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Maryland Senate GOP re-elects Jennings as minority leader, Hershey as whip

Maryland Senate Republicans re-elected their leadership team Tuesday, keeping Sen. J.B. Jennings as minority leader and Stephen Hershey as whip.

Jennings, 44, represents Baltimore and Harford counties. Hershey, 54, represents the upper Eastern Shore. Jennings has led Senate Republicans since 2014, and Hershey has been No. 2 in the caucus since 2015.

The 15-senator caucus gathered with one more member than in the 2018 General Assembly session. Democrats hold 32 seats in the chamber, enough to override gubernatorial vetoes, after an election in which Republicans fell short of their goal of gaining five seats.

Four of the GOP senators are new. Del. Christopher West of Baltimore County won the seat vacated by Democratic Sen. Jim Brochin. Del. Mary Beth Carozza defeated Democratic Sen. Jim Mathias on the lower Eastern Shore. Jack Bailey beat Sen. Stephen Waugh in the Republican primary in southern Maryland with the help of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Jason Gallion won the seat held by Sen. Wayne Norman Jr. before his death last year and will represent parts of Harford and Cecil counties.

One Republican senator, Gail Bates, lost her seat in the general election to Democrat Katie Fry Hester in Howard and Carroll counties.

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