and was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for county executive in 1998.

The nine-member Republican Central Committee picked Feaga, a farmer and former member of the Howard County Economic Development Board, from a field that included Steven H. Adler, a businessman who ran for county executive in 2002; Patrick Dornan, former president of the Howard County Taxpayers Association; Greg Fox, an energy products salesman and council candidate in 1998; and John W. Taylor of Highland.

The County Council approved Feaga on Monday night, and he was sworn in.

Republican Chairman Howard W. Rensin said that all the candidates were qualified and that it was difficult to recommend a choice. "It was pretty well split."

Feaga said last week that he has "no great desire to make change. I have no agenda. I am not a radical."

Feaga said he hoped he could be a serious lawmaker, while keeping the seat warm for Republicans in 2006, when it comes up for election. Kittleman was appointed to the Maryland Senate last month to complete the four-year term of his father, Robert H. Kittleman, who died of leukemia in September. That seat is up for election in 2006.

Adler, managing partner of Historic Savage Mill, had been redistricted out of the West County seat and lives outside its boundaries. He said he had offered to move into the district if the Republicans had picked him, "but some people saw that as too ambitious."

Adler said Feaga would work hard for the county.

Adler said he would now turn his attention to a possible race for executive in 2006. Adler ran against County Executive James N. Robey (D) in 2002. Council member Christopher J. Merdon (Northeast County) is also planning a run for the Republican nomination for executive.

Charles C. Feaga, above, will serve the remainder of the term in the West County seat vacated by Alan H. Kittleman.