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Carroll County Commissioner Eric Bouchat in mix for vacant state delegate position

Eric Bouchat, one of Carroll County’s five commissioners, is one of five local applicants deemed to have met the requirements to replace Warren Miller as a state representative in the House of Delegates.

Miller, a Republican who represented Carroll and Howard counties in District 9A, announced in early December his resignation after serving 17 years in in the Maryland State House. His last day in office was Wednesday.

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Bouchat, a Republican who represents District 4 on Carroll’s Board of Commissioners, recently joined Doug Ilioff, Scott Jendrek, Kyle Lorton and Reid Novotny as having applied for the vacancy through the Carroll County Republican Central Committee.

Dave Brauning Jr., chair of the committee, said via email that all five candidates were vetted and found to have met the requirements to be considered for the position.

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Brauning said the interview process had concluded with the names being released for public comment through Jan. 6. Comments should be emailed to carrollmdrepublicans@gmail.com.

Following the conclusion of public comment, the committee will meet and vote on a potential replacement Jan. 7, he said.

The Republican Central Committee of Howard County received nine applications, chair Steven Wilson said via email Thursday; however, three of them live outside of District 9A and thus could not be considered. The committee has completed interviews with Allison Cordell, Bouchat, Jendrek and Novotny and plans to interview Ilioff and Norton.

“Following those interviews, we will announce a public meeting [via Zoom] in which we will vote,” Wilson said.

The Republican committees in both counties are supposed to work together after accepting applications and interviewing candidates. Each committee will take a straw poll, and a list of preferences will be sent to Gov. Larry Hogan for his selection.

“The ideal circumstance will be the same name is selected by both committees,” Brauning said.

Bouchat is in his first term as a county commissioner, having been elected in November 2018 to represent District 4, which includes the southwestern portion of Carroll County and the towns of Mount Airy, New Windsor, and Union Bridge. He ran for delegate in 2014 but lost in the primary to Miller and current Del. Trent Kittleman.

Bouchat is president of Bouchat Industries, Inc., which provides metal fabrication services for military, industrial and public utility markets. Bouchat has volunteered in many capacities, according to his Carroll County Government website bio, and has been a political activist since 1992. He served as Republican Central Committee vice-chairman and financial director for Baltimore County during Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich’s administration.

Miller announced his preference for Novotny as his replacement. Novotny, a Maryland National Guard Joint Staff lead for IT and cyber, ran in the 2018 state Senate race to represent District 9. He lost in the Republican primary to Gail Bates.

Baltimore Sun Media reporter Ana Faguy contributed to this article.

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