No argument here. Since Kach has the support of both of my GOP delegates, one of whom is without a doubt the most conservative member of the House, I guess he'd be preferable, but I really don't know. It's interesting that the leadership was so quick to leave the legislature and jump to the Executive branch. I guess new blood can't hurt.
Eckardt targets House GOP leadership role
Tapped as minority whip candidate by Baltimore County delegate
By: JOHN GRIEP, Staff Writer
DEL. ADDIE ECKARDT
EASTON - Del. Adelaide C. "Addie" Eckardt is in the running for a House Republican leadership post soon to be vacant with the appointment of Del. Kenneth Schisler as chairman of a state commission.
Delegate A. Wade Kach, a candidate to become House minority leader, has chosen Eckardt, R-37B-Dorchester, to be his whip as they seek the top House Republican positions.
Kach, of Baltimore County, is the longest-serving GOP member of the House of Delegates.
GOP members will meet June 17 to pick a leadership team to succeed House Minority Leader Alfred W. Redmer Jr. and Minority Whip Kenneth D. Schisler, whom Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich has appointed to state jobs.
Also running is the team of George Edwards of Garrett County as minority leader and Anthony O'Donnell of Calvert County as minority whip.
House Republican caucus rules require the top two party leaders to run and be elected as a team. Eckardt and O'Donnell both currently serve as deputy minority whips.
Eckardt, who will retire this month as a nurse at the Eastern Shore Hospital Center, said she is excited about being named to Kach's team.
"I'm really grateful for the opportunity to serve the caucus that way," she said Tuesday.
Although she has served as a deputy whip, Eckardt said she had not thought about running for the post until the offer was made, largely due to her full-time job as a nurse.
She will officially retire from ESHC on June 30.
Eckardt said the more she spoke with Kach about the team they would build, the more she thought about the skills she could bring to the post, including her organizational and people skills.
She also would bring the rural perspective and her health care expertise to the leadership team, Eckardt said.
Asked about a characterization of the minority whip as a partisan attack dog, Eckardt agreed that has been the way the position has functioned in the past. However, she said that model would change if she obtains the position.
"I do not operate that way," Eckardt said. "I think the role of the minority whip is to organize the floor work."
She said she would bring a new model to the post and other delegates among the Republican caucus could serve in the more partisan role.
"It doesn't always have to be the minority whip who has to stand up and do that," Eckardt said. "I'm not in to getting up and being real extreme on House floor."
She said she would rather present healthy, clear, convincing information to present the minority party view of an issue.
Eckardt, who also serves as vice chairman of the Eastern Shore Delegation, said she would decide whether to run for Schisler's post as delegation chairman after the GOP leadership vote.
"I think on everybody's mind right now is getting the leadership for the caucus," she said.
Schisler, R-37B-Talbot, has been appointed chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
©The Star Democrat 2003