Carroll County Times Opinion

Tomlinson: Republicans made election partisan in an effort to liberate ‘Wokeminster’ from liberal leaders | COMMENTARY

Over the last month, many Carroll County Times contributors wrote bemoaning how reprehensible it was that Republicans made the City of Westminster’s mayoral election partisan. Why would the Republican Party try to destroy the beautiful time-honored tradition of a good ol’ fashioned non-partisan municipal election? The answer is simple — because the Democrats have been playing partisan politics in Westminster for years.

For years, Democrats have been quietly running the show and pushing their political agenda in Westminster, but nobody seemed to care until Republicans dared mention it out loud. Only then did it become partisan.


Greg Pecoraro, the president of the city’s Common Council, is hardly an innocent nonpartisan bystander. As the former chair of the Carroll County Democratic Central Committee and the Maryland Democratic Party’s longtime parliamentarian, am I supposed to believe that when Pecoraro puts on his councilman hat he suddenly drops all of his partisan beliefs?

Dr. Robert Wack, the former President of the City’s Common Council, has not exactly hidden his political beliefs from the public in recent years. In op-eds over the last couple of years, he has not been shy about attacking President Trump or the Republican Party.


Am I writing this just because these two gentlemen are Democrats, it is completely impossible that they could have served in their elected positions without pushing a liberal agenda? No, not at all. If every single mayor and councilmember in Carroll County’s other seven municipalities were Democrats, I would never have noticed. In those towns, elected officials make sure that trash is picked up, snow is plowed, roads are paved, and neighborhoods are safe — the traditional responsibilities of a small municipal government. The same cannot be said in Westminster.

In 2010, the Council raised property taxes by 33%, which Wack lists as one of his greatest accomplishments during his four terms on the council. In 2015, under Wack’s leadership, the city took out a $21 million loan to get the city into the business of forcing fiber optic internet down the throats of residents, a decision that the chief apologist felt the need to explain in an opinion piece in last week’s newspaper. In 2019, Pecoraro’s city Ordinance No. 911 was passed, which bans businesses from providing single-use plastic bags to customers, something you only see passed in the likes of Baltimore City and Montgomery County. And in 2021, an anti-business green/sustainable purchasing ordinance was introduced.

Despite all of this, I am supposed to believe that Westminster’s leadership has not been pushing an activist agenda for the last decade? The Democrats invited partisan politics into the city of Westminster long before 2021, but it was not until the Republican Party pushed back in this election that Democrats start screaming bloody murder. The Republican Party had every right to get involved in this election and try to stop a Democrat from being elected mayor, especially one who will serve as a doormat to the progressive Common Council.

In a letter to the editor published April 27, Commissioner Dennis Frazier trotted out the same tired liberal talking points by attacking the Carroll County Republican Central Committee (CCRCC) for trying to serve its purpose, namely, to help Republicans get elected. “At a time when this country is so divided, we don’t need this group trying to divide the county as well. ... The CCRCC did the same thing with the Board of Education races in the past and we all see how that has worked,” said Frazier.

Yes, the Republican Party did play a role in ensuring that quality Republicans got elected to the “nonpartisan” Board of Education in 2016, 2018, and 2020, and I am extremely thankful that it was done.

Thanks to the wonderful conservatives we have serving on the school board, Carroll County students were the first in the state to return in person to the classroom. If Frazier had his way, our children would still be attending school 100% virtually. The majority of the elected members of the Board of Education are Republicans, and I am proud to have them making decisions, especially during the pandemic.

A nonpartisan election simply means each candidate’s political affiliation is not indicated on the ballot. It does not mean that every candidate’s political affiliation must remain some dirty little secret from voters.

In the 1984 action thriller, Red Dawn, a ragtag band of high school students become partisans and fight Soviet, Cuban and Nicaraguan communists who have invaded America and parachuted into their small town in Colorado.


Because elections in Westminster have been “nonpartisan”, no one noticed that radical Democrats had parachuted in and taken over Westminster, turning it into Wokeminster. Much like the underdog teens in Red Dawn, Republicans felt it was necessary to form a resistance to attempt to liberate Westminster from its far-left occupation.

Christopher Tomlinson, third vice chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, writes from Melrose. Find him on Facebook at ColumnistChrisTomlinson or email him at