By Ryan Miner
A source with close ties to the Maryland Senate Executive Nominations Committee claims that acting Washington County commissioner Vincent G. “Woody” Spong’s senate confirmation hearing will be held on Monday, February 1st, in Annapolis.
According to The Baltimore Sun,
“Sen. Jamie Raskin, chairman of the Senate Executive Nominations Committee, said he has heard concerns about Spong from senators of both parties. He said he has seen nominations fail for conduct “less egregious” than alleged in his case.
Raskin, a Montgomery County Democrat, said Spong would receive a fair hearing but added that “this nominee has some explaining to do.”
Spong, a Republican, who was named to the Washington County Board of Commissioners last year after former Commissioner William J. Wivell was appointed to the House of Delegates, is under fire by two prominent Maryland women’s groups after Spong admitted to using inappropriate language considered demeaning to women at a board meeting last year.
Last Monday, (Jan. 18 and MLK Day) it was discovered that Spong shared a racist meme on his personal Facebook page. The meme has since been deleted.
According to the Herald-Mail,
“Attempts to reach Spong by telephone Tuesday were unsuccessful, but in a voicemail message left to Herald-Mail Media, an angry Spong claimed “there’s nothing racist about it.”
“It was Buckwheat, who’s been a TV star in all my youth,” he said. “And it was not meant to be racist. I’ve talked to several people, and they don’t think it is.”
In the same voicemail message, Spong angrily lashed out at the Herald-Mail, saying,
“Miner put you on it.”
“For you guys to be chasing Ryan Miner’s (expletive), it’s terrible. It’s terrible,” Spong said in the voicemail. “You might as well call yourself the sleaze newspaper. You think I’m angry? I am. I thought you’d be better than this.”
In an email sent to members of Washington County Republican Central Committee on January 18, I asked said committee members if they would be willing to provide an on-the-record statement in response to Spong’s latest social media snafu. My request for comment went unanswered.
Herald-Mail Media reported last year that Spong doesn’t believe he’ll be confirmed by the Maryland Senate.
Spong said to Herald-Mail reporter CJ Lovelace,
“Too early to say,” Spong said, when asked if he thought the Senate would confirm him, but “right now, I don’t expect so.”
If Spong’s nomination is voted down by the Maryland Senate, the Washington County Republican Central Committee would be required to select a Republican to fill Spong’s seat on the Board of County Commissioners.
According to Republican insiders in Washington County, the Washington County Republican Central Committee is already eyeing Robin Wivell, the spouse of Delegate William J. Wivell, to fill Spong’s seat on the BOCC if Spong is denied confirmation by the Maryland Senate. Robin Wivell is reportedly exploring a bid for the Washington County Board of Education.
If you have more information about Spong’s confirmation hearing, please email me at RyanRMiner@gmail.com