It’s Official – Audrey Scott Takes MD GOP Chair
November 15, 2009 1 Comment
Audrey Scott, from Prince Georges County, was voted in as the new chairwoman of the Maryland State GOP on Saturday at the convention. I have to say, aside from the freaky amount of elephants in her home, Audrey was probably the best choice for our party for this time. But I’ll let Ann Miller tell you all about her. It’s just easier that way. Why reinvent the wheel right?
The Maryland Republican Party elected a new chairman at Saturday’s state convention in Bowie. Audrey Scott is succeeding Dr. Jim Pelura who resigned one year early from his four-year term. The convening body displayed great unity behind the new chairman with overwhelming vote support that nearly shut out her challenger, Daniel Vovak.
Ms. Scott’s experience includes serving as mayor of Bowie for three terms, appointment to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, serving two terms on the Prince George’s County Council, an appointment as Secretary of Planning by Governor Ehrlich, and the distinction of being named to Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame.
In her acceptance speech, Ms. Scott said, “It was very humbling to follow in the footsteps of some outstanding former chairmen who preceeded me: Joyce Terhes and Michael Steele.”
State Party First Vice Chairman Chris Cavey, who withdrew from the race on October 27, received a standing ovation from the body after remarks from Ms. Scott. Ms. Scott said, “I especially want to thank and acknowledge Chris Cavey. A hardworking and loyal Republican who withdrew from this race for the sake of unity and will continue to serve as First Vice Chairman and my trusted advisor.”
In her pre-vote speech, Ms. Scott articulated a number of action items for the coming year which include the development of a communications plan, fundraising, outreach to Independents, support of central committees and elected officials, and, of course, major victories for Republicans in 2010.
She described what she has termed the Three/Three Doctrine which lays out three principles of the party, and the three primary responsibilities of the chairman. “The Republican Party represents three basic principles: smaller government, lower taxes, and individual responsibility. My responsibility as chairman of the party is to raise money, broaden our base, and elect Republicans. That’s what my focus will be.”
“The independents I believe will be responsive to our message. I can find very few people who do not agree with our three basic principles. When we communicate the message of the Republican Party, people respond to that.
We are all born with free will. To deny that diminishes the individual, regardless of whether they are Republican, Democrat, or Independent. That is criminal.”
“Every conversation I participated in as I spoke to party members across the state convinced me further that we have the right people in the right places to take back Maryland in 2010.”
At the conclusion of her first speech to the convention body as chairman, a member rose to make a personal contribution to the party. Spontaneously, members from all counties came forward to hand Ms. Scott checks. In a matter of minutes, the party raised $4,000 from the pocket change of the party members.
Ms. Scott said, “When we talk about unity in the Maryland Republican Party, we mean unity with a capital U!”
I was able to sit down later with the new chairman and ask a few questions. I found her to be gracious, personable, and well-spoken.
She stated a broader message for the public at large. “The people get the best governance from a two party system that provides for checks and balances. I’m determined to create that for the citizens of Maryland.”
“Republicans are energized and it’s going to be a great year.”
Ms. Scott touched on the recent congressional election in New York’s 23rd district, known as New York 23, where the Republican candidate withdrew from the race and endorsed the Democrat opponent over an Independent conservative challenger. “New York 23 was unfortunate, but it was a local situation. I think it needed to be resolved at the local level. It was a candidate that was selected by the local central committee rather than through a primary. I don’t think it has any broader ramifications. I believe the Republican Party is the big tent party.”
I asked Ms. Scott to respond to Governor O’Malley’s claim that “Maryland is not New Jersey”, referring to the recent Republican victories there. She said, “Obviously, he doesn’t want Maryland to be like New Jersey, but our demographics are very similar, the mood is similar, the people are sick of being taxed higher and higher, and they do not believe the government is the answer to all of our problems.”
“Our citizens don’t want socialism, they don’t want the government running their health care, they don’t want higher and higher taxes, and they don’t want the secularization of our society. Obama’s biggest number one cheerleader is O’Malley.”
“What just happened in New Jersey and Virginia is very good news for Maryland. We too now are in a perfect position to capture the wave of national unrest over President Obama’s failed and doomed policies. We are going to do it right here in Maryland in 2010.”