Sunday, November 14, 2010

Maryland's Red Underbelly

With political observers like me preoccupied with handicapping and then dissecting the outcome of the governor's race, one susprising element of the 2010 elections in Maryland was largely overlooked. Republicans now control 15 out of 24 local legislative bodies.

In most jurisdictions, Republicans retained, expanded, and - in some cases - captured control of county councils and boards of county commissioners. Here are a few highlights:

  • Allegany County: The GOP now holds every local office. It swept all three seats on the Board of County Commissioners (a one-seat gain) and picked up the office of Sheriff and all three Orphans’ Court judges.
  • Baltimore County: The party doubled its representation on the County Council by picking up a seat Democrats have held for five decades.
  • Cecil County: The GOP swept the Board of County Commissioners, and picked up the State’s Attorney and Circuit Court Clerk positions.
  • Frederick County: Republicans swept the County Commission, picking up two seats previously held by Democrats.
  • Queen Anne’s County: The GOP now controls every seat on the Board of County Commissioners (Democrats previously held four seats).
  • St. Mary’s County: The GOP picked up at least two Commissioner seats.
  • Talbot County: Republicans went from 3-2 minority on the Commission to a 4-1 majority.
  • Washington County: GOP now holds all five seats on the Commission (a one-seat pickup).
  • Worcester County: Republicans went from holding four to five seats on the seven member Commission.
These victories are significant because they help to give Republicans something they have long lacked - a political "farm team" of experienced candidates and elected officeholders with potential for upward mobility.

So, the GOP wave that swept through Congress, governor's mansions, and state legislatures across the nation did in fact reach Maryland. It was just evident at courthouses rather than at the State House.


  1. Here's hoping we use these positions to further the GOP agenda. More often then not, Republicans are not team players. "playing both sides of the aisle, appeasing Dems, Etc." Usually abandoning the people that got them there....L

  2. Here in Wicomico County we added two County Council seats (pending a probable recount since one candidate won by two votes) to build a 6-1 margin - since a 2/3 majority is needed to override vetoes and the County Executive is a Democrat, that's a potentially huge win for the GOP since they can pass legislation the CE doesn't favor.

    Also on the lower Shore, all three longtime incumbent Democrat State's Attorneys were replaced by Republicans - Matt Maciarello in Wicomico, Dan Powell in Worcester, and Beau Oglesby in Worcester.

  3. Bernie Marczyk for GOP Chair. You heard it first on Cross Purposes. LOL

  4. It is true that most of Maryland's counties sympathize with Republicans, but the hard, cold fact is that the vast majority of the population (and voters) lives in just a handful of subdivisions, and they sympathize more with the Democrats. They far outnumber the folks in the rural and exurban counties. So expect continued Democratic dominance in statewide elections.