Frederick County Republicans plan to choose a new state delegate this week, while a Washington County delegate has announced he will step down to run for another office after the coming legislative session.
The Frederick GOP Central Committee has selected three finalists for an open state delegate seat, paring a list of eight applicants. Mike Hough, Charles A. Jenkins and John R. Lovell Jr., will interview for the job Wednesday, one week before the General Assembly's 90-day session begins.
The vacancy was created several weeks ago when Del. Richard B. Weldon Jr. stepped down to become executive assistant to the new mayor of Frederick. Weldon was a Republican until September 2008, when he became an independent.
The district includes a small part of Washington County, which has been involved in the process, said Kelly Schulz, chairwoman of the Frederick Republicans. "We are working together amicably, and the goal is to forward one name to the governor," she said. Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, must approve the selection.
Interviews will take place Wednesday evening, and a delegate will be chosen that night, Schulz said.
Meanwhile, Del. Christopher B. Shank, the minority whip in the Maryland House of Delegates, announced on his Facebook page last week that he will challenge Sen. Donald F. Munson for his seat this fall. Shank, a Washington County Republican, will make a more traditional announcement at 5 p.m. Friday at Parkway Neuroscience in Hagerstown.
The Republican Munson, 72, has been a senator for almost two decades. Shank, in his Facebook announcement, wrote that he respects Munson but that "it is time for someone who will challenge the status quo that is leading this state in the wrong direction." Shank, 37, said Munson has "either been silent and not provided this leadership or, worse yet, voted the wrong way."
Shank said he will give up his House seat after the legislative session.