In addition, the party has launched a World Wide Web site and has moved into spacious new quarters around the corner from the governor's office in Annapolis.
"We're very pleased with our progress since the disappointments of November '98," he said.
Those disappointments include gubernatorial candidate Ellen R. Sauerbrey's weak showing against incumbent Gov. Parris N. Glendening and a net loss of six seats in the House of Delegates.
The election halted years of steady gains the GOP had made in the state legislature.
Bennett pointed to a number of long-term trends in the party's favor. The party's registration has jumped 21 percent over the last 10 years to 772,967. Democratic registration, which stands at just below 1.5 million, rose less than 4 percent over the same period.
Washington County has mirrored that trend. The GOP has overtaken the Democrats in party registration. That was one of the factors that provided the party one of its few bright spots last year - Del. Christopher B. Shank's upset victory over Democrat D. Bruce Poole.
"Chris Shank is a rising star in the Republican Party. Chris Shank is a real fresh face," Bennett said.
The most controversial change Bennett has brought is open primary voting. The state party approved a Bennett-supported initiative in May to allow independents to vote in the GOP primary next March.
"We think we need to broaden the base of the Republican Party," he said. "We need to hear from people who have consciously decided not to register Democrat."
Richard G. Everhart, who serves on the Washington County Republican Central Committee, said he was one of the few area party members who voted for the proposal at the state party convention.
"I think it's something we needed to try," he said. "I think it's something that can hurt us."
Bennett said the ultimate goal is making Maryland a true two-party state.
"We're not as far away as a lot of people think," he said.