Frank M. Conaway Sr., the longtime elected clerk

of Baltimore’s Circuit Court who made waves last year when he switched allegiances to the Republican Party, has died. He was 81.

Conaway’s lawyer, Tom Maronick, confirmed Conaway’s death Sunday. Maronick said Conaway died in his sleep overnight some time between Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Conaway was elected to a fifth term as circuit court clerk last year. In December, after being sworn in, Conaway announced he was switching parties. He said he switched because he had been given a cold shoulder by Democratic officials.

The change gave Republicans a rare elected office holder in the heavily Democratic city.

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