I got it. I had to twist and pull and wiggle and pull and use a pry bar and pull but it eventually came loose from the engine. Wiggling it out from there required a few more gymnastics and, yes, turning the wheel all the way left.
I simply installed the new without any trouble from it being in the engaged position. It wasn't easy to get all the bolts started but it's done.
Unfortunately, since it's been sitting for nearly a year, the battery, though new last summer, didn't have enough charge to crank it long enough to start. Well, it actually did start, but wouldn't stay running and then the battery went dead.
Hopefully I can get it going later tonight or tomorrow. I think this is the latest "first start of the season" since I've owned it.