Campaign notes for 11-11

November 11, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

Leadership changes unlikely in delegation

Now that the election is over, the Washington County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly will soon reorganize. But don't expect to see any major changes in leadership.

The delegation is likely to be headed either by current Chairman Robert A. McKee or Vice Chairman Christopher B. Shank, both Republicans who easily won re-election.

Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, who used to have the job, said he isn't interested because of the large workload he expects to have on the Economic Matters Committee.

That leaves one other resident delegate, newcomer LeRoy E. Myers Jr. of Clear Spring, an unlikely pick simply because of his inexperience.


Under the legislative redistricting plan, Washington County will have three senators and five delegates.

Mooney's name omitted from voters' guide

A voters' guide distributed by the Washington County Republican Central Committee before the election had one glaring omission - Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington.

Central Committee Chairwoman Mildred "Mickey" Myers said all Republicans on the ballot were contacted about the guide.

"There was an equal opportunity for every Republican on the ballot in Washington County," she said.

Mooney said he doesn't recall an invitation, but he was not too concerned.

Obviously it didn't matter anyway because Mooney easily won his race against Del. Sue Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington.

McKee apologizes for post-election remarks

Del. Robert A. McKee apologized last week for the harsh Election Night words he had for his opponent, Peter E. Perini Sr.

McKee, R-Washington, had accused Perini of conducting a negative campaign, saying "Nice won and arrogance lost."

In retrospect, McKee said he shouldn't have said that about the Hagerstown Democrat.

"I regret what I said about Peter. Normally I'm not one to badmouth anyone," McKee said Friday.

Perini said he regretted the comment as well.

"I certainly hold no grudge. I can understand that he felt a certain sense of relief and maybe even a certain sense of freedom," Perini said.

Six to be interviewed to finish Mellott's term

Washington County Democrats have scheduled interviews this week with a half dozen people interested in filling the last four years of Donald Mellott's term on the Board of License Commissioners, better known as the liquor board.

But because Governor-elect Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is a Republican, he could decide to appoint someone of his own party to the position.

Democratic Central Committee Chairman Rick Hemphill said it would be party protocol to appoint a Democrat to replace Mellott, who would have served until 2007 if he had not recently died.

Under state law, no more than two of the board members can be of the same party. Republican Robert Everhart's term expires in 2003 and Democrat William F. Dunham's term expires in 2005.

Board members collect an annual salary of $9,600, with the chairman receiving an extra $250.

School children show support for Bruchey

Republican Robert E. Bruchey II lost his bid for the Maryland House of Delegates last week, but if it had been up to school children he was the winner.

Bruchey, a Republican, collected 566 kids' votes compared to 467 for Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington. The results were tabulated by Kids Voting, a project that allowed Washington County students to vote with their parents at the polls.

Bruchey credited his win to his frequent school visits as mayor of Hagerstown.

No word on whether Donoghue is requesting a recount.

Democratic runners-up may try politics again

Washington County Democrats were dealt a blow last week when none of their challengers came close to winning seats in the Maryland General Assembly.

But don't count out Mary Newby, David Russo or Peter E. Perini Sr.

All three said they had a good experience running for office, although none was ready to reveal any future plans.

"It's too soon to tell. There's a psychology in being a candidate. There's a psychology in losing, too," Russo said.

Newby took the results in stride, even going ahead with her regular bridge night on Election Day.

Did she fare better at cards?

Well, her first hand was phenomenal but she said it went downhill from there.

Munson says he'll stay on budget committee

Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, said he will remain on the powerful Senate Budget and Taxation Committee when the new term begins in January.

No word yet on the committee assignments of Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, and Sen. John J. Hafer, R-Allegany/Washington.

House of Delegates assignments are even more in flux with the apparent loss of House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr., D-Allegany.

- Laura Ernde

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