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Carroll's Senator Getty delays joining Hogan's staff

Why has Joe Getty delayed joining Hogan's staff?

Sen. Joseph M. Getty, a Carroll County Republican, has delayed joining Gov. Larry Hogan's staff amid a dispute over how to fill his seat in the state Senate once he departs.

Getty, who was named Hogan's legislative director in December, has yet to resign from the General Assembly. He was in the Senate Friday as it conducted routine business. He said he wasn't sure when he would move upstairs to the governor's office on the second floor of the State House, but thought it would be next week. He said he was winding up a few constituent issues and tracking a few of his bills.

"I don't have much else to do. I'm moving to the administration," he said.

Though Getty was vague about reasons for the delay, it comes as the Hogan administration has asked the Carroll County Republican Central Committee to give the governor more names to choose from in replacing Getty.

The nine-member committee voted to recommend former Carroll County Commissioner Robin Frazier for Getty's seat. Her selection has proven controversial, however, with critics noting that Frazier lost her reelection bid last year, first in the Republican primary and then as a write-in candidates in the November general election. At a meeting Thursday night, the committee balked at the administration's request for more names.

The panel voted hours later in a closed session to submit three names to the Hogan for Getty's seat, members said Friday.

But Chairman David Jones also said the committee has not submitted any names to Hogan's office yet, and members will wait until they have received an official letter notifying them of Getty's resignation

Frazier served terms as a county commissioner, but lost in the 2014 Republican primary by 18 percentage points, and was unsuccessful in a write-in campaign in the general election.

She was a central figure in the controversy regarding Christian prayer before commissioner meetings after two residents filed a lawsuit challenging the practice. Last March, an injunction temporarily halted sectarian prayers, but Frazier defied the order, saying she was willing to go to jail for her right to pray.

Getty would not comment Friday on Frazier's nomination for the Senate, but acknowledged that the controversy is being seen as a test of Hogan's clout as leader of his party. Hogan administration officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Reporter Wiley Hayes of the Baltimore Sun Media Group contributed to this article.

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