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Regardless of where you stand on the Carroll County Republican Central Committee's decision to nominate failed county commissioner candidate Robin Frazier to a soon-to-be vacant state Senate seat, the process utilized, the lack of county Republican input and the subsequent backlash highlight the need for a better, more inclusive and more representative procedure for filling vacancies.

The job of recommending a replacement fell to the Central Committee when Sen. Joseph Getty accepted a position with Gov.-elect Larry Hogan's administration. While other jurisdictions typically utilize a more open process for selecting potential replacements – just as the Frederick County Republican Central Committee did in making a recommendation to fill Del. Kelly Schulz's District 4 seat – the small group that controls Carroll's Central Committee decided upon a secret process with everything taking place behind closed doors.

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Perhaps the Central Committee was feeling a bit stung. Their influence over Carroll politics has been on the decline for years. The fact that just about all the candidates they supported in the last election lost to more moderate Republicans demonstrates how out of step they are with the majority of voters in their party in Carroll, and their reputation was further tarnished with a controversy involving the county ethics commission in which the Ethics Administrator sent an email detailing a plan to oust an elected county commissioner, and warning the committee members not to jump into the fray.

With Getty's announcement that he would be taking a job in the Hogan administration, the Central Committee had a golden opportunity to restore some of its integrity and standing with Republicans across the county and across the state. Instead, they ran in the opposite direction, bypassing at least two winners in the November election who had applied – Del. Justin Ready and Commissioner Richard Rothschild – for an individual who did not even garner the support of her own party in the Primary Election and then lost a second time as a write-in candidate in the General Election.

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Now, opposition to that nomination has mounted across the county. There is a petition urging Hogan to reject the nomination. And the bizarre antics of Carroll's Republican Party are being spread across the state.

Clearly a better system needs to be put in place to fill vacancies, one that is representative of a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

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