House GOP to Get New Leadership — After Session

    House Republicans unanimously re-elected their top leaders on Wednesday — with a caveat.

    Maryland House Majority Leader Eric G. Luedtke (D-Montgomery) and House Minority Leader Nicholaus R. Kipke (R-Anne Arundel) on the opening day of the 2021 General Assembly session. Photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

    Del. Nicholaus R. Kipke (R-Anne Arundel) will continue to serve as minority leader and Del. Kathy Szeliga (R-Baltimore County) will continue to serve as minority whip. They’ve served side-by-side in those roles since 2013 — making them the longest serving Republican caucus leadership team in state history.

    But Kipke and Szeliga told their colleagues that they plan to relinquish their leadership positions after the 2021 session. Kipke said he plans to focus on 2022 Anne Arundel elections and Szeliga said she plans to focus on recruiting and training Republican women to run for public office.

    Throughout the summer and fall, there were occasional rumors that Kipke and Szeliga were planning to step down — or that they would be forced out by a restive GOP caucus. But then the rumors quieted down — and the leaders’ imminent departure seems to be have quelled any disquiet.

    House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga (R-Baltimore County). Photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

    “We are honored to have the confidence of our colleagues to lead them during these troubling times,” Kipke said.

    Del. Jason C. Buckel (R-Allegany) is seen as a possible contender for one of the leadership posts.

    “Over the last seven years our members have amazed us with their talents and their commitment to make Maryland a better place to live, work, and raise a family,” Szeliga said. “We are excited to see what the future holds for our Caucus and believe it is time to give another team an opportunity to lead.”

    Sen. Reilly gets leadership post

    Meanwhile, the Senate Republican Caucus, under new management, has added a leadership position.

    During floor votes on chamber rules Wednesday, the Senate codified the position of deputy minority leader. The role of deputy majority leader is already codified in Senate rules.

    Sen. Edward R. Reilly (R-Anne Arundel) will fill the role, Senate GOP leaders said.

    “It is an honor to be the first official Deputy Minority Leader, and it is good to have the leadership structure of both parties in alignment within the Senate Rules,” Reilly said.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading 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 later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.