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Capital Daydreams

You can tell the dog days of summer are here, because The Capital decided to try to daydream new and creative ways to talk about Anne Arundel County Republicans taking positions of leadership in the Maryland Republican Party:

While the executive director is hired by the party chair, Diane Waterman has decided not to seek another term at the end of this year. It will be tough for anyone to deny Hogan’s choices for either spot, although it’s always possible someone will try.

As the Maryland Republican Party prepares for a change in leadership, Anne Arundel County looms large as a potential influence. County Executive Steve Schuh is moving ahead on an agenda based more on economics and making government work than conservative philosophy or social issues.

Hogan could look to Schuh’s inner circle for options. Communications Director Owen McEvoy and Chief of Staff Diane Croghan both worked as aides to the last Republican governor, Bob Ehrlich. Assistant State’s Attorney Lawrence Scott, the executive’s closest political adviser, is the son of a former party chairwoman.

It is conceivable that Schuh would advocate someone within his circle for the role of raising funds and encouraging solid candidates, although Hogan might hesitate to pick someone who would potentially increase his fellow county resident’s influence as much as his own.

There are other Anne Arundel prospects as well.

Del. Nic Kipke is the Republican leader in the House of Delegates, and his wife Susannah Kipke is a former political coordinator for the National Rifle Association. Ed Reilly and Bryan Simonaire are two of the three most senior state senators. Their legislative jobs rare important, but don’t have much statewide clout as long as Democrats control the legislature.

Physician Mark Plaster is currently running his uphill campaign for Congress in the 3rd District, a seat made very safe for U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes by the Democrats lawmakers who control congressional district boundaries. Depending on his fundraising and organizational strength, Plaster’s could be in the running as a party leader if he can’t pull off the upset win in November.

It is completely conceivable that nobody on The Capital editorial board actually talked to any Republicans about their potential interest in such positions. It’s not a coincidence that none of the names mentioned have been mentioned about Central Committee members, nor are any of them included in our monthly Red Maryland Poll when we have been polling this race.

First off, the idea that either Delegate Kipke or Senators Reilly or Simonaire would ever seek the State Party Chairmanship are laughable. All three men are elected to legislative offices, all have day jobs in addition to be legislators, and Kipke and Simonaire have families to raise. All three would either have to resign from their seats or refrain from fundraising during the legislative session due to prohibitions on doing so. This is one of the reasons why Executive Director Joe Cluster, newly appointed to the House of Delegates, will be leaving his post come January.

Mark Plaster is the only reasonable idea for a candidate out there since he’s been making contacts with party leaders across the greater Baltimore Area and is a heavy underdog in his Congressional race against John Sarbanes.

Since The Capital certainly didn’t do it, I reached out to a few of those mentioned in the story for comment.

Anne Arundel County Assistant State’s Attorney Lawrence Scott:

“Governor Hogan is doing an impressive job in getting the most out of our government to the benefit of our diverse community and, in doing so, affirming that a two party system guarantees successful checks and balances – which was sorely needed. While it would be an honor to assist Governor Hogan as State Party Chair, I have already committed my limited spare time this year to teaching my daughter’s Sunday School class. I certainly enjoy politics, however, helping to disciple men and women of God is my true passion.”

Anne Arundel County Communications Director Owen McEvoy:

“I have not been approached by anyone in the party, and, if I am, I will respectfully decline. I am very happy serving County Executive Schuh, and I am completely focused on helping enact his reform agenda in Anne Arundel County.”

Neither man seems interested in serving in this capacity, despite The Capital‘s daydreaming.

As always, our local media has absolutely no idea what’s going on inside the Republican Party or among its Central Committees. While Anne Arundel County remains one of (if not the) most important Republican county in the state, this op-ed does little more than fill space at a time with few local political stories. It certainly doesn’t lead one to believe that The Capital has the pulse of the Maryland Republican Party,






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