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GOP’s Kittleman all alone supporting gay marriage
Maryland state senator takes flak; political impact uncertain
“It wasn’t a bunch of form letters. It was probably one of the highest amounts of contact for any piece of legislation i’ve ever dealt with,” said Mr. Miller, a delegate since 2003.
It is unclear whether Mr. Kittleman’s stance will have much of an effect, good or bad, on his political career. He resigned as Senate minority leader — a post he had held for three years — shortly after announcing his support for gay marriage.
He says the decision was done without urging in an effort to avoid distractions during the legislative session. However, some Annapolis observers have accused him of resigning in protest after Republican legislators reacted poorly to a civil-unions bill he planned to sponsor last January. Many Democrats also criticized the bill for failing to extend full marriage rights.
Senate Minority Leader Nancy Jacobs, Harford Republican, said Mr. Kittleman is still a valued member of the Republican delegation and that any initial tension between him and colleagues is mostly gone.
“I don’t think it had any lasting effect, because he did what he thought was right,” she said.
Though the National Organization for Marriage has vowed to “target” him in future elections, Mr. Kittleman expects to be fairly safe in a Senate district where his father once served and he was re-elected last year by a two-thirds margin after running unopposed in the Republican primary.
However, observers have said the gay-marriage issue could open the door for a Republican challenger in 2014, especially if Mr. Kittleman makes a rumored run for Howard County executive.
Current County Executive Kenneth S. Ulman, a Democrat, will be forced out in 2014 by a two-term limit.
While Mr. Kittleman’s stance could be a disadvantage in a primary, should he run for executive and win the party nomination, his support of gay marriage could give him broader appeal, said Jeff Robinson, president of the Howard County Republican Club.
“Howard County is a bit more of a liberal enclave, and it probably opens up his electability on a larger scale,” Mr. Robinson said. “Allan and I are fairly good friends, and I am comfortable with him as a representative of the Republican Party.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Hill joined The Washington Times in February 2011 as a Maryland political reporter. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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