Conservative flank of House GOP caucus might challenge leadership
Kipke said in an interview that he's been approached by several House Republicans and asked to challenge current Minority Leader Anthony O'Donnell. However, Kipke said that he -- and other members of the GOP -- are now "evaluating" what the next steps could be. The news was first reported on the blog Red Maryland.
Kipke said that he's keen to avoid a nasty leadership fight, and believes that some arrangement will be made with O'Donnell. O'Donnell could not be reached immediately.
"There is a lot of young blood in the caucus," Kipke said, adding that many members are finding innovate new ways of communicating with the diaspora of Republicans in Maryland, a deep blue state.
Exhibit A is Del. Neil Parrott, a freshman GOP lawmaker who spearheaded a challenge to the MD Dream Act. Parrott used his own money to launch a repeal effort and he created signature-gathering campaign that drew over 100,000. The law is poised to be the first in a generation to be put on the ballot.
His efforts drew no financial contributions from the GOP leadership.
Kipke said the success of Parrott's efforts has energized the GOP base, who want to be more involved in the party. Kipke believes he can find ways of bringing their voices into the debate.
Smigiel, who founded the House Tea Party Caucus, said in an interview that he wants to see the party focus more on fiscal discipline. He noted that current Minority Whip, Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, asked the House Speaker for money to fund pet projects even though she publicly criticized the practice of making such requests.
"You lose the message in the hypocrisy," Smigiel said.