Remember some while back (last summer, in fact) when it was reported, here and by others, that State Senator Gail Bates was cozying up to HCPSS Superintendent Renee Foose? And remember that Bates came out (funny, Gail Bates coming out with regard to anything) and said that she was just fact-finding about the HCPSS, and that there was nothing to see here?
Well, that may be true, but then again..... I don't know? Because then this thing happened earlier this week. HB1603, which would have given the Howard County Board of Education the ability to dismiss the Superintendent, failed when the Senate delegation voted 1-2 against it.
Only State Senator Guy Guzzone supported the bill. State Senator Ed Kasemeyer voted against it, which is disappointing. However, much political speculation around and about is that Senator Kasemeyer may retire after his current term. So, while I would imagine his Howard County constituents would be none to happy for this vote, there is likely not a political price to pay for this.
Senator Bates, though, is another matter. She most definitely wishes to be reelected in 2018, and this vote puts a clear stake in the ground. A stake in the form of a position that I can't imagine would be very popular with her constituents, at all. A stake which may manifest itself in.... a primary challenge, perhaps?
But who would run against Gail Bates, you might ask? Well, look no further than her District 9 seatmate, Warren Miller. Miller has been a reliably conservative State Delegate, in line with District 9's conservative gerrymandering (hush, now, you know gerrymandering works both ways!) and more importantly, has been a friend to the universe of activists who want real change in the way the HCPSS serves the public.
Now, Warren Miller's not ideologically my ideal cup of tea, and in 2014, voters of District 9 had an opportunity to send the dynamic, thoughtful Ryan Frederic to the State Senate, and instead, sent again the out of step, misguided, visionless Gail Bates. So, District 9 voters make a lot of bad decisions. But, I'm personally hoping that Delegate Miller makes a great decision, and throws his hat into the primary. Because Gail Bates has been out of step with all but the most right-wing Republicans in Maryland for some time. She is way outside the mainstream and needs to be replaced.
Oh, and a Delegate vacancy in District 9 would also give retiring County Councilmember Greg Fox an opportunity to continue his service as a State Delegate, if he so chose to ran for that. So that would be a political by product of this.
Who says the Democrats hold all the political intrigue in Howard County?
Happy Friday! Let's be careful out there.
#hocopolitics #mdpolitics #hocoschools #hcpss