Anne Arundel council condemns Capitol insurrection despite split Republican vote

Anne Arundel County Council Republicans were split Monday night on a resolution to condemn the Jan. 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol, after an amendment that would have removed language that called for the disqualification of President Donald Trump from holding office again failed.

Councilwoman Jessica Haire, R-Edgewater supported the resolution. Councilwoman Amanda Fiedler, R-Arnold, who sponsored the failed amendment, abstained. Councilman Nathan Volke, R-Pasadena, voted against the resolution.


All four Democrats on the council co-sponsored the non-binding resolution and voted in support of it.

“I understand that this resolution could be viewed as very divisive, and I actually agree with that to an extent but I don’t believe that it’s divisive — or it shouldn’t be divisive — in terms of political parties,” said Councilwoman Lisa Brannigan Rodvien, D-Annapolis.


“This resolution should be divisive in terms of who in our county completely supports the constitution and supports our government to operate freely without the types of events that happened on Jan. 6, and those who won’t take a stand against them.”

For Fiedler and Haire, the sticking point was the Amendment 2, which would have removed language that called upon Congress to disqualify President Donald Trump from ever serving in public office again, after his supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to prevent the results of the 2020 election from being certified.

The amendment would have also added general language that condemned any sort of violence or riots as a means of intimidation, which Councilwoman Allison Pickard, D-Glen Burnie, said would have “watered down” the resolution by broadening the focus from the Jan. 6 attack.

When it failed, Fiedler said she was torn. She said the loss of the five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, was “absolutely devastating,” and called the day of the insurrection horrific.

“But, in my opinion, the way that the resolution is written it inserts us as council into deliberations that Congress has not yet even figured out,” she said. ”I think that the spirit of this resolution as it is now, amended is the opposite from what the President is calling for and that’s unity.”

She said the focus of the council should not be on hyper partisanship but on the business of the county, where they are able to directly impact the lives of their constituents.

Haire said she agreed with much of what Fiedler said, but ultimately voted for the resolution because she agreed unequivocally with the condemnation of violence to harass or threaten people or the public.

Volke said he voted against the resolution because he believed it was purely political and had nothing to do with Anne Arundel County.


Maryland Policy & Politics


Keep up to date with Maryland politics, elections and important decisions made by federal, state and local government officials.

“You know, I was elected to be a councilman. So if my constituents want to have a say in what happens in terms of what who holds office for president, they vote for Congress people, and they vote for a president, they did that,” Volke said. “They didn’t elect me to weigh in on them and be a talking head or pontificate on these types of national issues.”

Councilman Andrew Pruski, D-Gambrills, said that the resolution was important to support because of the Anne Arundel County residents who work as Capitol Police officers, Secret Service agents, and in other roles that may have left them impacted by the Jan. 6 attack

The lengthy, fraught discussion among peers was emblematic of an evening of disagreement — most of which surrounded the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and legislation that sought to overhaul it. Two bills and seven resolutions failed along party lines.

For the third time, the council Democrats blocked an emergency bill from Volke that would have terminated the local state of civil emergency and stripped County Executive Steuart Pittman of his COVID-19 related emergency powers.

He introduced the same bill in May and in October, and said he expected no different result this time, but kept trying as a way to fight for his constituents who were suffering under harsh business restrictions during the pandemic.

Seven resolutions he introduced that called on Pittman to align Anne Arundel County with the most liberal permissions of Gov. Larry Hogan also failed. Volke said this was an effort to get his colleagues to say whether they agreed with all of Pittman’s reopening decisions or if the situation would be different if the council had more control.


The package began as 10 resolutions, but three were withdrawn after they were made irrelevant by recent Executive Order 42. Others were amended to keep them relevant, isolating specific allowances that are not the same in Anne Arundel as they are at the state level.

Tonight at our Council meeting I introduced 10 Resolutions to get the Council’s input on the County Executive’s latest...

Posted by Councilman Nathan Volke on Tuesday, January 19, 2021