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Washington Co. official facing scrutiny over comments resigns

An interim Washington County commissioner who came under fire for a questionable comment about women and a Facebook posting that was seen as racially insensitive has resigned, Herald-Mail Media of Hagerstown reported Friday.

Vincent G. "Woody" Spong, a Republican who was appointed last year to fill a vacancy, quit just days before he was expected to appear before a Senate committee that handles confirmations.

Herald-Mail said county Administrator Gregory B. Murray confirmed that he received a letter from Spong Friday resigning effective immediately.

Spong's confirmation bid was widely believed to have been in deep trouble after the two Republican senators who represent Washington County -- Andrew Serafini and George Edwards -- expressed their concern to Executive Nominations Committee Chairman Jamie Raskin, a Montgomery County Democrat.

The final blow may have come when Gov. Larry Hogan opposed Spong's confirmation in a letter Friday.

Spong was chosen to fill the vacancy by the Washington County Republican Central Central Committee, but his interim appointment was subject to Senate approval.

Such confirmations are usually routine, but Spong's appointment was called into question after he was reported to have told a crude joke about women to a member of the county school board. An remaining support dwindled after he was found to have posted on Facebook a caricature of the character Buckwheat -- now regarded as a racial stereotype -- along with a joke mocking Muslims.

Spomg's nomination had been on the committee's schedule for Monday. 

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