McDonough Targets Primary Foe With Bill on Candidacy Requirements

By Bruce DePuyt

It’s not every day that an elected official introduces legislation targeting a political rival.

But behold House Bill 1576, sponsored by Del. Patrick L. McDonough, a Baltimore County Republican running for county executive.

Del. Patrick L. McDonough

The measure would require that top state officials — members of the governor’s cabinet, agency secretaries and department heads — resign their post if they are seeking elective office. McDonough spoke on the bill’s behalf Tuesday at a House hearing.

“Someone like the secretary of planning presents a lesser possibility of conflict,” McDonough said in a statement. “But an official like the insurance commissioner clearly has a problem.”

McDonough’s rival in the GOP primary is Alfred W. Redmer Jr., head of the Maryland Insurance Administration.

In the delegate’s view, Redmer shouldn’t be allowed to continue in his current post while he campaigns for county executive and raises money.

Alfred W. Redmer Jr.

“The insurance commissioner regulates every individual and business that is required to have insurance,” McDonough writes. “It seems inappropriate to ask for money, or even votes, from the citizens you regulate.”

Baltimore Sun reporter Erin Cox captured the general reaction to McDonough’s bill on Tuesday with a tweet that began, “From the Annals of Blatant Self-Interest…”

The Redmer campaign wouldn’t directly comment, though communications director Hannah Marr pointed a reporter to a notice at which reads, “This campaign will adhere to all Maryland state ethics and campaign finance laws. We shall not accept contributions from individuals or businesses regulated by the Maryland Insurance Administration.”

McDonough may be an unlikely champion when it comes to ethics. Last month, the Sun reported that he would be filing an amended campaign finance report to acknowledge that he pays no rent on the Carroll Island Shopping Center space he uses as a campaign headquarters. He told the paper that the location, which is owned by the Cordish Companies, a major developer, has no heat, and therefore has “zero value.”

Questions about McDonough’s original filing were raised by the conservative website Red Maryland.

Redmer has a fundraising lead over McDonough in the race for county executive. In the most recent filing report, Redmer reported $189,000 in new contributions and $122,800 cash on hand after expenses. McDonough reported $70,400 in new contributions and $29,500 in the bank.

In addition to Redmer and McDonough, four Democrats and an independent are running for Baltimore county executive. Incumbent Kevin B. Kamenetz (D) is running for governor.

Bruce DePuyt
Bruce DePuyt spent nearly three decades on local television, including 14 years as executive producer and host of News Talk on NewsChannel 8 in the Washington, D.C., area. He has served as reporter, anchor and producer/host of 21 This Week in Montgomery County and as reporter/anchor at NBC affiliate WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, VA. He's a regular contributor to WTOP (103.5 FM) and frequently moderates community and political events.


  1. So, just to sum it up: We have a Republican candidate whose current government position offers the potential for rampant corruption and campaign quid pro quo… and we have another Republican candidate trying to game the system with a bill that would increase his chances in his own campaign?

    Sounds about right for the GOP.

  2. I was very disappointed to see that Del Pat McDonough would do this as it is an obvious attempt to take a legitimate candidate and contender. I lived down the street from Pat for some years yet never saw him or at any community meetings IF he had them. I just moved back to the state and do not know if Pat is still a delegate, but I guess not as this would apply to him as well. He would like to keep any gov’t worker or contender for an elected office unemployed in order to run. I do not think that someone should run for 2 offices at once (re-election and an election), but this is just plain sour grapes. Commissioner Al Redmer continues to make a quality contribution to our state, and when he becomes the Baltimore County Executive will have that much more expertise and resources to help us in a county that has been run like a fiefdom by the present County Council and Executive. Pat should be running on his own accomplishments as Delegate. What are they?

  3. What about Circuit Court judges accepting huge campaign contributions from the big law firms that frequently appear before them in court? These same law firms staff the polling places with lawyers to hand out the judges ballots! No conflict there!

    • wow, another thing I didn’t realize. I thought judges were forbidden to take donations from anyone! like I said, transparency of donors is what we need for ALL elected offices~


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