Barry Glassman, after years of biding his time, playing it cool, and largely avoiding major election-year face offs many thought he could have won (the Heltons came awfully close to ousting David Craig last year, after all) looks poised to assume the position of Harford’s Northern Senator. With Hooper set to step down before the end of the year due to failing health, Glassman’s competition for the gubernatorial appointment to replace him looks slim – in the early stages at least.
The real question will be, Who Replaces Barry. It will not be Council President Billy Boniface, who would be nuts to give up his seat in Bel Air. As a friend of The Dagger so eloquently put it, “the chief of seven is better than the freshman minority of a circus of 143.” Former Del. Joanne Parrott, after being booted just last fall, and letting her public image slip a bit beforehand, is less than likely to win the support of the county’s Republican Central Committee. Former council prez Rob Wagner, who we can’t imagine wanting to join the throng on the House floor (and who’s had some image problems of his own), lives outside the Northern district.
As The Dagger hears it, central committee members Teresa Reilly and Chad Shrodes, in his first year as a county councilman, are both considered serious early candidates to replace Glassman. Reilly, in the vein of her husband, Clerk of the Harford County Circuit Court Jim, is a political construct who has served on enough committees, campaigns and fundraisers to be considered for the delegate spot (for more case history on the rise and fall of a political constructe, please see Sheryl Davis-Kohl).
Shrodes is a Democrat turned Republican who might be itching to move on up – especially with whispers former county councilman Lance Miller, the man who formerly occupied his seat – is eager to get back into the game.
God knows we’ll probably hear from Bob Thomas before this one’s over, as he’s so far yet to reject his role on the committee as He Whom No One Wants To Let In Out Of The Rain. In fact, a parade of failed candidates and up and comers will likely ask for the spot.
Perhaps the two fine young Republicans most hoping for an untimely death or well-timed political scandal to escalate their political careers are former county councilman Mike Geppi and current Bel Air Mayor Terry Hanley.
Unfortunately for them, neither lives in Glassman’s Northern District 35A, so any interest in political ascension would have to be to take on Barry for Hooper’s senate seat. Geppi was once the GOP golden boy and was rumored to have formerly boasted of making a run for council presidency, which never materialized. For Hanley to move on up he’d have to take on a former colleague at nearly every step – ‘Cap’n’ Jim McMahan at the county council and Del. Susan McComas in Annapolis, both were former Bel Air Town Commissioners. His try for Hooper’s senate seat would likely just be to garner future name recognition and credibility.
As if that wasn’t enough, it’s likely the entire cast of characters who ran against Shrodes in his bid for the Northern District D seat on the Harford County Council – Charles Burns, Amy Hopkins Daney, Jason Gallion and Doug Howard – are opening exploratory committees. We won’t be holding our breath on this one.