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Posted at 3:45 PM ET, 05/10/2010

The Maryland GOP's shallow bench

By washingtonpost.com editors
LOCAL BLOG NETWORK

As we continue to navigate through the campaign waters this year, it's a safe assumption that Republicans will make gains nationwide this fall, even in a blue state like Maryland. State GOP chairman Audrey Scott has a lot on her plate, with the party so energized over a rematch between Bob Ehrlich and Gov. Martin O’Malley. (Apologies to primary challengers Brian Murphy (R) and George Owings (D) and their supporters; David may have felled Goliath, but that was biblical, not political.)

By now, Scott has to realize that there aren't too many viable candidates in the GOP camp in three places that are key to winning statewide: Baltimore City and Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. In a bit of irony, Scott herself was the last Republican to run for Prince George’s County executive, eight years ago.

Scott and the Republicans need to start developing a farm system and have candidates, particular young candidates, run in local elections across the state, then raise them up. In addition, she needs to ask national GOP chairman and fellow Marylander Michael Steele for help. Steele should know the situation and be willing to do what is feasible to bring back a viable two-party system back to Maryland.

Two-party rule worked well during Ehrlich's term. Both the General Assembly and Government House were kept in check. Maryland needs a lot more of that.

Kenny Burns blogs at Maryland Politics Today. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | May 10, 2010; 3:45 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Maryland  
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Comments

Burns you are right. I'm surprised that the state GOP isn't more sophisticated about local, candidate recruitment. It's really not like they actually have to have a farm system. The Democrat's farm system is to deep - gumming up the works for a lot of promising elected officials. If the GOP were smart, they would simply borrow from the national model and look for moderate Democrats to support. I live in PG and have commented to some Republican central committee members in PG and Anne Arundel that they would be better supporting a guy like Devin Tucker (www.devintucker.com). He's a Democrat but probably could work with the GOP on some issues. It's the GOPs only hope in Maryland.

Posted by: george_w_bush0 | May 10, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

If the GOP wants to be competitive, it needs to run candidates who appeal to Maryland voters. Tea party types cannot win in most parts of the state.

Posted by: Hellmut | May 11, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

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