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County lawmakers say House speaker choice a good one

December 04, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

Washington County lawmakers said they are pleased that House Democrats chose Del. Michael Busch as their new leader Monday.

When he is formally elected to the speaker's position on Jan. 8, Busch will replace Casper R. Taylor Jr., who suffered a 76-vote loss to Clear Spring Republican LeRoy E. Myers Jr. in the Nov. 5 election.

Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, who was close to Taylor, has served with Busch on the Economic Matters Committee for the past 12 years.

"We're good friends and I think he'll be a marvelous speaker," Donoghue said.

Busch expects to announce his leadership team, including coveted committee chairmanships, before the end of next week, Donoghue said.

Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, described Busch as a political centrist.

"He has an inclusive view," Shank said. "I think he will certainly realize he has to work with a Republican caucus and Republican governor."

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Others expect Busch to be more liberal than Taylor.

Delegate James Hubbard, D-Prince George's, told the Associated Press that Taylor was more conservative and more oriented to rural beliefs and concerns. He said he expects Busch "will bring the Democratic Party back to the center of the state where the more progressive voters are."

Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, said no matter what Busch's political views are, he will have to work with the Republican administration led by Governor-elect Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

"(Busch) recognizes, as do the Republicans, that our role is to do what's best for the state," McKee said.

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