A Different Maryland GOP Rising Stars List
As Greg discussed on last week’s Conservative Refuge, the O’Malley cronies at Center Maryland has a list of “25 Republican Rising Stars”. The best the either he or I can say of it, in aggregate, is that it’s a list. I like a lot of the people on the list, but many of the people, as Greg noted, have either been involved or in elected office for a long time.
So, given that I’m somebody who has been both Chairman of the Young Republicans and somebody who has actually been involved in the Republican Party, I set out to make a different list of 25 Maryland GOP Rising Stars who would be (as they were) totally overlooked by somebody who isn’t involved in the Republican Party. I set about a list of people in elected office or heavily involved in Republican politics, either professionally or as a volunteer (sorry to my lobbyist friends).
And let me say a few caveats first:
- This isn’t an extensive list. There are lots of other people who will be great too.
- This is not an endorsement of anybody’s ideas or an endorsement of anybody for any other office. You can recognize the fact that somebody has a future in the party and is a force to be reckoned with and not agree with them in 100% lockstep. This list contains conservatives, libertarians, even “moderates.”
There are five people from the Josh Kurtz list that deserve inclusion on this list as well:
- Michael Esteve: Millennium Maryland Chairman and Candidate for Bowie City Council
- John Fiastro: Former Baltimore County Republican Chairman and Chief of Staff to Senator Hershey
- J.B. Jennings: Senate Minority Leader
- Michael Hough: State Senator
- Mike Pantelides: Mayor of Annapolis
As for the rest of the list of Maryland GOP Rising stars:
- Wes Adams: Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney. The first Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney in our lifetime. One of the few Republicans who could mount a credible, well-funded campaign for Attorney General in 2018.
- Eugene Craig III: Maryland Republican Party 3rd Vice Chairman. He’s a dynamo. He’s everywhere. He’s trying to bridge the gap between African-Americans and the GOP. And he’s the undisputed leader of the libertarian/liberty wing of the party.
- Phil Dacey: Frederick City Alderman. Another guy who has a wealth of experience in politics (I’ve known him for over 15 years), as a State College Republican Chairman, and in the Executive Branch of State Government.
- Derek Fink: Anne Arundel County Councilman. He’s term limited in 2018, but he is young, aggressive, and has an extensive political network if he makes a bid for higher office.
- Ian Patrick Hines: President of The Beag Co. Former Democrat turned Republican, he’s a lifelong Marylander who is one of the few (if only) consultants in Maryland with experience in both digital and field politics.
- Christine McEvoy: Maryland College Republicans Chairman. One of the hardest working CRs I have ever seen. She will have a lot of opportunities if she stays here after college.
- Dennis McIver: Baltimore City Republican Central Committee Member and Media Personality. You know him better as Dennis the Cynic but he’s taken the plunge into party politics. One of the leader conservative critics of Baltimore City Government.
- Marc Kilmer: Wicomico County Councilman. As both an elected official and a senior fellow at the Maryland Public Policy Institute, Marc combines the best of both worlds: conservative concepts and theories with practical electoral politics.
- Hannah Marr: Deputy Press Secretary, Office of the Governor. Hannah’s involvement in the social media success of the Hogan Campaign in 2014 makes her an asset to any organization she may want to work for.
- Dave Myers: Howard County Republican Central Committee Vice-Chairman. He’s been involved for a long time, but he still has room for upward mobility beyond working for the Kittleman Administration as another leader of the “moderates”.
- Laura Price: Talbot County Councilwoman. A personable candidate with a lot of opportunities to advance on the Shore.
- Matthew Pugh: Anne Arundel Republican Central Committee Member. One of the new Central Committee members in Anne Arundel County, he has a wealth of marketing and messaging experience that will be essential to the party’s future.
- Deb Rey: Maryland House of Delegates. A meteoric rise from a newly involved activist to a member of the House of Delegates. Her hard work and her personality will open doors.
- Tommy Rodriguez: Kensington Town Councilman and Maryland Young Republicans National Committeeman. Was one of the driving forces behind Ron George’s Gubernatorial campaign last year and has a wealth of national experience. One of the only “new breed” of Maryland Young Republicans Executive Board member who is respected across the party.
- Jake Shade: Allegany County Commissioner. Still in his early twenties and has years of experience in the Teenage Republicans, College Republicans, and on legislative staffs.
- Sharon Strine: After Sharon’s work on two Bongino campaigns, candidates would be foolish not to pick up the phone and see if she would help start them down the right parth.
- Chandler Thornton: College Republican National Federation Northeast Regional Vice-Chairman. He may be going to school at American and focusing his work there, but his national experience and connections will be invaluable if he decides to run for office or lead the party.
- Nathan Volke: Anne Arundel County Republican Central Committee Chairman. One of the most respected county chairman in the Maryland Republican Party. Likely will be making the move to the Anne Arundel County Council in 2018.
- Steve Waugh: Maryland State Senator. The guy who beat Roy Dyson will be a force in this state as long as he wants to be.
- Rob Windley: Prince George’s County Republican Central Committee Member. No, he’s not here just because he’s a Red Maryland contributor. He is a reasoned voice in Prince George’s County, and has the capability to reach out to provide a fighting chance for a future in PG County.