On Wednesday, history is going to be made in Maryland. Three weeks after the death of longtime Democratic Speaker of the House of Delegates Mike Busch, the 141 House Members will choose either the first woman (and first gay) speaker or the first black speaker to wield the gavel in Annapolis.
Whoever succeeds Busch will be a Democrat. The House is split between 99 Democrats and 42 Republicans. But Republicans can gain influence unprecedented in modern times by tipping the balance to Delegate Derek Davis of Prince George’s County.
Davis already has the backing of the 45-member Black Caucus. Assuming at least 30 of the black lawmakers — Democrats all — stick with him, Davis would certainly defeat arch-leftist Delegate Maggie McIntosh of Baltimore with the votes of the 42 Republicans. It takes 71 Delegates to elect a speaker.
“I think Republicans would work well with Derek as speaker,” former Maryland Lieutenant Governor and onetime Republican National Chairman Michael Steele told Newsmax.
Although Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has voiced neutrality in the contest, the worst-kept secret in Annapolis is that the moderate-to-conservative Hogan prefers Davis. The Prince George’s County man is chairman of the Economic Matters Committee and considered more attuned to business concerns.
“And McIntosh would push leftist cultural issues for sure,” one Maryland GOP activist told Newsmax, “And remember, she is from Baltimore and the city already soaks up money that could go elsewhere.”
“Republicans can be, as they say, on the ‘right side of history’ in electing a dedicated public servant — someone who recognizes the value of bipartisanship in a changing political environment in Maryland,” said Michael Steele, “Republicans would be smart to coalesce their votes behind Derek.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.