Shewell takes on duty as new GOP delegate

Ehrlich appoints choice of party to vacant seat

Carroll County

August 05, 2004|By Seth Rosen | Seth Rosen,SUN STAFF

A Republican activist who was the local party's choice to fill a vacancy in the House of Delegates was appointed to the seat yesterday.

Tanya Thornton Shewell, who had never held elected office, was appointed by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. to replace former Del. Carmen Amedori, who resigned June 30 after accepting an appointment to the Maryland Parole Commission. Shewell will serve out the remainder of the term, nearly 2 1/2 years.

Shewell, 60, had been unanimously recommended last month for the District 5A seat by the county's Republican Central Committee, and party officials had expected Ehrlich to approve the recommendation. Shewell said she will be sworn in at a ceremony Aug. 17.

"I'm very excited," Shewell said yesterday from Annapolis, where she spent the day meeting with officials. "I wanted to be sure that whoever took the position supported the governor and that the voice of the people who voted for Carmen would still be represented in the same fashion."

District 5A includes Westminster, Manchester and Hampstead.

A Towson University graduate, Shewell was an officer in the county Republican Women's Club for eight years. She is the state membership chairwoman for the Maryland Federation of Republican Women, and she and her husband, Ralph, are co-chairs of the Bush '04 Campaign for Carroll County. Shewell also manages her family's property rental business from her Wakefield Valley home.

She has also worked as a rehabilitation counselor at the State Department of Education, and as executive director of Granite House, a residential mental health counseling program in Westminster.

Shewell was not concerned that she had never held an elected office.

"I have worked on many campaigns, always worked in the background supporting people who shared my values," she said.

Shewell said two of her priorities in office would be medical malpractice and education.

The central committee interviewed eight candidates in an open session July 24 and deliberated for about an hour before choosing to recommend Shewell.

"I am confident Tanya Shewell will represent Carroll County with honesty, integrity and fairness," Ehrlich said in a written statement announcing the appointment. "Most importantly, she shares my commitment to restoring fiscal responsibility in Annapolis while providing every child in Maryland with a quality education."

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