Maryland Senate Republicans pick new leaders

Fresh off a difficult election season, Republicans in the Maryland Senate have picked new leaders: Sen. Stephen Hershey as minority leader and Sen. Justin Ready as minority whip.

State Sen. Justin Ready of Carroll County, left, and state Sen. Stephen Hershey of the Upper Eastern Shore, right, have been elected as Republican leaders in the Maryland Senate.
State Sen. Justin Ready of Carroll County, left, and state Sen. Stephen Hershey of the Upper Eastern Shore, right, have been elected as Republican leaders in the Maryland Senate. (Courtesy of the Maryland Senate Republican Caucus)

Hershey, who represents the Upper Eastern Shore, and Ready, who represents Carroll County, will be responsible for being the leading voice of the 13 Republicans in the 47-member state Senate. Republicans lost seats in both the Senate and House of Delegates in this fall’s elections, leaving them severely outnumbered in Annapolis and making leadership key to having an influence.

This is Hershey’s first time as minority leader, though he previously served as minority whip from 2015 through 2020. Ready has been the minority whip since 2021.

In a joint statement, Hershey and Ready said they are “committed to continuing our legacy of punching above our weight and holding the majority party accountable to the citizens of Maryland.”

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Take a peek inside the governor’s mansion

If you ever wanted to see what it’s like to live as governor, today is your chance.

Gov. Larry Hogan and his wife, Yumi Hogan, are hosting their final holiday open house from 1-4 p.m. at Government House, more informally known as the governor’s mansion.

The open house is an annual tradition that’s free and open to the public with no reservations required. The mansion has been decorated for the winter holidays and hot wassail, cookies and brownies will be served to guests. Holiday ornaments designed by Yumi Hogan, who is an artist, will be sold to benefit the foundation that oversees the preservation of the mansion.

The Hogans ask that guests consider bringing unwrapped toys for families in need.

Free parking is available a few blocks away at the state’s Bladen Street Garage at 9 St. John’s St. Paid parking is available in other garages and on surrounding streets.

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Gov.-elect Moore sets inaugural celebrations

As Maryland prepares to move from one governor to the next, Gov.-elect Wes Moore’s team has announced some of their inaugural plans.

Moore and Lieutenant Gov.-elect Aruna Miller will be sworn in at noon on Jan. 18 at the State House in Annapolis, as prescribed in the state constitution. But the inaugural ceremony is just one in a series of events that week.

Here’s what the Moore-Miller Inaugural Committee has planned so far:

  • An Evening of Faith and Community: This nondenominational event will be held at Kingdom Fellowship AME Church in Calverton at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15. All faiths are welcome.
  • A Day of Service: This coincides with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, Jan. 16. Service projects “will take place in communities all across Maryland.”
  • Inaugural Ceremony: The official inauguration is at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 18, in a private ceremony inside the State House, typically followed by a large, outdoor event with a ceremonial swearing in. Free bus transportation to Annapolis will be provided, and attendees can sign up for a bus ride online.
  • The People’s Ball: An inaugural ball is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Three types of tickets are currently for sale: $50 for general admission, $125 for general admission plus two drink tickets, and $1,000 for “preferred admission,” including access to a lounge with an open bar. (Note that there are fees on top of the ticket prices.) The inaugural committee also says it is partnering with organizations to offer free tickets to the ball to underserved communities.

Information about the inauguration is posted at The Moore team will be required to publicly report all donations and expenses from their inaugural committee in March.