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Bye, Maryland? Lawmakers in 3 Counties Float a Plan to Secede From the State.

  • October 25, 2021

The proposal, like similar ones in the past, seems destined to go nowhere. Maryland’s top Democrats scoffed at the idea, although West Virginia’s Republican governor, Jim Justice, and top lawmakers there seized the opportunity to brag about all the ways they think their state is better than Maryland.

The idea has tapped into deep-seated feelings of alienation in western Maryland, a mountainous panhandle wedged against the Mason-Dixon line, where talk of secession has been brewing for years.

“We’re kind of ignored up here, and that’s why people are thinking West Virginia might be an option if they keep ignoring us,” said Michael Swauger, the owner of a barber shop in Grantsville, Md., a small town in Garrett County.

“We see very little from the state of Maryland,” Mr. Swauger, 65, said. “We seem to be the last county to get anything to benefit us, moneywise or roads or anything to help us.”

Mr. Swauger said, however, that he was not sure that life would be better in West Virginia than in western Maryland, which needs better-paying jobs.

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