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Myers is the new leader of delegation

January 18, 2007|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

ANNAPOLIS - Washington County's delegation to the Maryland General Assembly on Wednesday unanimously chose a new leader: Republican Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr.

Republican Del. Christopher B. Shank held the post since 2003, but gave it up this year. Shank said that as the new House minority whip, he'll be spending more time on Republican issues.

Perception was another factor.

"With the partisan nature of my new duties, it's time to create more of a separation, so my advocacy doesn't get confused," he said.

Washington County's delegation has eight members - seven Republicans and one Democrat. Five are delegates and three are senators.

The delegation's only Democrat, Del. John P. Donoghue, was unanimously chosen vice chairman Wednesday.

Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, was the only delegation member absent from Wednesday's meeting.

Shank said the chairman's duties include organizing the delegation's legislative package, keeping in touch with elected officials in Washington County to gauge their priorities and following bills through the process.

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Myers, a second-term delegate whose district covers parts of Washington and Allegany counties, said he'll lead like Shank did.

One defining element of his chairmanship, Myers said, will be punctuality. Meetings will start when they're supposed to.

During a brief discussion about Myers' nomination, Republican Del. Robert A. McKee asked if every delegation member would be invited to delegation meetings.

Myers said they would.

In an interview after the meeting, McKee said it was "inappropriate" that Donoghue wasn't always invited to delegation meetings in the past.

In a separate interview, Shank said that wasn't true; all delegation members were invited to delegation meetings. However, for partisan events, such as a meeting with then-Gov. Robert Ehrlich, a Republican, or with the Washington County Republican Central Committee, only Republicans would be invited, Shank said.

Donoghue said later that there might have been times he wasn't invited to delegation functions, but he has no proof. He said he's concentrating on serving his constituents.

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