Tuesday, August 06, 2013

First Glance: The Race to Replace EJ Pipkin

More on what may become the race to replace EJ Pipkin.

Further research on the Maryland State Board of Elections shows that EJ Pipkin's 2010 primary campaign spent around $20,000 against what should be considered nominal competition in the form of little-known opponent Donald Alcorn. It's likely that if a variety of credible contenders jump in to the race to succeed EJ in 2014, the cost of winning the primary will increase. 

Delegate Steve Hershey
Considering the most obvious contenders, the House members from the 36th, Mike Smigiel, Jay Jacobs, and Steve Hershey, Hershey appears most ready for a Senate campaign, with about $20,000 in his campaign war chest. Mike Smigiel, with approximately $16,000 cash on hand is a close second to Hershey, and with nearly $11,000 in the bank, Jay Jacobs would need to start fundraising soon to overcome Hershey's early money lead.
Delegate Mike Smigiel

Some in the know here in Queen Anne's County have suggested that County Commissioner Steve Arentz may have a nose for higher office, and if that is indeed the case, Mr. Arentz has about $16,000 and would certainly be competitive from a money standpoint.    

Senator Pipkin's account has about $17,000, which he certainly could disperse to a favored candidate or two across the state. He can also liquidate the account via a donation to a non-profit organization. 

Delegate Jay Jacobs
But first, the Republican Central Committees from the various counties of the 36th legislative district, which includes all of Queen Anne's and Kent, and some portions of Caroline and Cecil, will have to recommend to Governor O'Malley an interim appointment to fill EJ's seat in the 2014 General Assembly. 
Commissioner Steve Arentz

Personalities and politics will most surely play a role in that decision (and if the central committees don't recommend an unanimous appointment, the choice will be made by GOP favorite-son Martin O'Malley), but a candidate's ability to defend their seat in the next general election (meaning cash in the bank) will factor prominently.  

More as it unfolds.

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