State GOP Certain to Reelect Chairman at Party Confab

    One week after Maryland Democrats ousted their party chairwoman, the Maryland Republican Party will host its fall convention this weekend – and Chairman Dirk Haire is unopposed for reelection.

    Haire had been the state party’s top lawyer for more than a decade before taking over as chairman in early 2017.

    The state GOP does have a few contested races, however, including a three-way race for first vice chairman.

    The incumbent, Michael Higgs, is a former chairman of the Montgomery County GOP who heads the State Department of Assessments and Taxation. He’s facing Brandon Cooper, the Prince George’s County Republican chairman, and Melanie Harris of Baltimore County, who lost a race for the House of Delegates in District 12 this year.

    The battle for second vice chairman is a two-way race between Tony Campbell, the GOP’s unsuccessful U.S. Senate nominee, and JoeyLynn Hough, a Frederick County Republican activist. The incumbent, Larry Helminiak, is not seeking another term.

    Shannon Wright, the state party’s third vice chair, is being challenged by Matt Adams of Somerset County, and the party secretary, Mark Uncapher, is facing off against Anne White of Anne Arundel County.

    The party treasurer, Chris Rosenthal, is unopposed.

    The state GOP convention is taking place Friday and Saturday at the Hotel at Arundel Preserve in Hanover.

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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.