ANNAPOLIS -- — As Gov. Larry Hogan took the podium to give his inaugural speech as the seventh Republican governor in Maryland's history, the snow blowing in from the north covered the courtyard and the hundreds of people who came out to witness the event.
"They said it was going to be a cold day in hell before we elected a Republican governor [in Maryland]," Hogan joked.
As the snow whitewashed the ceremony Wednesday, it acted as a fitting metaphor for how the new governor and lieutenant governor view the political and economic landscape: as a blank canvas on which they will paint a new picture of what Maryland will be.
"I believe the time has come to cast out the status quo and to come together to build a better future for our state and all of our citizens," Hogan said.
Carroll Republicans echoed a message of bipartisanship under Hogan.
"Regardless of if you're a Republican or Democrat, this is good for the state," said Del. Justin Ready, R-District 5. "For Carroll County, it's important we have a governor who shares our values."
Del. Susan Krebs, R-District 5, said she believes Hogan is the right man for the job.
"It's a long road ahead and some hard times, but he will help bring the state back on track," Krebs said.
Del. Warren Miller, R-District 9A, said some of his constituents' concerns went unaddressed during the O'Malley administration's tenure, and a change in color from blue to red in the governor's office should help solve some of these problems.
"We were ignored and having a Republican governor will reverse that," Miller said.
Del. Kathy Afzali, R-District 4, said it is important to have a balance in government, and during her time as a delegate since 2011, the state hasn't had that.
"It's been like a tornado was coming at us, not the wind was behind us," Afzali said.
She also said Hogan will help provide a balance by ignoring party politics to achieve future success for Maryland.
Del. Haven Shoemaker, R-District 5, said given the fiscal situation and the tax burden people are dealing with, the state needed a change in the governor's office. Hogan's inauguration was especially important to Carroll County, which has been "treated as a step child for years" by the previous administration, Shoemaker said.
"Carroll County is an exceptionally red state, and given our support of Hogan, I'm confident we won't be disregarded by him," Shoemaker said.
Commissioner Stephen Wantz, R-District 1, said this is the first time in years that Carroll County government will be able to work hand-in-hand with state government.
"We're way out west and now we are seeing signs of collaboration," Wantz said. "As a commissioner, I am certainly looking forward to working with state government and our legislative representatives to bring positive things to Carroll."
Commissioner Richard Rothschild, R-District 4, said a change of guard in Annapolis was needed not just for Carroll County but for the whole state.
"The state took a battering under the previous administration and Hogan will bring a mix of business sense and common sense to Annapolis," Rothschild said. "He's the right governor at the right time."
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Reach staff writer Wiley Hayes at 410-857-3315 or email@example.com.