O’Malley Taps Hershey to Replace Pipkin

Governor O’Malley has appointed Delegate Steve Hershey, over his House colleague Mike Smigiel, to fulfill the remainder of EJ Pipkin’s term in the state senate. Pipkin resigned his District 36 senate seat last month.

In a statement, O’Malley chided the four Republican Central Committees in the district for submitting more than one name, and stated that he chose Hershey because he had the broader base of support in the district.

I respect both Delegate Smigiel and Delegate Hershey. Filling a Republican vacancy is a matter that should have been resolved by the Republican Central Central Committees of the District. Rather than resolving their differences, the Republican Central Committee has forwarded two names to my desk. In discharging my Constitutional duty of selecting just one of these candidates, I am guided not by which candidate I would prefer, but rather by which candidate has demonstrated the broadest electoral support in the district. In both the Central Committee balloting and the last general election, Del. Hershey has demonstrated a broader base of support, and therefore, I have decided to appoint Delegate Hershey to fill this Senate vacancy.

The four Republican central committees split their choices between Hershey and Pipkin. Hershey won Caroline and Kent county’s support, while Smigiel garnered the support of Queen Anne’s and Cecil County. 
Smigiel has already promised to run for the seat in the 2014 election and hinted at his campaign’s strategy when he told Maryland Reporter, “I sincerely doubt the citizen’s of District 36 will support O’Malley choosing their senator.”   Labeling Hershey as “O’Malley’s choice” forebodes what is sure to be a bruising primary, which will include former delegate Dick Sossi, who Hershey defeated in 2010. 

The Queen Anne’s County Central Committee will now have the task of nominating Hershey’s replacement to the House of Delegates for O’Malley to appoint.  

Meanwhile Hershey is going to have to update his campaign stationary to reflect his new status, or to avoid a lawsuit from a certain chocolatier. 

All four county Republican Central Committees select Hershey’s replacement.

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