Shank sees opportunity in Senate

July 12, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY --After more than a decade serving with Sen. Donald F. Munson in Annapolis, Del. Christopher B. Shank is vying for Munson's Senate seat.

Shank, nearing the end of his third four-year term as a delegate, is challenging Munson in a Republican primary, the centerpiece race of the election season in Washington County. No Democrat had filed to run for the seat by the July 6 deadline.

The primary will be Sept. 14.

Shank said the state needs major reforms and "the Senate was the place where I could be of most service."

He said an individual legislator has a greater opportunity to shape policy in the Senate, where there are fewer committees and each has a broader jurisdiction than in the House.

Munson is seeking his sixth term in the Senate. He previously served four terms in the House.

Shank accused Munson of positions that are "increasingly out of touch with mainstream Washington County voters."


He cited a Munson vote in support of providing $1 million for a multicultural center for Casa de Maryland, an advocacy group for Latinos and immigrants. Critics say the group helps illegal immigrants.

Munson has said he made a mistake on that vote and he doesn't support illegal immigration.

Shank also has challenged Munson's votes for a pay increase for top officials within Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration and a furlough for state employees.

As House minority whip since 2007, Shank has been one of the Republican Party's voices on issues. He frequently criticizes tax increases passed under O'Malley and calls for the state to cut spending instead of raising taxes.

He has attended and spoken at Hagerstown TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party events and is presenting himself as being more conservative than Munson.

Shank has been the chairman of the Washington County delegation in Annapolis.

After six years on the House Judiciary Committee, he was switched to the Ways and Means Committee last year.

Shank, 38, lives in Hagerstown with his wife and two children.

He is an adjunct professor at The George Washington University.

Senate District 2 covers most of Washington County.

State senators are paid $43,000 a year.

Candidate for Maryland State Senate

District 2

Name: Christopher B. Shank

Age: 38

Address: 324 Chartridge Drive

Hometown: Hagerstown

Education: Bachelor's degree in history from Johns Hopkins University in 1994; master's degree in political management from The George Washington University in 1998

Occupation: State delegate (currently representing Subdistrict 2B); adjunct professor at The George Washington University

Party affiliation: Republican

Political experience: State delegate since 1999; House minority whip since 2007

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