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Eye on Annapolis

The Daily Record's Maryland state government blog

McDonough Media?

Del. Pat McDonough is leaving the House of Delegates when his term expires in January. Could his new career involve ownership of a local paper — perhaps even more?

Some lawmakers attending last week’s Maryland Association of Counties meeting in Ocean City said McDonough called them and offered print advertising space and described himself as the new owner of The East County Times. The community weekly, which serves readers on the east side of Baltimore County including Essex, Middle River, Dundalk, Perry Hall and White Marsh, paper serves a large portion of his legislative district.

Del. Patrick L. McDonough

Del. Patrick L. McDonough (2014 file photo The Daily Record/Bryan P. Sears)

McDonough has written a column for the paper for a number of years. He also does regular commentary on a local television station and hosts a two hour Saturday night radio show on WCBM-AM.

McDonough recently gave up a chance to run for his seat in the House, which has has held as a Republican since 2002, to run for his party’s nomination for Baltimore County Executive. He was defeated by former Delegate and current Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer.

In email responses to questions about The East County Times late last week, McDonough declined to be specific about his role with the paper.

“Thanks for the inquiry but at this time I have no comment,” McDonough wrote. “However at the appropriate time you will be the first to know. My column will appear weekly but my role will be much larger.

“There’s a lot more to it beyond the newspaper,” McDonough continued. “Stay tuned!”

But then letters with McDonough’s signature, on letterhead carrying the paper’s logo, began circulating late this week. The form letter does not provide a title for McDonough but does appear sell advertising, offering a discounted rate for an upcoming “special election issue.”

McDonough is not listed on the paper’s masthead.

The delegate again Thursday declined to comment when shown a copy of the letter.

Jessica South, operations manager for the paper, initially declined to comment on McDonough’s relationship with the paper or the letter that appears to be selling advertising on behalf of the publication.

When asked if McDonough was buying an ownership stake in the paper, South replied: “He has not.”

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