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O'Malley should have been named Marylander of the Year

Picking Buck Showalter as Maryland of the Year isn't merely wrong, it is gutless. It is a safe, pandering pick that will anger no one ("Orioles manager Buck Showalter is the Marylander of the Year," Dec. 29).

Not so if you had had the courage to pick Gov. Martin O'Malley. Both those who admire Mr. O'Malley and those who don't can at least agree that he has had a great and lasting impact on Maryland.

By contrast, Marylanders in the D.C. suburbs who are Nationals fans, and Marylanders in the western part of the state are probably indifferent to the Orioles. In any case, a year or two from now no one will care what the Orioles did in 2012.

The governor led a special session to eliminate or substantially reduce the structural deficit, and he shepherded legislation regarding the Dream Act, marriage equality, expanded casino gambling and state redistricting. Then he led the last four of these policies to victory at the polls.

No one believes that any of these polices would have prevailed either in the legislature or at the ballot box without his leadership. At the same time, he played a significant national role as a spokesperson, helping reelect his party's president and increasing its representation in both the U.S. House and Senate.

These accomplishments make Governor O'Malley not only the most significant Marylander of the year, but one of the most effective Marylanders in decades.

James Kelly, Ellicott City

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