Mike Geppi, the youngest person ever elected to the Harford County Council, is planning another run for public office – this time aiming for the Maryland House of Delegates, where he would presumably face recently-embattled Del. Susan McComas in the 2010 District 35B Republican Primary.
In a carefully-worded, carefully-timed statement issued today, Geppi and his representative announced that the former District C councilman was contemplating another run, but stopped short of saying which office he would pursue.
“At this time we are looking at every race for which Mike is eligible. However, I will say that we are extremely focused on the General Assembly,” said the chair of Geppi’s exploratory committee, L. Content McLaughlin, a partner with the Baltimore law firm of Tydings and Rosenburg.
Geppi was elected to the county council representing the Bel Air area in 1998, defeating then-Bel Air Town Commissioner Bob Cassilly by fewer than 100 votes. Four years and one redistricting later, in the 2002 Republican Primary Election, Cassilly returned the favor – beating Geppi by just 28 votes.
After his defeat, Geppi shaved his head, dabbled in law enforcement, became a state appointee of then-Gov. Robert Ehrlich and began reestablishing himself in the local and regional Republican party.
“I stepped down as Harford County Republican Chairman last November. Since that time, I have been encouraged by many friends and colleagues to return to public office. I am most concerned with the direction of our state and county,” Geppi said in an email.
Geppi noted his business acumen might come in just as handy as his political experience given the current state of the economy.
“My deep experience in county and state government, combined with my business background, makes me uniquely qualified for public office. I understand how government works, but I also know firsthand how difficult it is for businesses and working families to operate in Maryland,” he added.
In recent weeks, McComas, a Republican representing the Bel Air area District 35B, has come under fire for her lack of leadership qualities and eventually lost her post as chair of the Harford County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly.
Geppi said he had been planning another run for office for quite awhile and wouldn’t comment directly on a political run against McComas or the uncanny timing of his announcement, but he did offer a few clues.
“It is crucial to have positive relationships with other elected officials if anything is to be accomplished for Harford County,” he said.
As of Jan. 21, 2009, the ‘Friends of Mike Geppi’ campaign finance account showed he had $437 on hand. In 2008, Geppi’s account saw $810 in contributions from 8 people, all connected to December 4, 2008. Recent expenditures included $43 for a meal at the State Repbulican Convention dated Dec. 17, 2008. He also bought a table at the Republican Women Gala for $330. All his activity was in December.
Geppi could also run for the Harford County Council’s District E seat, currently represented by Dick Slutzky; State Senate District 35, represented by Barry Glassman; or any of many at-large seats for Council President, Register of Wills, Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Executive, or Governor.
Here is the official statement released by Geppi’s committee today:
Geppi Forms Exploratory Committee for 2010 Election
Bel Air, MD – Former Harford County Councilman Mike Geppi has formed an exploratory committee to investigate the possibility of seeking public office in 2010. Content McLaughlin, a partner with the law firm of Tydings and Rosenburg has been named chair of the committee. “It has become increasingly clear that new leadership is needed in Harford County and Mike Geppi is well-positioned to assume such a role,” stated McLaughlin.
The committee includes numerous business and civic leaders from Harford County. The members of the committee are currently engaged in comprehensive deliberations regarding the position where Geppi would best be able to serve the citizens of the county. McLaughlin stated, “We are looking at several potential races, but are focusing on the General Assembly.” Geppi resides in legislative district 35B and councilmanic district E.
“I am very enthusiastic about continuing to serve the citizens of Harford County in a new role,” stated Geppi.
Geppi will announce the committee’s decision at an April 25 event held at the Harford County Equestrian Center from 3 pm to 7 pm.
Geppi served on the Harford County Council from 1998 to 2002. Geppi is also the former chairman of the Harford County Republican Party and is currently a member of the Harford County Republican Central Committee. Geppi currently serves as vice chairman of the Maryland Republican Party. Geppi served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2008. He was an appointee in the administration of former Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. from 2003 to 2007.
Geppi holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science and communication from Towson University and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Delaware.
He is currently a commercial banker and an active member of the Harford County business community, serving on numerous non-profit boards. Geppi is married to Debbie, a Kindergarten teacher with Harford County Public Schools. Mike and Debbie live in Bel Air with their two children, Michael, Jr., a first grader, and Nicholas, age 3.