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Mega New Year’s Political Notes: Republican Senators’ Prescription for What’s Haunting the Party, Stalled Hill Funding, and Personnel Changes

State Senator Christopher R. West (R-Baltimore County) at the 2019 Maryland County Association Summer Meeting. Photo by Daniel. E. Gaines.

With Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives dysfunctional and Republicans in Maryland still reeling from the confusion in November’s polls, Baltimore, perhaps the most moderate GOP legislator currently serving in Annapolis, County Senator Chris West submitted a long paper on the state. The party in Maryland and what should be done to rebuild it.

In the current political environment, it’s worth discussing.

In a letter to supporters reprinted as commentary in The Maryland Reporter earlier this week, West outlined a long history of his political involvement, dating back to his high school days in 1968, and how he has been actively involved. It enumerated the ideologically diverse Republicans in Maryland who have been endorsed over the years, from the late Senator Charles “Mac” Matthias to two-time Republican governor-nominated Ellen Zauerbury .

West cites some of the state’s recent problems with center-right Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Rep. Dan Cox, the 2022 Republican gubernatorial nominee who worked closely with former President Trump. I found out that it was caused by a sniping in the last election between.

“Certainly, the Maryland Republican Party has fallen on hard times,” West wrote. When Governor Hogan resigns, he is demoralized and leaves behind a defeated party.”

West expressed disbelief that Cox would think he would win the general election against Wes Moore (Democrat) for governor when he ended up with only 32% of the vote. Cox lived in a sort of campaign bubble,” West wrote.

West said infighting was counterproductive and ultimately destructive to the party’s health. He said it’s fine for Republicans to hold hard-fought primaries that expose policy divisions, but that Republican leaders and voters need to unite at every general election.

“This circular firing squad alienates many who would otherwise be willing to get involved in party affairs,” the senator wrote. “Politics is a science of addition, not subtraction. To win an election, a candidate needs more and more supporters until he or she holds more than 50% of the electorate. Trying to clean the party simply wastes time, incites animosity, and makes it more difficult to achieve electoral victory.”

West also accused Republicans of not adopting all three voting methods available to Marylanders. Democrats are mail-in ballots, early polling places, and election day ballots.

In addition, he provided Republicans with the following prescriptions: More outreach to Latino and Asian voters. Aggressively raise funds in the four-year election cycle, not just in the election year.

“Remember there is no education in a mule’s second kick,” West wrote. I got my second kick and got my third kick in 2022. Do you want to get your fourth kick in 2024 and your fifth kick in 2026? Think wisely about how you fight.”

Ivy raises money from Republican dysfunction

Congressional candidate Glenn Ivey (D-Maryland), the newest member of the state’s congressional delegation, has yet to take office because the Republican Party cannot elect a Speaker, so the U.S. House of Representatives has not yet been sworn in. . But that didn’t stop him from trying to raise money from Republican turmoil this week.

“Clearly, the Democrats need to regain a majority and restore hope for fair and responsible leadership,” Ivey wrote in an email to supporters Tuesday morning. “With your support, we will continue to regain our majority and support Democrats across the country.

“Could you hurry up with a donation to support sensible and supportive leadership that puts people above politics?”

A few hours later, after failing to get a speaker on the first few ballots in the House of Commons, Ivey made the request again.

“I wrote a letter today emphasizing the need for Democrats to regain a majority in the House,” he wrote. “In less than five hours… Republicans have shown exactly why.”

New gig at Raskin’s shop

Speaking of Hill’s progress, US Congressman Jamie Ruskin, D-Md., announced several personnel changes this week.

Ruskin said his chief of staff, Julie Tugen, will take over as director of the Democratic Staff Office on the Oversight Board since Ruskin took office in the House of Representatives in 2017. is not defined yet. point.

“I would like to thank Julie for her hard work, her incredible knowledge of Capitol Hill, and her passionate commitment to the success of our office,” Ruskin said in a statement. , I am delighted that she will continue to contribute to the team in her new role.We are in the process of reorganizing the dramatically reduced Democratic staff of the Oversight Board and Julie is pleased to announce that I am an investigator, attorney , help us build a lean and effective team of communicators and act alongside our Commission members as a truth squad against the coming threats: conspiracy theories and disinformation trend.”

Replacing Taggen as Chief of Staff on Ruskin’s Personal Staff will be Lisa Klepper, who until recently served as a Senior Counsel on the Oversight Board, focused on health care and was an early-career U.S. Senate Judicial Officer. served as an advisor to the committee. Klepper is an American professor at the University of Washington. She worked as a director.

“Growing up in the 8th Congressional District, Lisa brought a love of Maryland, a passion for teamwork, an enduring commitment to public service, and impressive experience as an attorney and manager in academia and the private sector to our work. office,” said Ruskin.

Kathleen Connor, who has served as director of Ruskin’s district office since the 2016 election, is taking on the new title of district chief. I have a better grasp of the amazing role and have been lucky enough to accept it.”

Fitzwater team

Just before Christmas, Frederick County’s new administrator, Jessica Fitzwater, a Democrat, revealed members of her senior leadership team in a Facebook post. This includes a mix of newcomers and remnants from the administration of her predecessor, Jan Gardner (D).

Newcomers include Fitzwater’s chief of staff, Chelsea Kadish. Kadish is Frederick’s attorney and Democratic activist who worked as chief of staff to Rep. Karen Lewis Young (D-Frederick), who is set to take office next week in the Senate.

Pat Murray, a veteran Democrat who served as Fitzwater’s campaign adviser, will become a senior adviser to the county government. Murray previously served as Chief of Staff to Baltimore County Executive John Olshewski Jr. (Democrat) and the late Senate Speaker Mike Miller. He also worked for the late Speaker of the House Mike Bush (Democrat) and US Senator Chris Van Hollen (Democrat), and was executive director of the Maryland Democratic Party. Murray is also an Adjunct Lecturer at McDaniel College.

Victoria Venable, Maryland Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, has been hired as Fitzwater’s Legislative Director. And Ysela Bravo, who was unsuccessful for a position on the Frederick County Board of Education, becomes a community liaison.

Remains from the Gardner administration include Chief Administrative Officer Rick Harcum, Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer Michael Hughes, Director of Government Affairs Joy Schaefer and Communications Director Vivian Laxton.

“We are so excited to work with these people as we continue to build Frederick County where everyone can live, work and thrive,” Fitzwater wrote in a Facebook post.

board for transit

The General Assembly Transit Caucus announced new officers this week.

Senator Karen Lewis Young (D-Frederick) and Congressman Jared Solomon (D-Montgomery) will co-chair. Senator Arthur Ellis (D-Charles) and Rep. Sheila Ruth (D-Baltimore County) serve as Vice-Chairs. Rep. Julie Parakovic Kerr (D-Montgomery) will become the caucus’s secretary, and Rep. Mark Corman (D-Montgomery), the driving force behind the caucus’ founding years ago, will become a lay member.

See more HR news

KO Public Affairs, a powerful Baltimore firm, has hired two new account executives this week.

Juwan Blocker comes from the office of outgoing auditor Peter Franchot (D) as Senior Account Executive. In the Secretary’s office, Blocker served as Special Assistant, Prince George County Liaison, and Deputy Legislative Director.

Another account executive, Stacey Wells, came to KO from Porcinelli Law Firm in Washington, DC, where she coordinated advocacy campaigns and produced communication materials. She used to work at Dell’s. Sarah Love (D-Montgomery) and Mark Corman (D-Montgomery) of Annapolis.

KO Public Affairs Partner Rick Abbruzzese said:

Last but not least, Raquel Guillory Coombs, former Attorney General Brian Frosch (Democrat)’s communications director for the past six and a half years, said: He will go to the State Budget and Control Office and become Chief of Staff to the Secretary. – If Wes Moore (Democrat), elected governor on January 18, takes office, nominate Helen Grady.

Coombs also worked at the former governor’s press shop. Martin O’Malley (Democrat), Parris Glendening (Democrat), former Attorney General Doug Gansler (Democrat) who was also Vice President of Communications and Digital Media for the National NAACP in Baltimore. Coombs was his reporter for Capitol Radio at the time.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to correctly identify Raquel Coombs’ new position.

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