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January 18, 2011

Kittleman to step aside as minority leader

Senate GOP leader Allan Kittleman told his caucus this morning that he will step aside as minority leader, heeding concerns from other Republican senators who voiced discomfort over his decision to introduce a civil unions bill.

"I'm a social moderate and I wanted to stand up for what I believe in," Kittleman, from Howard County, said in a brief interview this morning before going to the Senate floor. “It is more important for me to stay true to my beliefs than it is for me to be the Minority Leader,” he said.

Speaking on the Senate floor he it was "no secret" that he is left of his caucus on social issues. He said the caucus would "feel more comfortable" with a different leader.

Kittleman said that he was not asked by anyone to leave the leadership position. He has held it for two years. "It is my decision and my decision alone," Kittleman said. 

He said the GOP will select a new leader on Friday and he will continue in his position until then.

A candidate for the position could include Sen. David Brinkley of Frederick, who has led the caucus in the past and was elected minority whip this year.

House Minority Leader Tony O'Donnell said Kittleman's decision was "news to me."

"The senator knows what's best for him and for his constituents," O'Donnell said. He said he has "no preference" on his senate leader counterpart.

Asked to comment on Kittleman's decision, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said: "What happens in the minority stays in the minority."

He called Kittleman "A fine man and a wonderful statesperson."

(Photo by Sun reporter Julie Bykowicz; Kittleman, on the left, consults with Brinkley on the Senate floor.)

Posted by Annie Linskey at 10:14 AM | | Comments (21)
Categories: 2011 legislative session


Once again the MD GOP has marginalized a competent, viable office-holder in the name of purification. Kittleman's civil union proposal is two-fold, first the votes are there in Annapolis to legalize same-sex marriage. Second, Kittleman is trying to moderate himself to run for Howard County Executive in 2014. The MD GOP must take a page from Republican parties of New England and realize that they need to be a socially moderate party if they are going to be a viable party in Maryland. This move only further hurts Kittleman's chances to become Howard CE, thereby removing a credible future Gov candidate.

Kittleman will be missed. With his checkered past will Republicans entrust David Brinkley at the leadership helm again?

I guess if you are Republican you check your brain at the door. Is there absolutely no room for any disagreement in this party. If other Republicans are biased and prejudiced, to stay a Republican you must stay biased also. What an intellectually dead party. It seems like Republicans would feel very comfortable at a convention of dictators. That explains the party of No since it is obvious they respect nobody who would have the audacity to disagree with them.

Senator Kittleman is positioning himself as a candidate for Howard County Executive and Governor in the future. He knows he can not get elected if he is seen carrying the "Right Wing" banner.

“It is more important for me to stay true to my beliefs than it is for me to be the Minority Leader,” he said.

Shouldn't it be most important for him to stay true to the beliefs and desires of those who elected him?


Senator Kittleman is from a fairly moderate district. I think that he is trying to do just that.

In one way this announcement surprised me but then if you know the man it really doesn't. Senator Kittleman is one of the most honest and honorable civil servants I have ever met. Even though I disagree with him on this particular issue, I respect his standing by his principles, and he has done this his entire career.

I wish Allan Kittleman would re-realize that he was elected to lead, not follow, and would retain his seat---however uncomfortable--- as minority leader of the Maryland Senate. Abdicating when the going gets tough---on a civil rights issue, no less---should be beneath any thoughtful, fairminded civil servant. I respectfully ask him to reconsider his decision and to do what he knows is right for Maryland's GLTB families and for all of the states' citizens. Courage makes a far more dignified legacy than cowardice.


No, he was entrusted to lead by those who voted for him. If they don't like, he can be voted out of office, but he was elected to represent the interests of his constituants as he sees fit. Sounds like that's what he was doing.

"Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion."

-Edmund Burke

Saddly, an effective elected official resigns from a GOP leadership role merely due to his stance on same sex marriage. The conservative GOP can't stand such a law even though so many of them are hypocrates and are still in the

Looks like David Brinkley's fundraising for the Republican Party's slate as leader did not exist.

I support Kittleman's stand as a moderate on this social/religous issue. I believe this does impact religious beliefs, because marriage is a religious practice that our government bases certain benefits on. Kittleman's action lets me know he could be trusted to protect our freedom to believe and practice what we felt to be right.

Funny, I thought Kittleman's bill was a smart political attempt at fending off actual same-sex marriage.

Then again, sometime in the late 1990s "smart" and "Republican" became mutually exclusive.

The MD GOP is so small and impotent it would be funny to watch these intraparty power moves if they weren't so repulsively bigoted.

The MD GOP is simply echoing the movement in the national GOP of becoming more and more intolerant of any Republican who is left of "right-wing crazy time." Sen. Kittleman is a Howard County Republican who truly represents the majority of his constituents. Howard County is not like the republican party in Anne Arundel or Carroll Counties. Like the National GOP, lead by the Tea Party Reactionary Movement, the MD GOP is attempting to cleanse itself of moderates and certainly any liberal Republican. As a 53-years old man who has lived in MD for 53 years, I fondly recall the great liberal Republicans (Charles Mathias, Sr., Constance A. Morella, Wayne Gilchrest). Each of these great leaders lost their jobs because the party felt they were too liberal. Look at the MD 1st this year...a district with an extremely conservative Dem in Frank Kratovil who lost to an extremely right-wing reactionary in Andy Harris. Since 2009 and and the rise of the Tea Party, the Republican Party has become the party that EATS ITS OWN. How sad.

Generally the comments section in the Sun contain hateful, bigoted screeds, and I thought this would be the same. I'd like to commend the previous 16 commenters for their civil, thoughtful and reasonable posts.
It's refreshing to see that individuals who may not agree can still conduct themselves civilly.

I think both Kittleman and the GOP got it wrong. I am a conservative, and like most conservatives I know don't care who one marries. We care about government spending!

I guess I'm one of those right-wing Tea Party folks who voted for Allan Kittleman to represent me, and who now feels he has betrayed not only the beliefs of his party, but also the Republicans who voted for him. He is a turncoat of the worst kind who waited until after he was elected to state his views and proposal for gay unions. The sanctity of marriage, a union between between a man and a woman, is a religious rite that is rightfully supported by the state because it is a basic and essential part of a functional society. Gay marriage/unions most definitely are not.

Woodie gets his facts wrong. Mac Mathias retired after a long and distinguished career in Congress. He was supported in Republican primaries throughout his entire career. Connie Morella lost (barely) to Democrat Chris Van Hollen after Maryland Democrats redistricted her Congressional District, eliminating lots of GOP precincts and adding lots of Democratic precincts, many in Prince George's County. She also won every Republican primary in which she was a candidate. Andy Harris indeed knocked off Wayne Gilchrist in the Republican primary in the same year that Donna Edwards knocked off Al Wynn in the Democratic primary. Harris was to the right of Gilchrist, and Edwards was to the left of Wynn. Woodie's rant is the same tired rant that we constantly hear about Republicans, but Democrats have primaries too, and if their candidates get out of synch with Democratic voters, they become endangered.

Maryland needs more socially moderate Republicans to thrive in this state.
Lets leave the idealogy in the red states.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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