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Frazier, Ready and Wallace recommended for Senate seat

The Carroll County Republican Central Committee has recommended former County Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier, Del. Justin Ready, R-District 5, and David Wallace for the now-vacant Senate seat in District 5.

Wallace was an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. House against Chris Van Hollen and has run for other public offices in the past.

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Joe Getty, who previously held the Senate seat, was appointed to Gov. Larry Hogan's cabinet as his chief legislative officer in December and officially resigned Jan. 23. Getty did not return multiple calls seeking comment.

Shareese Churchill, a press secretary for Hogan, said the committee's recommendations were received by the Office of Appointments, and the office has conducted interviews with all three candidates. Hogan is now awaiting the office's recommendation to succeed Getty, Churchill said.

No timeline is in place for the office to make its recommendation, she said.

The decision to recommend three names for the Senate seat was made in a closed session following the committee's normally scheduled open meeting Jan. 22. In accordance with the Maryland Constitution, the committee had originally recommended only Frazier to replace Getty.

During the open meeting, Steve Crim, Hogan's campaign manager, and Chris Cavey, deputy director of the Office of Appointments, presented the governor's plan to request three names from all central committees responsible for recommending someone to fill a vacant legislative seat.

Crim said during the meeting that there is precedent for requesting three names, beginning with Gov. Parris Glendening's administration from 1995-2003. Crim said that after Glendening's election, a Democratic central committee did not submit multiple names despite the governor's request for three. The dispute ended up in court, Crim said, with the judge ultimately siding with Glendening.

The case he referred to involved former Baltimore Del. and Senator Larry Young.

Young, a democrat, was expelled from the Senate in 1998 after the Maryland State Ethics Commission ruled he had committed ethical violations by using his political office to benefit his private business.

Baltimore's 44th District Democratic Central Committee subsequently recommended Young to fill the empty seat. Glendening rejected this recommendation on solid legal precedence and asked for more names, according to an article that ran in the Washington Post.

Kathy Fuller, a member of the Carroll committee, said the governor's request for three names and the Office of Appointment's insistence on conducting further interviews usurps the power of the central committees and violates the Maryland Constitution.

Article 3, Section 13 of the Maryland Constitution, reads, "the Governor shall appoint a person to fill such vacancy from a person whose name shall be submitted to him in writing … by the Central Committee of the political party."

Additionally, Article 8 of the Maryland Constitution's Declaration of Rights states "the Legislative, Executive and Judicial powers of Government ought to be forever separate and distinct from each other; and no person exercising the functions of one of said Departments shall assume or discharge the duties of any other."

Crim said the phrase "the Governor shall appoint" from Article 3, Section 13, is the most important part of that excerpt, and that Hogan will ultimately make the decision.

In addition to Frazier, Ready and Wallace, others who submitted applications for the vacant Senate seat included Commissioner Richard Rothschild, R-District 4; former Del. Carmen Amedori; Vince Pacelli, who ran for sheriff in the general election as a Democrat; and Steve Nevin, a former school board candidate. Del. Susan Krebs' legislative aide, Jeffrey Peters, also applied for the seat, but withdrew his application.

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

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