Voters in Diehl's district react to scandal

TOWN AND COUNTRY - The beauty of Queeny Park stretches to its nearby neighbor. Town and Country is the influential suburb where people run, and deer roam behind large lots between homes.

The influential suburb is home to the most powerful lawmaker in the state.

"What he's accused of is terrible," Laurie Berwald said. She was on the way to her children's graduation when NewsChannel 5 found her in Queeny Park.

Speaker Diehl resigned his position after apologizing for sending sexually charged texts to a 19-year-old college student interning at the legislature. Diehl is 49.

"In college, I interned for the Speaker of the House in Maryland and the thought of that is appalling to me. I did a lot of writing of letters. I saw him periodically not very often" Berwald said.

Berwald says she looks at Diehl's admission through the eyes of a mother. "I'm about to send one of my children to college, I can't imagine thinking about that. He should be not in public office," Berwald said.

Brian Webster is a parent too.

"Good people make simple mistakes and sometimes bad mistakes. Many of us have flaws," Webster said.

He's using Diehl's mistake as a lesson to teach his children.

"To keep on the straight and narrow," he said.

Webster respects the speaker for owning up to the mistake.

"Because so many politicians these days don't do that," Webster said.

The governor's press secretary and the Chairwoman of the Elections Committee Stacey Newman told NewsChannel 5 Diehl's Town and Country seat can only be filled with a special election. It would cost the state $7 million.

Newman said the state cannot budget that much, so it's likely the special election could be added to a local elections.

It's too soon to tell when that would happen she said.


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