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Shank elected minority whip

December 20, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Maryland's House Republicans chose Del. Christopher B. Shank of Washington County as minority whip and Del. Anthony J. O'Donnell of southern Maryland as minority leader Tuesday.

Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., R-Washington/Allegany, said the vote was 22-14, with one abstention. He declined to say who he supported in the election.

Shank was the assistant minority leader since 2003. Now, he is "moving up a step," as he put it, from third to second in the Republican caucus.

Democrats control both the House and the Senate.

Minority leader is the top position for the Republicans.

O'Donnell, who represents Calvert and St. Mary's counties, defeated Del. A. Wade Kach of Baltimore County in the caucus election.

Del. Michael D. Smigiel Sr. ran for minority whip with Kach. Smigiel represents Caroline, Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne's counties.

The caucus discussion gave GOP delegates a good chance to hear O'Donnell's philosophy on leading the minority party without a Republican governor, Myers said.

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Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich lost his bid for re-election Nov. 7 to Democrat Martin O'Malley, the mayor of Baltimore.

"Now, we are leadership," Myers said of the Republican legislators.

The minority party leaders must offer "well-articulated, reasoned, principled alternatives" on behalf of the state's Republicans, Shank said.

As minority whip, he'll have a seat in the House chamber facing the speaker. He said part of the whip's job is to represent the caucus' views, so he'll be speaking more on the House floor.

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