Md. GOP delegate launches primary challenge to Senate Minority Leader David Brinkley

Maryland Senate Minority Leader David R. Brinkley (R-Frederick), has drawn a Republican primary challenger in his home district who is trying to position himself to the right of the veteran lawmaker.

In announcing his candidacy, first-term Del. Michael J. Hough (R-Frederick) said that the district, which includes parts of Frederick and Carroll counties, deserves “a true conservative Republican, not O’Malley-lite,” a reference to Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).

“To quote one of my heroes, President Ronald Reagan, ‘We need to be a party of bold colors, not pale pastels,’” said Hough, 34.

Brinkley, 54, who is in his second tour of duty as Republican leader and enjoys a good working relationship with Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), downplayed the challenge in the June primary.

“It’s democracy in action,” Brinkley said. “I’m not going to vote for him.”


Sen. David R. Brinkley talks with a house delegate before the start of the State of the State address on Feb. 1, 2012, in Annapolis, Md. (Mark Gail/The Washington Post)

There is recent precedent for a successful GOP primary challenge in the Maryland Senate. In 2010, then-Del. Christopher B. Shank (R-Washington) ran to the right of long-serving Sen. Donald F. Munson (R-Washington) and prevailed.

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.
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