Carroll County Times

As General Assembly session starts, Carroll’s Republican lawmakers have Democratic governor for first time in eight years

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The 445th session of the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis opens Wednesday, and for the first time in eight years a Democrat — Wes Moore — will be governing the state.

The all-Republican delegation representing Carroll County is heading to Annapolis optimistic they’ll be able to work with a governor of a different political party.


“Well, I think it will be different,” said Sen. Justin Ready, 40, who represents District 5. “I’m hoping we can work together on the state’s big issues, such as the cost-of-living, inflation. How do we make sure it’s affordable for people living here, and doing business here?”

Ready and has been a member of the state Senate since Feb. 2, 2015. He will continue serving on the Senate Finance Committee, where he served in 2021 and 2022.


“(Moore) certainly talked about not leaving anyone behind. That’s positive. But I certainly have concerns,” Ready said. “I’m a strong conservative, and that could be a challenge for us. My No. 1 job is to speak out, and make the state a positive place for families, businesses and retirees.”

Ready was re-elected minority whip in November; he was first elected to the role in 2021. The minority whip assists the minority leader in mobilizing votes within the party.

State lawmakers will be sworn in for the new session on Wednesday. The legislative session runs 90 days and ends at midnight on April 10.

The GOP lost two seats in the Maryland Senate in the 2022 election. Democrats will hold a 34-13 advantage in the chamber this session. In the Maryland House of Delegates, Republicans are also in the minority.

District 5 delegates April Rose, Chris Tomlinson and Eric Bouchat are Republicans.

Bouchat, 55, served one term as a Carroll County commissioner before being elected in November as a state delegate.

“I feel some anxiety about entering a new institution, learning the ‘ropes’ and diverse exceptional personalities,” Bouchat said in an email. “However, it is my objective to master and command my position with the love and respect of my colleagues.”

Bouchat said he doesn’t have concerns about working with Moore.


“Actually, it is better to be in the minority party with a Democratic governor,” he said. “It gives me some independence to maneuver, whereas Democrats are given marching orders to follow.”

As a freshman delegate, Bouchat said he plans to try to make friends and learn as much as possible.

“[I will] do lots of reading (which I love), to obtain knowledge, pay attention to veteran members, activities of the leadership, and learn how the Judiciary Committee I am assigned to operates,” he said.