Mullin Expected to Take Over as Cecil Commissioners’ President

November 9, 2010

Cecil County Commissioner James Mullin (R-1st Dist.) is expected to get the nod from a majority of the new all-Republican Cecil County Board of Commissioners to become the Board’s president, according to informed sources.

Mullin would replace the current President, Brian Lockhart (D-3rd), who was defeated for re-election earlier this month by Republican Michael Dunn. Dunn and Republican Diana Broomell, who won the 4th Dist. seat, are expected to throw their votes to Mullin. In addition, Broomell is considered likely to take over the largely ceremonial title of board Vice-President, which is currently held by Rebecca Demmler, a 2nd Dist. Republican who chose not to seek re-election.

The newly elected commissioners, including Broomell, Dunn and Tari Moore (R-2), will meet with the hold-over commissioners—Mullin and Robert Hodge (R-5)—in a closed door meeting on Wednesday, 11/10/10, to discuss “transition” matters. However, since the newly elected commissioners do not formally take office until December, an official vote to select Board officers could not take place until they are sworn in.

Nevertheless, informed sources tell Cecil Times that the political handwriting is on the wall for a Mullin ascendency and that Mullin and Broomell have discussed their plans with others in Cecil and Harford counties.

Mullin and Dunn were members of the “slate” of candidates for local offices and the county’s Republican Central Committee assembled and financed by state Republican Dist. 36 lawmakers, Sen. E. J. Pipkin and Del. Michael Smigiel. Mullin has also been a major financial contributor to various political organizations and candidates linked to the Pipkin-Smigiel organization. Dunn is employed by Smigiel as a legislative aide.
Mullin was elected as a county commissioner in the 2008 election, along with fellow Republican Hodge. Although they are equal in seniority on the board, Mullin is aligned with the Pipkin-Smigiel organization while Hodge has been openly critical of them. Moore is considered to be aligned with Hodge and the Pipkin-Smigiel group actively opposed her in this year’s elections.

Mullin has joked with some Cecil County officials that he is “taking over Lockhart’s job,” according to sources, while Broomell has told some business people in Harford County—where she is employed as a manager of the Havre de Grace “Main Street” program to promote businesses and tourism in that county—that she would become the vice president of the Cecil County board, according to informed sources.

The ties between Mullin and Broomell go back to her unsuccessful campaign for Cecil County Commissioner four years ago.

Mullin was the chief contributor to Broomell’s unsuccessful 2006 campaign for county commissioner against Wayne Tome, a Democrat who lost his re-election bid this year in the Democratic primary to Carl Roberts, the former Cecil County Superintendent of Schools, who in turn lost the general election to Broomell.

In 2006, Mullin’s business, Mullin Appraisal Service of Delaware, gave Broomell $2,500, while Mullin personally gave Broomell $1,000, for a total of $3,500, according to state Board of Elections records. Her other largest contributor was the Cecil County Republican Central Committee, which donated a total of $2,440 to her 2006 campaign. Broomell raised a total of $13,700 for her 2006 campaign and personally loaned her campaign another $1,000, according to reports filed with the state Board of Elections.

In the current 2010 campaign, Broomell ran a more low-budget race, at least as far as her campaign finance reports filed to date show. (Two more reports must be filed in the next few months.) Her first two reports certified that she had raised and spent less than $1,000 on her campaign. She filed an itemized campaign report 10/22/10, before the general election, showing she had raised a total of $2,187, including a $1,100 donation from the county GOP Central Committee.

Broomell is a former legislative aide to Del. Smigiel but during her most recent campaign she tried to distance herself from the Pipkin-Smigiel organization. She touted her ties to local “tea party” groups and her assistance in organizing two “tea party” protest events last spring and summer.

However, the leading local “tea party” group, the Cecil County Patriots, has been at odds with the Pipkin-Smigiel organization for multiple reasons and even post-election the Smipkin group has been attacking the Patriots group.

Broomell’s apparent decision to cast her lot, and vote, with the anointed Smipkin standard-bearer, Mullin, could alienate her from an important part of her political base—the independent, conservative “Patriots” in the county.

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2 Responses to Mullin Expected to Take Over as Cecil Commissioners’ President

  1. Alexis on November 10, 2010 at 10:14 am

    When will Dunn resign as Smigiel’s legislative aide? Seems like a conflict of interest, especially given the controversies over binding arbitration and tax cap issues during the last General Assembly session.

  2. Maria Wilson on November 22, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Do taxpayers have to give Mike Dunn two salaries? How can he get money from our pockets to work for a state delegate and then also get money from our tax dollars to be a county commissioner? This is wrong, when the commissioners have to go to the state delegation for anything and everything until the charter government goes into place in two years down the road.

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