How are Wicomico County Democrats progressing towards next fall’s elections? Better than you might think. Since a Democrat majority is highly unlikely, local Democrat leaders want the next best thing – a liberal council that will rubber-stamp increased spending and higher taxes if Rick Pollitt is re-elected to the County Executive’s post.
Sources within the Wicomico Democrat Central Committee indicate that they are preparing to give appointee John Hall (R-4) and first term incumbent Matt Holloway (R-At Large) a free pass. Why? One need simply look at their voting records and Matt Holloway’s role of carrying water for County Executive Rick Pollitt (D) on council.
Hall was appointed to succeed the late Bob Caldwell. Caldwell won his seat in 2010 by a landslide 2 votes. District 4, at best marginally Republican after re-districting, is the Democrat’s best bet to pick up a seat. Yet, the local Democrat machine appears to be punting. In his short tenure on council, Hall has voted more like liberal Sheree Sample-Hughes (D-1) than the far more conservative majority of county voters. If Pollitt can’t have a Democrat majority on council, he wants allies like Hall. Hall’s votes regarding the Board of Education indicate that he will be ready to help Pollitt to bust the revenue cap if (when) Pollitt is prepared to do so. Remember, thanks to Del. Norm Conway (D-38B) and Del. Rudy Cane (D-37A) the revenue cap is no longer relevant as long as increased spending goes the Board of Education.
While Matt Holloway claims to be the council’s “voice of agriculture”, he has already stated that he will vote for a tier map which strips county farmers of their property rights. He has also shown willingness to rubber stamp Pollitt’s spending and tax proposals. More telling is his attempt to discredit councilman Bob Culver (R-At Large) with an attempted censure – at Pollitt’s behest. Why? Culver is challenging Pollitt for the Executive’s job. It’s little wonder that Matt needed the council’s sole Democrat to support his re-election as council president so that Pollitt’s control of the county’s legislative branch can continue.
While Democrats are actively recruiting a challenger for councilman Joe Holloway (R-5), it is unlikely that they could come close to beating him. There is no question that Hall is vulnerable, both to primary and general election challenge. Why would they seek to challenge Joe Holloway but not Hall? Hmmm….
If Matt Holloway receives a free pass, the reason is far more obvious. As long as he can garner enough votes to wield the gavel, Pollitt knows that he will have a compliant council.