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December 22, 2014

Wendi Peters Is The Choice

Jill King

As in years past, Frederick County’s Legislative District 4 will have an open seat to be filled by incoming Gov. Larry Hogan after he receives nominations from the Frederick County and Carroll County Republican Central Committees.


Kelly Schulz, elected in November to a second term in the Maryland General Assembly, has been appointed by Governor-elect Hogan to be secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. This brings great pride to the Frederick community. Kelly has been one of our shining stars in Annapolis; she has been successful in drafting and passing numerous bills to aid small business owners and the farming community.


Although we are proud of Delegate Schulz, we are faced with another dilemma. Who will fill her seat in the House of Delegates?


Upon the announcement, while some were giving praise, insiders were taking to social media, blogs and writing letters in order to gain advantage and make suggestions as to who will best fill Kelly's shoes.


Joe Steffan, The Prince of Darkness, a Beltway conservative and one of Kelly's biggest fans, named Wendi Peter's as the next best thing, while Red Maryland's Greg Kline – in his familiar way – chimed in making suggestions of anyone but Kelly.


Pre-primary, Red Maryland thought one term Del. Michael Hough was the best thing since sliced bread in his effort to unseat Sen. David Brinkley. Yes, Mr. Hough won that one, but the importance here is the slate that he took with him. His primary signs displayed four names, three of whom moved on; this is typical fashion in Frederick County, where slating has typically worked in recent elections.


Neither Delegate Schulz nor Wendi Peters chose to join Michael Hough’s slate and ran on their own in the primary. Although they were seen at the same events often, they did not run as a slate. This worked out well for Ms. Schulz, but did not secure a spot on the general election ballot for former Mt. Airy Councilman Peters, who finished fourth out of five candidates.


The only other opponent to not move on from the primary was Barrie Ciliberti, who previously ran unsuccessfully for Board of Education in 2010.


Just days before the primary, Del. Kathy Afzali mailed a flyer distorting Ms. Peter’s record as a councilman in Mount Airy, claiming she had raised taxes 75%. It was a tactic that had worked so well for Ms. Afzali and the Hough campaign in the past. Even with this, Mr. Ciliberti, who was a ghost during campaign season, did not rise above Ms. Peters. For that matter, Ms. Schulz ran second in the primary. However, Kelly did rise to the top of the balloting in the general election.


The dynamics here were in favor of the slate, moneywise and with advertising. Ms. Schulz and Ms. Peters worked tirelessly knocking on doors, attending events and involving themselves in community affairs, while the Hough team was able to sit back and let their money do the talking.


The Frederick County Republican Central Committee had over 20 people on the ballot. This is a strange oddity for a position that no one has ever seemed to want in the past. But the last hour and on Election Day, the Hough slate had flyers in hand as to who would best serve them on the central committee.


Now the Frederick and Carroll County Central Committees must decide who is best for their individual county, based on the applications they receive for the position. Wendi Peters will be on that list; but there has been speculation about others who might be interested in the seat. Of the names already circulation, some are members of the Frederick County Republican Central Committee.


Both Carroll and Frederick can choose their nominee separate of one another and submit them to Governor Hogan to make the final decision.


Governor Hogan does not have to listen to either one, and you can bet he has had his eyes and ears out here in Frederick County.


Since there were only two candidates listed on the ballot that weren't chosen in the primaries, it is important to look at who won the public nomination from local Republicans.


When it came to votes in Frederick County, Wendi Peters won with 4712 votes, while Barrie Ciliberti had 4387. In Carroll County, Peters also took the lead with 705 to Ciliberti's 429.


It seems the voters spoke, in both counties.


Now, to dig a little further as to who was working the hardest to gain the position...Wendi Peters Pre Primary second financial report shows that she raised just shy of $15,000, while Barry Ciliberti raised only $3,615. Mr. Ciliberti had three $1,000 donations, besides the $250-a-piece donations from Delegate Afzali, whom he shared the ticket with, and Delegate Hough.


In order to get this right, the Central Committee would be wise to do the right thing and not play dirty politics in this “new delegate” situation. Its task is to do what the voters mandated and put their personal feelings aside.


If Frederick County's central committee chooses not to do this, they will be stigmatized with yet another embarrassing decision. Isn't it strange how all of the bad politics in Frederick County surrounds the protégés of Alex X. Mooney?


Please don't embarrass the party any further and rightfully put Wendi Peters in this seat.


If you readers of this column would like to take time to make yourself heard, the FRCC will be meeting on January 7, 2015, at 7:30 pm at 3 King St., Frederick (Frederick Air’s offices), or drop a note to the your local Central Committee members, JoeyLynn Hough, Mary Rolle, Mike Bowersox, Ted Dacey, Michael Hill, Cynthia Houser, Cyndi Schaff, Billy Shreve, and Darren Wigfield.


A note to Governor-elect Hogan may also do the trick.


Retraining my brain for the future, conferring with the past...



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