For Frederick Republicans, It's Time to Cut Bait

Steven Hamrick is an albatross around the neck of the party. Time to find somebody better in a hurry

Frederick Republican Mayoral Nominee Steven Hamrick (or is it Hammrick?) is continue to be an albatross for Republican voters.

The Frederick News-Post reported on Friday that Hamrick was indicted on a variety of charges:

A Frederick mayoral candidate faces additional charges in an alleged July assault after an indictment issued Friday.

Steven Lee Hamrick, Jr., 35, was indicted Friday on charges of first-degree assault, second-degree assault, use of a firearm in a violent crime, illegal possession of ammunition, reckless endangerment and two counts each of possession of a firearm with a felony conviction, illegal possession of a regulated firearm, disqualified possession of a shotgun or rifle and possession of rifle or shotgun with a felony conviction.

Hamrick was previously convicted on domestic violence charges in 2016, charges for which he served time after submitting an Alford plea.

Republicans voting in the Frederick City election are in a no-win situation. They either have to stick with Hamrick, knowing that he is going to get creamed at the ballot box on Election Day. Or take the risk of angering the pot-banging wing of the party by abandoning Hamrick and doing something else.

The choice is obvious here: it’s time to cut bait on Hamrick.

There are plenty of questions about Hamrick’s conduct at this point that would make most people, regardless of party, question why they would vote for the guy. Questions that won’t be answered until after the Election. Though Hamrick maintains his innocence, voters aren’t going to care too much.

Now, that’s not to say that Republicans should let the race turn into a race between Democratic Mayor Michael O’Connor and Democratic former Mayor and perennial candidate Jennifer Dougherty, who is running as a write-in. There is still time for Republicans to coalesce behind a write-in candidate of their own, something that some Republican voters were already choosing to do before the latest indictments dropped.

Republicans are in bad shape in this Frederick election. A Democratic majority is virtually ensured with only two Republican candidates appearing on the General Election ballot for Alderman. Hamrick isn’t going to help, and there is a potential (though minimal) chance of a carryover effect on 2022.

The Frederick County Republican Central Committee and local GOP clubs should quickly cut bait with Hamrick, announce a new write-in candidate to support, and aggressively promote and advertise that candidate over the course of the next two weeks. Conservatives don’t owe Hamrick their continued support at this juncture.