House GOP Caucus Fills Out Leadership Team

    Newly-elected House Minority Leader Jason C. Buckel (R-Allegany) and House Minority Whip Christopher T. Adams (R-Middle Shore) this week announced new appointments to vacant leadership positions within the House Republican Caucus.

    Del. Haven N. Shoemaker Jr. (R-Carroll) has been appointed to the position of chief deputy minority whip, taking over for Buckel, who held the job under the previous GOP leadership regime. Shoemaker previously served as the minority parliamentarian for the caucus.

    Del. Michael E. Malone (R-Anne Arundel) will take over as the caucus parliamentarian. And Del. Seth A. Howard (R-Anne Arundel) has been appointed to serve as a deputy minority whip for the Caucus, filling the vacancy created upon Adams’ election as whip.

    “Each of these Delegates is an excellent leader and I am pleased to have them on our team”, Buckel said in a statement. “These are dedicated individuals who are committed to public service.”

    Separately, Buckel, in an interview this week on “The Duckpin” podcast, with conservative commentator Brian Griffiths, said he liked the fact that the new leadership teams in the House and Senate — himself, Adams and Senate Minority Leader Bryan W. Simonaire (R-Anne Arundel) and Senate Minority Whip Michael J. Hough (R-Frederick), who took over last fall — represent diverse geographical areas. He said this broad knowledge of different territory should help the GOP compete in statewide and more local elections.

    “For Republicans to win in Maryland, you’ve really got to throw a perfect game,” Buckel told Griffiths.

    Buckel said the Republican leaders would be focusing on candidate recruitment in the run-up to the 2022 elections.

    “Good candidates can win in a lot of districts in Maryland,” he said.

    Buckel said he was excited by the recent news that Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz plans to run for governor and that Harford County Executive Barry Glassman will be a candidate for comptroller. Both can boost Republican candidates down-ballot, and while Schulz may not be the only GOP gubernatorial contender, “I’m having a tough time thinking of anyone who can come forward who can do a better job of being our nominee,” he said.

    Buckel praised his colleagues in the GOP caucus, who are outnumbered by Democrats in the House, 99-42.

    “We have 42 fighters and we have 42 people with a diverse skill set,” he said.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Founding Editor Josh Kurtz is a veteran chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He was an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, for eight years, and for eight years was the editor of E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill. For 6 1/2 years Kurtz wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz regularly gives speeches and appears on TV and radio shows to discuss Maryland politics.