Two candidates up for delegate's seat

Del. Andrew Cassilly, R-35B-Harford and Cecil, will be taking a position as Gov. Larry Hogan’s senior advisor. The two counties' Republican central committees are forwarding nominees for Cassilly's replacement in the legislature to Hogan.

ELKTON — The Cecil and Harford Republican Central Committees have decided to part ways and put two names before Gov. Larry Hogan, leaving him to decide who will be the next delegate for District 35B.

Earlier this week, Cecil County Republican Central Committee voted to move forward with its sole candidate, David Woodruff of Rising Sun. Earlier this month, the Harford County Republican Central Committee voted to nominate Mike Griffith, the committee’s chairman, for the position.

Both Griffith and Vince Sammons, chair of the Cecil County Republican Central Committee met Thursday to discuss their nominations to succeed Andrew Cassilly as the delegate for a district that represents both eastern Harford and western Cecil. Cassilly resigned after he was offered a position with the Hogan administration.

“Both candidates have a strong background, and I believe that David has more qualifications in his work in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives,” Sammons told the Whig. “Not to mention that he’s currently studying for public administration, showing that he’s got an appetite for a career path.

Woodruff, a retired Army Veteran from Rising Sun, served as the chair and vice-chair of the county’s Republican Central Committee in the past. He served as a policy analysis in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016 and as a military intern for the U.S. Senate in 2015.

Previously, Woodruff also worked as a commander and recruiter for the United States Army. He also is a volunteer firefighter/EMS for the Community Fire Company of Rising Sun. Woodruff is planning to graduate from University of Delaware with a master’s degree in public administration in 2021.

“His experiences and education distinguish him as a public servant, and a leader in times of crisis,” Sammons wrote in a letter to the governor.

Griffith had stepped back from the nomination process once he put his application in, but he did get a vote in the nomination. Jeff McBride, the past chair of the Harford committee, had presided over the candidate interviews and the vote.

“We had four very qualified applicants, but what it came down to was that Mike has worked extremely hard for the committee and the party,” McBride told the Whig. “Mike has always stepped up when it was needed, and what gave him an edge was his past work with the county delegation at the state level.”

Griffith, a Bel Air resident, was elected to the central committee in 2018 and became chairman earlier this year. He is a U.S. Marine Crops veteran, and is a vice president and chief marketing officer with HPS Management in Havre de Grace.

Hogan has 19 days — starting on Dec. 19 — to decide who will serve as the delegate for District 35B.

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