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Two commissioners show interest in McKee's vacancy

Kercheval, Wivell consider applying for House seat

Kercheval, Wivell consider applying for House seat

February 20, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Two Washington County Commissioners said Tuesday they are considering applying for a House of Delegates seat left vacant by former Del. Robert A. McKee, who resigned last week.

Commissioners James F. Kercheval and William J. Wivell have not submitted applications for the seat and said they have not been approached by the Washington County Republican Central Committee about the position.

Wivell was elected a county commissioner in November 1998. Kercheval was elected in November 2002.

McKee, a Republican, represented Subdistrict 2A, which runs west from Cascade and Smithsburg, along the northern part of Washington County, and wraps around Hagerstown as it stretches south to Williamsport.

Political observers have mentioned former Commissioner Gregory I. Snook as a possibility to fill the seat. Snook did not return calls to his work or home Tuesday.

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McKee announced his resignation Friday in the wake of a police investigation into possible child pornography at his home in Halfway. He held the House of Delegates seat for 13 years.

In Maryland, the central committee in the home county of the delegate or senator vacating the seat recommends a replacement.

"I have had several people encourage me to (apply), but I think the committee is staying neutral, as they should," Wivell said.

Penny Pittman, chairwoman of the Washington County Republican Central Committee, said Tuesday that she did not know of any applicants for McKee's seat.

She said that all applications must be postmarked by Thursday. Pittman said no other information was being released.

"When we're ready to release something, we'll send it by way of a press release," Pittman said.

In March 2002, Wivell filed to run for the state delegate seat in District 2A. The District 2A seat was held by McKee.

At the time, new district boundaries drawn by former Gov. Parris Glendening would have put McKee's home in neighboring District 2B.

Wivell dropped out of the race in June 2002 after those boundaries were thrown out, saying he did not want to compete with the incumbent McKee.

Applicants for McKee's vacant seat must be a registered Republican who is at least 21 years old, must have lived in Maryland for at least the last year and must have lived in Subdistrict 2A for at least the last six months.

The central committee has 30 days to make a recommendation to the governor. The governor then has 15 days to appoint someone to fill the vacancy.

Staff writer Joshua Bowman contributed to this story./

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