Two Montgomery County Democratic legislators have introduced legislation that would strip the governor of the power to name a long-term replacement to the U.S. Senate in the event of a vacancy and instead fill the post through a special election. For the next four to eight years, the bill would have the effect of preventing Gov. Larry Hogan from naming a fellow Republican as more than a temporary placeholder if either of Maryland’s two Democratic senators leave office. … Under the legislation, the governor would appoint a temporary senator, who could not run in the special election to fill the vacancy. Unless the next regular election were too close, the special election primary would be held within 90 days of the vacancy.
The sponsors deny the legislation is a partisan shot at Hogan, but the state Republican Party isn’t buying it. “It’s interesting that the first year of a Republican governor, they’re trying to strip powers from him,” said Joe Cluster, the GOP’s executive director.
The lead House sponsor, Del. David Moon, is a freshman, but Cluster noted that the lead Senate sponsor, Jamie Raskin, served during the O’Malley administration. The House bill has more than 50 co-sponsors. The Senate bill has 15. All are Democrats.