MD: Del. George Owings

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Dec 23, 2002

Owings nominated to fill veterans affairs slot

by Thomas Dennison
Staff Writer

Mar. 19, 2004
Change will take effect on June 1

ANNAPOLIS -- House Majority Whip George W. Owings III, an entrenched Southern Maryland Democrat and a respected Vietnam veteran, was nominated Wednesday by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. to head the state's Department of Veterans Affairs.

The nomination, which came sooner than expected and even caught Owings (D-Dist. 27B) of Chesapeake Beach off guard, was widely expected after Ehrlich (R) moved former Veterans Affairs Secretary Thomas E. "Tim" Hutchins to head the Maryland State Police. The Owings nomination will not take effect until June 1, which means that he will serve out the remainder of this year's legislative session.

"The degree of confidence the governor has shown in me with this appointment calls for my every talent and 100 percent of effort to ensure the mission and goals of the Department of Veterans Affairs are not just met but exceeded," Owings, 58, said Wednesday.

Ehrlich (R) praised Owings, his former colleague in the House of Delegates, as being "tremendously qualified," and said Owings "will be a terrific addition to the administration."

There was a great deal of talk in Annapolis on Wednesday that Owings' nomination was premature because he will be put in several awkward positions on the House floor, and there are questions if his replacement in the House will be as friendly to the administration.

Owings is a top member of House Democratic leadership, but it has not been a secret that he is close to Ehrlich and has supported many of his initiatives. House Minority Whip Anthony J. O'Donnell (R-Dist. 29C) of Lusby said that Owings will be a great addition to the Ehrlich administration, but that Southern Maryland is losing a strong representative.

"I have mixed emotions about losing George from the House of Delegates, but Calvert County's loss is Maryland's gain," O'Donnell said.

The Owings nomination put to rest months of speculation, but has elevated the debate over his possible successor from Calvert County's favorite parlor game to a fiercely contested political fracas.

The field of leading contenders to replace Owings has seemed to winnow to North Beach Mayor Mark R. Frazer, president of the Maryland Municipal League, and Calvert County Commissioner Wilson Parran, a former Maryland Department of Environment bureaucrat under Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D).

Grace Mary Brady and Tom Pelagatti, who both ran unsuccessful campaigns for the Calvert Board of County Commissioners in 2002, also have expressed interest in replacing Owings.

Staff Writer Andrew Childers contributed to this report.
Looks like we will be having one less pro-gun vote in the house after this session. One of the two likely replacements used to be my boss and somehow I don't think he is very pro-gun.
Standing Wolf:
Owings is (or maybe was, I still havent figured out where I ended up after we were redistricted'ed) my state rep. He might have the Democrat label, but thats what you gotta do to get elected in Maryland. He's as pro-gun as they come. He even appears to answer his own email about half the time (as his secretary/intern only puts their name at the bottom on about half my responses from his office).

[oops, spelled his name wrong]
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ENOUGH with this constant flogging of the Democrats just for being Democrats. There are pro-gun Democrats out there, maybe not a lot at the national level, but at the state level they are there. From what I understand this guy Owings is a staunch supporter of the 2nd amendment, and no I don't mean for hunting.
He may be a Democrat, but he is as pro-gun as they come. Yes, most of his responses are his own.
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