Eight people are vying to become the next state lawmaker from Frederick County, according to the county's Republican Central Committee, which released the names on its Web site Wednesday after earlier declining to make them public.
The vacancy was created several weeks ago when Del. Richard B. Weldon Jr. stepped down to become executive assistant to Frederick Mayor Randy McClement. Weldon was a Republican until September 2008, when he left the party to become an independent.
But because Weldon was elected as a Republican, the local party committee selects his replacement, who would have to run for election this fall. Committee Chairwoman Kelly Schulz did not return calls Thursday.
The district includes a small part of Washington County, but that county does not appear to have forwarded any candidates. No one answered the phones at that county's party headquarters Thursday.
The Frederick Republicans will pare down the applicants Sunday and interview the top three contenders Wednesday, according to the party's Web site.
The selection process is moving quickly because the General Assembly's 90-day legislative session begins Jan. 13. Gov. Martin O'Malley also must approve the new delegate; however, that is considered a formality.
The candidates, according to the Frederick Republican Party Web site, are: Ronald S. Bird, William G. Folden, Mike Hough, Charles A. Jenkins, John R. Lovell Jr., Roger W. McArthur, Katie Nash and J.R. Younkins.