For most, the contest to represent the Maryland Republican Party nationally as National Committeewoman has no meaning and is just another example of the “inside baseball” of party politics. But those who are astute should see the parallels between this race and the power struggle within the Republican Party on a national level.
To review, last month current state National Committeewoman (and onetime MDGOP Chair) Joyce Lyons Terhes announced she would not seek another four-year term in the post. To date two contenders have announced their intention to seek election – former YRNF Chairwoman Nicolee Ambrose and former state party Chair Audrey Scott. Anyone who’s paid attention to this space has seen me rake Audrey Scott over the coals for her participation in a rally supporting an increase in the state’s gasoline tax and, secondarily, for locking up the Transportation Trust Fund to prevent it from being raided every time Martin O’Malley needs to balance his budget. (The latter I’m fine with, but not the gas tax increase. Correctly prioritize what we have first.)
Audrey Scott, though, has a lot of backers who don’t mind that misstep with six members of the MDGOP’s executive board, six of the 24 local county Chairs, 24 of 43 Delegates, and 5 of 12 Senators on a list of endorsers Audrey has on her Facebook site devoted to the race. On the other hand, Ambrose has fewer elected officials supporting her (only Delegates Donna Stifler and LeRoy Myers, Senator J.B. Jennings, and U.S. Senate candidate Dan Bongino have expressed their support for Ambrose) but far more “likes” on her campaign’s Facebook page (143 vs. 17 for Scott.) Perhaps that’s a generational thing, but in any case the votes which will count are coming at the party’s Spring Convention April 27-28 – over three months from now.
(This upcoming state convention will also feature the election of ten Delegates and ten Alternate Delegates to the Republican National Convention. I unsuccessfully ran for this in 2008 but will take a pass in 2012 since I have something far more important to attend to that month and money enough for just one trip. We also elect a National Committeeman but thus far I’m unaware of anyone who will challenge current officeholder Louis Pope.)
Now that we are just about through football season, we’re just weeks away from the start of Spring Training and only 76 days away from the Shorebirds’ home opener on April 12. So I’m going to take a brief moment to welcome back three members of Delmarva’s staff and welcome a new member to the flock. This is from the Orioles’ news release:
Ryan Minor, who enters his third year as manager, will be with Class A Delmarva, along with pitching coach Troy Mattes and field coach Einar Diaz. Athletic trainer Will Lawhorn is back for a second year in Delmarva and his fourth in the organization.
Both Minor and Mattes came to the Shorebirds for the 2010 season, and Minor has a 114-166 record in two seasons as Delmarva’s skipper. Having said that, though, Ryan has also gone through two tumultuous seasons insofar as personnel is concerned. In the 16 year history of the team, only the 2004 edition (57) has suited up more players than Ryan did last season, with the 1999 squad also featuring 53 players. Ryan’s 2010 team is right behind with 52.
Diaz returns to the dugout after a season away, since he managed the former Bluefield Orioles in their final two seasons as a Baltimore affiliate (2009-2010.) The former catcher played 11 big league seasons, mainly with Cleveland. (I won’t hold that against him.) It’s the third season in a row the Shorebirds required a new field coach; Jose Hernandez was field coach in 2011 and Mike Devereaux held the job in 2010. Ryan Minor held the job for the previous two seasons before being promoted, making this his fifth season in a Delmarva uniform as a coach and sixth overall since he starred here in 1997.
At the end of next weekend’s Super Bowl, I’ll have only one thing to say regardless of who wins: the Super Bowl is over so you know what that means? FOURTEEN DAYS UNTIL PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT! Woohoo!