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Shank 'leaning toward' running for Munson's seat in Maryland Senate

May 30, 2009|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

All but one state lawmaker who represents Washington County said he will run for office again in 2010, including a state delegate who is considering a bid to unseat a five-term state senator.

Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, said he is "leaning toward" running for the Maryland Senate and attempting to unseat fellow Republican Donald F. Munson.

Shank said Munson, a state senator since January 1991, increasingly has aligned himself with Democrats locally and in Annapolis. Shank said it's important for voters to have a true conservative on the ballot in 2010.

However, Munson denies those claims, and said his ability to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle means he accomplishes more for Washington County residents.

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"The majority party in Annapolis is the Democrats," he said. "If you want to accomplish anything in Annapolis, whether it's retain a university, get some bond bills, get money for a new barracks, get money for a library ... if you want to do anything for your county, you have to be dependent on the majority party."

Munson, who represents District 2, said he will run for re-election in 2010, and already has promised a run in 2014. Munson first was elected to state office as a delegate in 1975.

Candidates may begin filing for the 2010 race July 6; the deadline is July 6, 2010. The primary election is scheduled for Sept. 14, 2010; the general election will be Nov. 2, 2010.

The incumbents

The only state lawmaker representing Washington County who said he will not run for office is Del. Richard B. Weldon Jr., who is unaffiliated and represents parts of Washington and Frederick counties. Weldon is serving his second term as state delegate.

"I certainly have some future interests, especially at the federal level, but my decision to serve in public office without being affiliated with or controlled by either of the two major political parties effectively shelves any such plans. At least for the foreseeable future, anyway," said Weldon, who represents District 3B. "I'd love to return to hands-on public administration at some point. I loved being the city administrator in Brunswick and the chief operating officer of the City of Frederick. That work is very appealing to me because you can solve people's problems every day. No vote-trading, no consensus-building. Just the ability to do something because it's the right thing to do. Very different than elective politics."

Del. Andrew A. Serafini, R-Washington, said he believes he will run for office in 2010. Serafini was appointed to fill a vacated seat in District 2A in 2008.

"As best as I can tell for now, yes I am (running for office in 2010)," Serafini said. "There's things that I would like to try to impact, and I believe that my early experience has given me some confidence that I may be able to help out the local constituency."

Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., R-Washington/Allegany, said he is leaning toward running in 2010 for his third term representing District 1C.

However, Myers said his formal decision will be made closer to Election Day.

"In my case, there are events that are life-changing that make a person decide a whole lot differently than they would have," Myers said, referring to the recent death of his youngest son. "In my situation, if I were to have to tell you yes or no, the answer is I do plan on running for re-election."

Sen. George C. Edwards, R-Allegany/Garrett/Washington, who represents District 1, and Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, who represents District 3, both said they also will run for re-election.

The opponents

Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, said he will be running for re-election in 2010 -- seeking his sixth term in office representing District 2C.

However, Donoghue said his focus now is on the next legislative session and issues facing the community.

Nobody has publicly announced their intent to run against Donoghue. However, Munson said he told a potential Republican opponent, Washington County Board of Education member Ruth Anne Callaham, any attempt she made to unseat Donoghue would not be successful because "she would not win."

Callaham said her name will not be on the ballot in 2010 and that she is focused on her work as a School Board member.

"I'd be honored to serve the community in Annapolis, but I know that Del. Donoghue represents Hagerstown well, and his political abilities in Annapolis are necessary for this community to move forward," Callaham said.

However, Callaham did not rule out a future run for state office.

"Ruth Anne is a very talented, gifted woman, and she is a great candidate, but she is not going to beat John," Munson said. "That's what I told her, 'You're not going to beat him.'"

Lisa Baugher, a former candidate for state delegate, has announced plans to run for the state Senate seat occupied by Mooney.

Neil Parrott of Hagerstown said he is "strongly considering" running for delegate in District 2B -- the seat currently held by Shank.

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