News in 5 minutes or less with Ryan Miner: Thursday, July 30, 2020
Story 1: State Sen. Andrew Serafini (R-Washington County) to resign his District 2 Senate seat
Maryland politics was rocked Thursday morning with the surprise announcement that Republican state Sen. Andrew Serafini of Washington County is resigning his District 2 Senate seat, effective August 1.
Serafini represents most of Washington County and is an established member of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee.
The 58-year-old financial advisor and owner of Serafini Financial Group notified Senate President William C. “Bill” Ferguson IV (D-Baltimore City) Thursday morning of his intentions to leave the chamber.
Ferguson said in a statement that Serafini is “one of his closest friends in the Senate.”
“Andy Serafini has been a shining example of how government can succeed. In the many moments we disagreed, he was a fierce challenger in the marketplace of ideas.”
When the two agreed on policy, Ferguson said of his friend, “there is no better ally you could ask for.”
“It has become clear to me that it is time for me to resign from the Senate of Maryland,” Serafini said in a letter addressed to Gov. Larry Hogan (R) Thursday.
Hogan in a Facebook statement called Serafini “a longtime champion for the people of Washington County, a valued leader in the Senate, and a good friend.”
While Serafini’s resignation still leaves outstanding questions, he told Senate colleagues in a letter that his twelve years in Annapolis was more than he imagined, citing the burdens he placed on his “family, friends, employees and clients.”
“I must admit that leaving my family on a Monday and not returning home until Friday late afternoon has worn on me,” Serafini said.
It has long been rumored by Washington County political insiders that Serafini disliked the vitriol of partisan politics but nonetheless enjoyed working through complex budget and tax issues.
A Miner Detail was the first media outlet to report Serafini’s resignation on Thursday.
Washington County’s Republican central committee will choose Serafini’s successor.
Two sources close to the Senate Republican Caucus told A Miner Detail Thursday that several Senate Republicans are pushing for Hagerstown state Del. Paul Corderman to replace Serafini over the two Republicans representing Washington County’s District 2A – state Delegates Neil C. Parrott and William J. Wivell.
Parrott is the Republican nominee in the 6th District; he is facing off against incumbent Rep. David J. Trone (D-MD) in the November election
Parrott’s conservative, Tea Party activism is often political fodder for state Democrats, who largely view him as ineffective and uninterested in the day-to-day rigors of his legislative responsibilities.
Sources close to the Senate Republican Caucus told A Miner Detail Thursday that Serafini is likely to support Corderman’s appointment to fill out the remainder of his Senate term.
Mr. Serafini was first appointed to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2008. He won a full-term in Nov. 2010 and was re-elected in 2014.
The Washington County Republican Central Committee appointed Serafini in early 2015 to fill former state Sen. Christopher B. Shank’s vacated Senate term after Hogan tapped Shank to serve in his new administration.
Serafini won a full Senate term on Nov. 2018.
Story 2) Why hasn’t Andrew Kleine resigned?
Montgomery County’s Chief Administrative Officer, Andrew Kleine, violated a local ethics law, admitting to hawking his book using Montgomery County taxpayer dollars and maintaining relationships with two companies that later landed contracts with Montgomery County,.
The Montgomery County Council members gave Kline a good-old-fashioned tongue lashing Tuesday and pushed for stiffer ethics penalties related to the incident, beyond the $5,000 recommended by the county’s Ethics Commission – but none of the nine Democratic council members have publicly called on Kleine to resign.
They have come close, but they haven’t gone the full monty.
Kleine’s boss – Marc Elrich, county executive – says the ethics matter is resolved.
Mr. Kleine’s annual salary is $280,000.
- Email Ryan your questions and/or feedback: Ryan@AMinerDetail.com.
Ryan Miner is the editor in chief of A Miner Detail, an independent, nonpartisan multimedia online news outlet, featuring Maryland politics and news.
Miner is the host of A Miner Detail Podcast, one of Maryland’s most informative and entertaining politics and news podcasts.