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| Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Cindy A. Rose |


As Long as We Remember...

January 15, 2015

Five Stars, First Among Equals?

Harry M. Covert

Just who is “primus inter pares” these days among Frederick’s political insiders and outsiders? Sure, I’m being a smarty pants today because the search is under way to answer a lingering idea of who is or may be the first among equals.


Bear with me now. Even though the past election has changed the landscapes, races for supreme leader certainly are keeping a bunch of people, probably egomaniacs, who would like to be considered superior, elite or primus inter pares.


Quite understandably, I know who may be thought of as the journalistic guru above all. Some good ones are out there. Vanity prevents me from considering myself, of course; but, for the record, I’m limiting this discourse to genuine American-born scribes and Pharisees. Naturally there are “(re)publicans and sinners in the bunch.


To be thoughtful, the Honorable Larry Hogan certainly becomes the first among equals on January 21. This includes everybody in the Free State jockeying for the honor in Frederick. The competition is underway. Some are making the confrontation for merely personal reasons. Otherwise the competition doesn’t mean squat.


Political power not always comes with political wisdom. In my most recent pyrrhic the shoddy selection process of the local Republican Central Committee raised its ugly head and carried over to Carroll County. Wendi Peters should have gotten the selection but didn’t.


Admittedly Democrat Jan Gardner outfoxed everybody and has stormed into the county executive’s office. She grabbed the post, went to work and has opponents gnashing teeth to no avail. Okay, she is first among equals in the county seat and among her partisans.


On the other hand, the county’s most popular elected official is none other than Chuck Jenkins, now a three-term sheriff. Yes, any newcomers on the campaign fronts will seek Jenkins’ support. That makes sense and confirms he is unquestionably primus inter pares. He now should use five-stars as his insignia. With his success as sheriff and as a strong politician, he could have become Maryland’s superintendent of state police. He politely declined.


My inquiries show that newly-elected State Senator Michael Hough, pronounced Huff, wants to be the county’s political power – commandante or Lord High Elk. His acolyte, GOP Delegate Kathy Afzali, is trying to dance into the mix, too.


Gone are the days of smoke-filled rooms when politicians of all persuasions pick and choose candidates. Now the selection processes are featured by all kinds of modern technology. Everyone must be on the lookout for unsigned anonymous emails, unblocked phone calls and instant messaging.


The next four years are going to slip by quickly. While everyone has the same amount of time – 60 seconds to the minute, 60 minutes to the hour, seven days to the week and12 months for a year – the county’s makeup will see some interesting changes. The scuffling though will be a daily task for one and all.


There will be no rest for the weary. Read that as anxious ones for trips up the ladder as they perceive it.


In the meantime, let’s have some political fun. There will be lots of twists and turns. Those of us wags and wonks will keep an eye on the Timmermans, Bonginos, O’Malleys, Kellys, Peters, Diaz’s, Dayhoffs and others.


Keep notes, stay alert and know that good days are ahead and surprising too.


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