House Speaker Busch wants four more years in office

Republicans will blame Democratic House speaker for 2007 hike in sales tax

May 25, 2010|By Annie Linskey, The Baltimore Sun

House Speaker Michael E. Busch wants four more years in office, announcing Monday evening that he will seek a seventh term representing Annapolis in the General Assembly.

"This election is going to be about core values," said Busch, a Democrat, highlighting Maryland's education funding and the system's top rankings in national surveys.

But state Republicans believe they might be able to unseat the speaker. "It is an anti-incumbent year," said Ryan Mahoney, a spokesman for the state Republicans. "It is one of those years where people are fed up."

The GOP will tie Busch to an increase in the sales tax that passed in the 2007 special session. Busch said he takes "responsibility" for all legislation that passes or fails, and called the penny increase in the sales tax "the fairest and most equitable way to fund the education system."

Busch's district is represented by three delegates, with the top three vote-getters on the ballot winning the seats. Busch took the most votes in 2006, followed by Del. Virginia P. Clagett, a Democrat who also said she is seeking re-election. Republican Ron George won the third seat and will run again too, Mahoney said.

Vying for one of the slots will be Republican Herb McMillan, a former state delegate who left the House in 2006 to mount an unsucessful Senate bid. Also running on the Republican slate is Seth Howard, a former Marine.

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