Development opportunity or political liability?

A photo op with Gov. Martin O’Malley is not something many Republican office holders are seeking in Maryland.

O’Malley, a two-term Democratic governor who is considering a run for president, understands that political reality.

So when he invited Frederick Mayor Randy McClement, a Republican, to stand with him and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake during a press conference announcing $5 million in state funds for revitalization and demolition projects, the invitation came with a caveat.

McClement was on hand because Frederick received $350,000 in state funds to help purchase land to build a 200-room hotel with at least a 15,000-square-foot meeting space.

O’Malley jokingly told the Frederick mayor that he was welcome to stand with him during a news conference as long as it wasn’t a “political liability.”

Despite not being the best company for a Republican to be seen with, McClement agreed to stand at the front and delivered the closing remarks during the news conference.

“Every dollar helps in moving our economy forward, and that’s what we’re trying to do in Frederick and I know in all municipalities, we’re just trying to inch-by-inch move forward with our economy, and I greatly appreciate on the behalf of municipalities, the state giving us helping hands, that’s all we ever asked for,” McClement said.

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