Maryland’s Newest Republican: Frank Conaway, Sr.
We now know the name of the first elected Democrat to bolt the party to join the Republicans in the Hogan Era.
in Baltimore, Baltimore City Clerk of the Circuit Court Frank Conaway, Sr. is announcing his switch to the Republican Party. This makes Conaway the only elected Republican to hold office in Baltimore City.
Yes, I’m as surprised as you are that Conaway is making such an announcement.
Red Maryland obtained an embargoed copy of Conaway’s public statement, which is provided below.
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December 4, 2014 @ 5:00 P.M.
FRANK CONAWAY SWITCHES PARTIES AT HISTORIC SWEARING-IN CEREMONY
Frank Conaway Sr. now becomes the only Republican to hold elected office in Baltimore City
Baltimore, Maryland – Frank M. Conaway Sr., the longtime political leader and godfather of black politics in Baltimore, announced his decision to switch party affiliations from Democrat to Republican, following his swearing-in ceremony to begin a fifth-term as the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Baltimroe City.
The 81-year old public servant shocked those in attendance with his unprecedented announcement, stating that it was about time that the Democratic Party learn a grave lesson for taking the black vote for granted. “I have been a loyal Democrat since the first day I registered to vote on January 1, 1956, and have remained a faithful member of the Party through the years, including during elected terms as a state delegate and later as the Clerk of the Circuit Court,” said a vibrant Conaway.
“And yet all they have ever shown me and my family was a cold shoulder and the door. So I have decided to switch political affiliations and work with the Republican Party of Maryland in pushing a progressive agenda in order to help uplift the communities of Baltimore.”
The decision was not embraced by Conaway’s daughter or son, both are democrats elected to state office as the Register of Wills for Baltimore City and State Delegate of the 40th district, respectively. However, their reluctance didn’t stop the family patriarch from deciding to usher in a new political movement for the City of Baltimore, as he believes that it is to the detriment of black people to continue to put all their eggs into one [political] basket.
“We have to begin to understand the nuances of politics, and start supporting those who are willing to at least sit down and take our issues seriously while trying to address the solutions to our problems,” said Conaway. “And what better time than now, when we have a Republican administration set to take office? As the only Republican elected to office throughout the City of Baltimore, I can begin to address the issues affecting our communities with the Governor-elect [Larry Hogan]; and tell him what he needs to hear, not whisper sweat nothings in his ear that end up not benefiting anyone but the elected officials themselves.”
Conaway says that some of the key issues he’s hoping to address in his new role are that of education, the adequate funding of historically black colleges and universities and public safety, starting with legislation set to be introduced by his son this session that would require cameras be placed on law enforcement officers. “We clearly have problems in Baltimore that are similar, but far different, than the surrounding 23-counties of Maryland; and I believe that I can adequately address those issues within the Republican ranks.
“I am honored and extremely proud to be a member of the party that seeks to lessen the burden of government intervention and tax levies on the hard working citizens of this great state. And I look forward to a long and productive partnership with the leadership of the Maryland Republican Party.”
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