Considering all the pre-election talk from Carroll Republican candidates about how they were looking forward to a Larry Hogan win in the governor's race and how they were anxious to get an administration that they could work with, the Carroll County Republican Central Committee appears to be going to extraordinary lengths to oppose and distance itself from our new governor.
For the past eight years as they returned from legislative sessions with little show for their efforts, all we've heard from our elected delegates and senators was woeful tales of how the Democrats didn't listen to them, how Gov. Martin O'Malley was taking the state in the wrong direction and how little power they had against the state's massive Democratic machine.
The election of a Republican Governor was supposed to change all that. Finally Republicans would have a voice. Finally we had someone in the Governor's Mansion who would listen to the concerns of rural Maryland. Finally the tide had changed.
As an added bonus, Hogan tapped Carroll Sen. Joseph Getty for a cabinet post. He also named former Sen. David Brinkley to his administration. Carroll's voice in government, it appeared, was getting stronger by the day.
But instead of working with the new administration, our Republican Central Committee embarked on a far different path. They met in secret and nominated twice-failed county commissioner candidate Robin Frazier to fill Getty's Senate seat. When public outcry arose against the nomination, they double-downed in their determination, even after members of Hogan's team said it wanted additional names to choose from to fill the position.
Eventually the Committee relented and submitted two more names, but as Hogan announced the appointment of Del. Justin Ready to the open Senate seat, some Central Committee members attempted to block the appointment through a court challenge. They even named the Central Committee in their court action.
The judge rejected the challenge, but it remains to be seen if the petitioners will regroup and try again. And now we have the added bonus of possibly reliving the entire Committee recommendation fiasco as these same people will be tasked with coming up with someone to fill Ready's vacant House of Delegates seat.
It is disheartening that our own Republican Central Committee has embarked on a path to distance Carroll Republicans from the new Hogan administration. Judging by the public's reaction, the antics demonstrated by this small closed group don't reflect the feelings of most Carroll Republicans. Hopefully Hogan and his administration will see that as well, and our state lawmaker will still be able to work with the administration to bring about positive change.