Below is a copy of a letter sent from Matt Helminiak, CCRCC Secretary, on Wednesday, March 4, to applicants for the D5 Delegate Seat position. In red are statements that are either not factual or are misrepresentations. Helminiak represents the establishment segment of the committee that wants to give its rights and responsibilities away to the Governor. The four conservative members of the CCRCC respond to Helminiak’s letter, here.
The state constitution gives the Central Committees 30 days to recommend to the Governor a name or names from which he can choose to fill a vacancy. In the case of the vacancy in the House of Delegates District 5, that 30 day clock runs out on March 4th. The Carroll County Republican Central Committee had a process and an aggressive time line in place to interview and select from the 25 very qualified applicants for the office. Our goal was to have the selection made by last Thursday, February 26th. Unfortunately three members of our committee filed suit and were able to get a temporary restraining order that forced a hold on our process.
We were very pleased with the unanimous decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the decision of Circuit Court Judge Hecker. The Court of Appeals lifted the restraining order Monday, but that does not leave enough time to interview and fairly evaluate the 25 applicants. We are thankful for the hard work of our attorneys and of the Attorney General’s office in defending the right of the Central Committees to be able to make their own decisions regarding the process for recommending qualified candidates to the Governor to fill vacancies in elected offices. This includes our freedom to agree or disagree with the Governor’s request for multiple qualified candidates for him to select from for each vacancy.
Unfortunately the three members of our committee that filed suit and were unanimously defeated at the Court of Appeals Monday are refusing to drop their case at the Circuit Court level. Our attorneys are going to file a motion to dismiss the case and we urge the plaintiffs to follow the decision of the Court of Appeals and end the long and costly court case. Every vote counts, and every day that this case drags on is a day that our county does not have full representation in Annapolis.
The state constitution gives the Governor the power to fill the vacancy within 15 days if a Central Committee does not send him a name. That 15 day window starts March 5th. We will make all of the applications and questionnaires available to the Governor’s appointment office for their review. We thank you for your time and efforts in applying for the vacancy and wish each of you luck in your future. It says a lot about the strength of our political party in Carroll County that we were able to get so many qualified applicants wishing to serve the County and State.
The conservative members of the CCRCC responded with their own letter. Read it here.