After John Leopold got narrowly re-elected in 2010, most Republican insiders expected Delegate Steve Schuh to emerge as favorite to replace him four years later. Barring unforeseen circumstances, I wholeheartedly expected to help him reach that goal. In February 2013, John Leopold resigned and soon thereafter went to jail. As I watched the candidate for County Executive interviews on live TV, I barely paid attention to a lady named Laura Neuman. Two hours later, the majority of councilmen selected her as the successor to John Leopold.
Though I knew little about her, I trust my friend Jerry Walker's judgment on these types of things. Like all newly elected candidates, I give them a clean slate and judge them on the totality of their work. No doubt, Laura Neuman impressed me with her relentless desire to restore integrity and best practices to county government. Quite frankly, I liked her quite a bit. When Steve Schuh filed to run against her in the primary, I firmly believed he stood little chance of beating this rising Republican star.
Still, Steve Schuh stuck to his guns. He knew he enjoyed tremendous popularity in north county. Likewise, he went from one end of the county to the other spreading his message of smaller schools and a 3% reduction in property taxes. Even though the polls showed a tight race, Mr. Schuh won the June 24th primary by a surprisingly large margin. For the next four months, he worked to mend fences within his own party, while reaching out to Democrats as well. Bottom line, he took no vote for granted. I saw that when he agreed to meet me one day at Starbucks shortly after the election. As the weeks went on, I watched as he stayed true to his message. In the end, he won the general election rather easily.
For the past 18 months, Erik Robey and Dave Abrams became lightning rods for those wanting to connect Steve Schuh with the Leopold administration. Through it all, these two gentleman relied on their experience to keep the County Executive-elect on the right path. These two guys clearly wielded more influence with Mr. Schuh than the king of negativity, Mr. Lawrence Scott. Generally speaking, Robey and Abrams are ones that work to capitalize on a candidate's positive features. That uplifting message obviously resonated with the county electorate. I know it sold me.
Others considered= Larry Hogan, Terry DeGraw, Patrick Armstrong