Shank no longer youngest in house

February 25, 1999|By LAURA ERNDE

ANNAPOLIS - Washington County no longer has the youngest member of the House of Delegates.

"I've been defrocked," joked freshman Del. Christopher B. Shank, 26, R-Washington.

William H. Cole IV, who is four months younger than Shank, recently was appointed to fill the term of former Del. Timothy D. Murphy, D-Baltimore.

Murphy stepped down last week after being appointed to a District Court judgeship.

Shank congratulated Cole on the House floor after a session this week and officially relinquished his short-lived title.

"I'm not sure there's any real honor that comes with the title. At some point I expect someone to deliver a page jacket with my name on it," Cole later said.

Like Shank, who worked as a legislative aide to the Washington County delegation before unseating Democrat D. Bruce Poole last fall, Cole arrived in Annapolis with Maryland General Assembly experience.


He worked for two sessions for Sen. Walter M. Baker, D-Eastern Shore.

Cole still works as a special assistant to U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md.

Shank joked that the under-30 legislators should form a coalition.

Cole said youth sometimes can be a burden in the job.

"It requires you to be on your toes a little more. You don't want to be tagged as being immature or irresponsible," Cole said.

Washington County still has the youngest state senator in Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington.

And Shank has the distinction of being the youngest elected member currently serving in the House of Delegates.

"I can still hold on to that title," Shank said.

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