ANNAPOLIS - Stung by election losses, Republicans in the Maryland House of Delegates are meeting today to consider a strategy for the upcoming General Assembly session.
Among those vying for leadership positions in the Republican caucus is Washington County Delegation Chairman Christopher B. Shank, who is seeking the post of House minority whip. He is running with current Minority Whip Tony O'Donnell, R-Calvert/St. Mary's, who is running for House minority leader. If they win, Shank would be the second-most powerful Republican in the House.
But the party's poor performance in this year's election is dividing House Republicans between O'Donnell and Shank and their challengers, Del. A. Wade Kach, R-Baltimore County, and Del. Michael D. Smigiel, R-Caroline/Cecil/Kent/Queen Anne's.
Even members of Shank's own delegation were undecided Monday.
The question they're grappling with is whether O'Donnell's confrontational style or Kach's more conciliatory temperament will best serve them in a legislature where they are vastly outnumbered. At one point, the politicking led to speculation that O'Donnell might drop Shank in favor of a quieter lawmaker in order to counter Kach.