BREAKING: Miller, Busch pushing Wagner for AA Vacancy?

We’re getting reports about a very interesting set of circumstances surrounding the 1st District vacancy on the Anne Arundel County Council.

Sources are indicating the Senate President Mike Miller and Speaker Mike Busch are both encouraging that former State Senator Mike Wagner be picked as the Democrat to replace Daryl Jones on the County Council. The vacancy selection process went to 102 ballots on Thursday night as the Council deadlocked between Wagner and Marine Corps reservist Peter Smith.

Now there are several dynamics that are at play here, not the least of which is the fact that Miller and Busch are reported to be backing the candidate that is getting the votes of three of the four Republicans on the County Council, with John Grasso, Derek Fink, and Dick Ladd backing Wagner. That means that the two Democrats still sitting on the Council, Jamie Benoit and Chris Trumbauer, are at odds with senior Democratic legislative leadership.

What’s even more interesting is the fact that the Democratic establishment is again picking the older, white candidate, in opposition to the African-American candidate Smith. This is the second time in a month that the Democratic establishment has picked the old white dude over a qualified African-American candidate, particularly interesting given the demographic makeup of the 1st District and the fact that Miller and Busch ostensibly have nothing to gain from Wagner getting the appointment.

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There are other even more bizarre aspects of this story; Wagner attending a fundraiser for Dick Ladd the day before the vote and unverified rumors that Wagner has promised his vote to a particular individual for County Executive if John Leopold has to vacate the office before the end of his term. This process is a farce at this point and probably points out the need for a drastic change in the selection process, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out…

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