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March 7, 2014

Elections This Year

Roy Meachum

Word from Texas this week has the right-wingers in retreat. Notice the dateline. The largest contiguous state – by geography – has long enjoyed the reputation of being the most radical. I can’t imagine what impact this news will have on Del. Michael Hough (R., 3rd).


Much less on his mentor: ex-State Sen. Alex X. Mooney, who was “dumped” by Democrat Ron Young. Alex has moved to West Virginia and starting a party of his own. They have too many problems. Back in Maryland, Independents go on out-registering Republicans.


Mr. Hough, in the GOP primaries, is running against David Brinkley, on the basis that the state senator from New Market is too liberal; that he is “too soft” to take on the leftish-inclined, never mind Mr. Mooney’s example. The rumor is still extant that the onetime senator owned a pay-roll that he represented “outside” interests.


The natural spellbinder comes in the form of Blaine Young, the president of the Board of County Commissioners. Three other commissioners were elected because of him. His daily radio show provided a powerful platform. Several months ago, because of his confusing talk: will or won’t he, I wrote him off as a county executive candidate.


Blaine, whom I first met when father Ron was still in City Hall, was first an alderman, as a Democrat, then switched to the GOP, ran for commissioner. I blame it on the program – also his link with retired Del. James E. “Doc” McClellan, the county’s former political boss. Dr. McClellan was the most powerful that I’ve witnessed; he decided on Republican politicians. There was only one in Annapolis: a colorless person who never would challenge the floor from Doc.


Maybe I’ve regarded Frederick politics too long – since November 1984, almost 30 years. Galen Clagett, with his future wife, once called on me, convinced he would be congressman. He’s a Democrat. Roscoe Bartlett is a Republican; Tom Hattery upended Rep. Beverly Byron. That was the end of Democratic era. The real finis for Doc McClellan was Anita Stup, former commissioner and GOP member.


Starting out on Texas, I bring the thoughts full swing. Galen disappeared too soon. I know he ran for mayor but Jennifer Dougherty got there first. She was not my cup of tea; still she had certain strengths, enough that Randy McClement rode right back into City Hall.


Confusion appeared several times in this column, or should have been. I write in my old age: 85. I’m still full of vinegar, which in time sours the disposition.


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