Republicans from 3 Maryland counties express interest in seceding to West Virginia: ‘Please advise on next steps’

A trio of Republican counties in Maryland have announced their desire to secede from the rest of the state, Fox News reported Thursday.

According to Fox, a group of six lawmakers representing Garrett, Allegany, and Washington counties in northwestern Maryland sent nearly identical letters to two West Virginia lawmakers — Republican state House Speaker Roger Hanshaw and Republican state Senate President Craig Blair — each requesting to formally join the Mountain State.

“We, the undersigned state representatives for Garrett and Allegany Counties in the State of Maryland, request that you consider adding us as constituent counties to the State of West Virginia,” four of the Maryland legislators wrote, according to The Washington Post. A letter from two Washington County representatives used the same wording, but substituted their constituency.

“We believe this arrangement may be mutually beneficial for both states and for our local constituencies,” the lawmakers added. “Please advise on next steps.”

Not the first time

Notably, this is far from the first time that Garrett, Allegany, and Washington counties have tried to secede from Maryland. In fact, it’s not even the first time in the last decade.

In 2013, the three counties, along with Frederick and Carroll counties in western Maryland, all expressed interest in leaving the state. But the effort failed to garner enough support to get past Maryland’s state legislature.

In all cases, the GOP-dominated counties have expressed concern with the policies implemented in more liberal areas of Maryland, like Annapolis and Baltimore.

“Neighbors across the border”

To put the situation in perspective, consider the results of the 2020 presidential election: President Joe Biden overwhelmingly won the state of Maryland with 65% of the vote, according to Fox. But in Washington County, Biden received just 38% of the vote; in Allegany County, he got even less than that, at 30%.

And in Garrett County, the now-president received a mere 21% of the vote.

It’s no surprise Marylanders in these counties are fed up with having to follow along with the liberal agenda coming out of the easternmost areas of the state. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely their efforts to join a much redder state will succeed in the state legislature.

Of course, that doesn’t mean West Virginia Republicans like state Senate President Blair wouldn’t welcome them with open arms.

“I would be more than happy to welcome my friends and neighbors from Washington, Allegany, and Garrett counties into West Virginia,” Blair said this week, according to Fox. “This request is recognition of the work we have done to transform the state, and I welcome my friends and neighbors across the border in Maryland to join us as we keep moving forward.”

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