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Group calls for western Md. counties to secede

Monday - 9/9/2013, 1:49pm  ET

WESTMINSTER, Md. (AP) -- A group is calling for five western Maryland counties to secede and form their own state.

Scott Strzelczyk, leader of the Western Maryland Initiative, says people are fed up with the liberal majority and want an "amicable divorce."

The five counties -- Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick and Carroll -- represent just 11 percent of Maryland's population, but the majority of their registered voters are Republicans in a heavily Democratic state.

The U.S. Constitution allows regions to separate with approval from the state legislature and Congress. There are similar efforts around the country and there was one the Eastern Shore in the 1970s in a bid to keep tourism money. West Virginia is the last state to successfully break away from another -- 150 years ago.


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