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November 27, 2012

Blaine’s Next Step

Roy Meachum

According to a poll quoted by the former Republican Del. Don Murphy, Frederick County Commissioners President Blaine Young appears to be a shoo-in for the next GOP gubernatorial candidate.


Lost in the wash is the younger Larry Hogan, whom I wrote about as the party’s likely nominee; he falls far behind the Frederick man by four times: 10 percent v. 44 percent. My fear for Blaine was always the hopelessness of his campaign. His purchase of a van emblazoned with his name in gaudy letters made “no never mind” – to revert to the Deep South dialect I spoke as a boy.


Growing up in New Orleans, politics I imbibed with mother’s milk. Those were heady days and Huey P. Long was the Kingfish. The Army deposited me in Washington where I learned the national breed, before moving to Frederick nearly 30 years ago. When I first saw Blaine, he was sitting on a Winchester Hall bench with his mother; they were waiting for mayoral election results. He was 13, in 1985.


Larry I met through his father, who carries the same name; we came to know each other at the National Fire Academy. The son is a real estate operator in Annapolis. He’s sold his ChangeMaryland platform through major media outlets, which do not include the western part of the state. His Facebook extensive use familiarized me with his efforts.


Don Murphy has given no cause for me to doubt him or his sources. He was campaign manager for State Sen. David Brinkley – as readers know, David may be my favorite Frederick County elected official. I’ve never known Don to exaggerate. Still, I have no knowledge of the survey and its methodology he quotes.


Still, the man I know from his early teens can come a cropper. This is a resolutely blue state, as the recent election confirmed. Blaine Young constantly parades a mentality definitely conservative, which is out-of-step with most Maryland voters.


Father Ron Young had Annapolis aspirations when in City Hall that he partially satisfied when he achieved the state Senate. The son became a radio star, which partially met his need for personal reputation, and he converted it into the highest county office. His Facebook entries proclaim his marital happiness through sons and a very attractive wife. I worry how his contentment might fare at higher political levels, which bring all sorts of temptations and pitfalls.


More realistically, Blaine Young should run for county executive that opened up on November 6. The county passed charter rule for Frederick, a measure I heartily crusaded for in 1991, when it was defeated at the hands of Del. James “Doc” McClellan and Mayor-at-the-time Paul Gordon. The bête-noir to the opposition was Galen Clagett.


Dr. McClellan is a hero in Blaine’s life. The veterinarian never switched from the Democratic Party. But then the county was resolutely anti-Republican, inheriting the Southern tradition that owes much to racial prejudice. Integration and Richard Nixon changed that in much of the former Confederacy, which is now resolutely GOP – so is this part of the state. I’m not strictly doctrinaire, which is why I’ve backed candidates of all hues – including David Brinkley and before him Roscoe Bartlett.


Not blinded by party labels, I want the best for Blaine Young and prayerfully I ask that he not run for state office. To maintain the string of triumphs he won…


…Blaine, run for county executive!


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