HANCOCK, Md. (WDVM) — Elections in Maryland are still a year off, but with a veteran state senator from the western counties announcing his retirement last week, a Delegate from the General Assembly hopes to step up.
He has seven years in the Maryland House of Delegates. Mike McKay hopes to take that experience to the Maryland State Senate.
Mike McKay is a successful Cumberland small businessman concluding his second full term in the legislature. When 38-year veteran of the General Assembly George Edwards announced last week he will surrender his Senate seat next year, McKay stepped up to fill those shoes. He is a champion of rural health care, but job losses from the pandemic added job placement to his list of priorities.
“I’ve been focused on where workers who are displaced workers learn a new trade, whether it be in technology, robotics, manufacturing. So we were able to find some funding for that so the locals could develop the programs to retrain those people displaced,” McKay said.
Dr. Dan Murphy is a former mayor of Hancock who has worked closely with McKay and says the region is most fortunate to have McKay’s voice in Annapolis.
“Once you get to know him and realize what a fine gentleman he is, the businessman he is, and how he cares at every level and how he’s responsive to the needs. When you call on him he doesn’t disappear. He’s there,” Murphy said.
With nearly four decades of Senator Edwards at the state capital, Murphy’s standards for a successor are pretty high.
“Mike will fill a big pair of shoes when George steps down,” Murphy said with a smile.
McKay knows Senator Edwards has cast a long shadow. But in seven years in the House, McKay feels he’s focused on the right things for western Maryland.
“We’ve done stuff in rural health, economic development, and workforce development,” McKay said.
McKay says a vote for him is a vote for “measurable success” for western Maryland. He serves on the House Appropriations Committee and co-chairs the Economic Stability Study Group. The filing deadline for next June’s primary is February 22.