The members of the 36th Delegation were together at Kent County GOP headquarters on Wednesday for a small event for Frederick County Commissioner Blaine Young, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor.
But what was on the minds of delegates Stephen Hershey, R-Queen Anne’s, Jay Jacobs, R-Kent, and Mike Smiegiel, R-Cecil, is who will replace outgoing Senator E.J. Pipkin. The three-term senator announced his resignation effective Aug. 12 to move on and study sports management at Southern Methodist University in Texas.
The three men met at the Fish Whistle Restaurant on the Chester River and had the whole dining room for themselves.
“We have a great delegation in the 36th,” Smigiel said. “We all have a common interest in making sure the 36th is well served by whomever succeeds Pipkin.”
“Our relationship is unique in that the three of us work really well together over in Annapolis,” Jacobs said. “And that won’t change after a decision has been made. I look forward to meeting again next week and getting this thing settled.”
In an email to the Spy Thursday morning, Hershey said that he and Jacobs needed more time to consult with their supporters and said the meeting was positive.
“Each of us understands each others ambitions and responsibility to our respective counties to seriously consider the appointment,” Hershey wrote. “This is a serious matter that deserves thoughtful consideration and Jay and I felt we needed more time to further discuss with our local business and community leaders. The three of us shook hands, had a few laughs over some of the events of the last couple of days, and agreed to meet again early next week.”
Smigiel appears to have an advantage in support statewide on issues of gun control, property rights, and tax reform and has made numerous appearances in front of Republican groups throughout the state.
Smigiel will attend a fundraiser sometime next month in Western Maryland sponsored by Responsibly Armed – a group that lobbied against several gun bills during the 2013 session in Annapolis.