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Frederick committee recommends Ciliberti for District 4

The Frederick County Republican Central Committee has recommended Barrie Ciliberti to replace Del. Kelly Schulz in District 4, and the Carroll County Republican Central Committee is hoping to make its recommendation for the Senate seat of Joe Getty in District 5 by the end of the week.

Schulz and Getty, both Republicans, were named to Gov.-elect Larry Hogan's cabinet in December as the secretary of labor and his chief legislation officer, respectively.

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Ciliberti, who served in the Maryland House of Delegates as a Montgomery County representative in the 1990s, beat out another former delegate, Paul Stull, in the vote. The exact vote count was not released by the Frederick committee. A phone call to Ciliberti was not returned.

The committee received 18 applications for the seat, and it narrowed those down to three finalists last week. One of the chosen finalists, Christopher D. Glass Sr., did not appear for an interview Wednesday, leaving just Ciliberti and Stull in the running.

The Carroll County Republican Central Committee will also be making a recommendation for the District 4 delegate seat but won't be doing so until after it nominates someone to replace Getty. District 4 comprises a large part of Frederick County and a small portion of Carroll County.

The committee will make its recommendation from the same list of applicants the Frederick committee used to make its decision, said Larry Helminiak, vice chairman of the Republican committee.

The recommendations will go to Hogan for a final decision. He can choose either of the recommendations from Carroll or Frederick counties, or he may select his own replacement.

Helminiak said the Carroll central committee attended Wednesday night's meeting as observers. After seeing the Frederick committee's procedure for narrowing down and selecting candidates, he said the Carroll members will use the same approach as they continue their process for Getty's and Schulz's seats.

Their approach, Helminiak said, is to sort the applicants alphabetically, discuss each one in turn and group them into categories based on who has the experience necessary to do the job.

"It is unbiased and saves a lot of time," he said.

The Carroll committee will first focus on recommending someone to replace Getty, which it hopes to do by the end of this week, Helminiak said.

"That doesn't mean we will, but we will try," he said.

The Carroll committee has chosen not to release the names of those who applied for the District 5 Senate seat, Helminiak said.

The Frederick committee met Wednesday in the offices of lawyer Rand Weinberg, where protesters gathered in support of Wendi Peters, who finished fourth in the June primary election, gaining 601 more votes than Ciliberti.

Peters was not one of the three finalists the committee selected.

Peters said she had no hand in organizing the protest but was disappointed with the outcome and the Frederick committee's decision.

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"The process is not over in Carroll County, though, and I look forward to working with them as their process continues," said Peters, a former Mount Airy councilwoman.

She also said it is clear, based on protesters appearing at the meeting Wednesday, that many voters feel they have been ignored, which has led to them becoming disenfranchised in the committee's process that did not include one of the top vote-getters in the primary as a finalist.

Ciliberti ran on a slate with Sen.-elect Michael Hough for District 4, while Peters was backed by Hough's opponent, Sen. David Brinkley, along with Schulz.

Phone calls seeking comment from JoeyLynn Hough, the chairwoman of the Frederick committee and Michael Hough's wife, were not returned.

Reach staff writer Wiley Hayes at 410-857-3315 or wiley.hayes@carrollcountytimes.com.

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