Tough job for Anne Arundel Rep.Cent. Com.

The Anne Arundel Republican Central Committee has been tasked with a tough job, picking Senator Janet Greenip’s successor. Depending on what they do, they could also have a hand in reshaping the House of Delegates, and the County Council as well. The following is not to be considered an official endorsement, just my own opinion.

Let’s see who have been mentioned as contenders, commenting on each.

Cathy Vitale and “Big Ed’ Reilly have been mentioned from the County Council. Unlike the Capital newspaper, I do not see these as the “most promising” for the position. Both are hard workers on the Council, but that is an entirely different position than the state legislature. Council members deal with zoning, school budgets, potholes and traffic, the nitty-gritty of local life. State legislators deal more with the “big ideas” of abortion, illegals, the environment, and other state-wide issues. Success in one does not mean success in the other. What record on these big issues do Cathy and Ed have? We have little to base a decision on in these areas. I would hope the Committee would chose from other worthy candidates, and leave the Council alone. There is, however, still a way for one of these, or another, council member to “move up” (in quotes because I see it as a different, not superior, position). More on that later.

Dave Boshert is a great guy, with state experience, but he lost out to John Leopold for the County Executive position and hasn’t been in the legislature (except as a lobbyist) for a while. If he were to get back in the game, I would hope it would be as a Delegate, not leap-frogging over existing delegates for the Senate job.

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I agree with the Crab-Wrapper (Capital Newspaper) that Delegate Bob Costa’s strength may be more in South County than the rest of the Senator’s district.

If it comes down to Delegates King and McConkey, I choose the latter, since Tony McConkey is the senior delegate from the region. He also has not only the state experience, but the state record, as a socially-conservative, pro-life legislator, much like Janet Greenip herself. It would be foolish to risk losing the support of the conservatives who put Janet in office by picking someone with a less-than stellar conservative record. Tony has this record, other potential suitors may not.

Of course, If McConkey gets the nod, there will be an opening in the House. Here’s where it can get interesting. Should that opening go to Vitale? While she is also from Severna Park, and I’m sure her constituent services will shine as always, I just do not see the logic in assuming Council members would make state good legislators. My concerns over a lack of a state/big-issue record is still valid. If we are going to go with that, what about fellow blogger Greg Kline? He at least ran for the Delegate job, does he still want it? My understanding is that he is a social conservative as well, which bodes well for retaining McConkey’s supporters.

So, in conclusion: McConkey keeps the conservative Janet supporters, and Kline keeps Tony’s conservative supporters as well. The County Council is left intact to do what it does best, dealing with the nitty-gritty of local life, while the State Legislature retains its conservative voices, sorely needed when confronting O’Malley, Miller, & Busch.

One Post-Script: As the County Council debates the slots zoning issue, will they decide it before the Cent.Com. makes it’s own decision? I can see either or both sides of the slots debate wanting their least-favorite council member to move on to the House or Senate, hoping someone more favorable to their cause gets picked to fill the Council vacancy that would result. We don’t need lobbying of the Central Committee by either pro (or anti) slots interests to muddy the waters even more.

Post-Script #2: It seems I’m a few days late, if not a few dollars short. Please read the comments from Greg Kline…

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