Archive for the ‘Bob Ehrlich’ Tag

Michael Steele wants to be next RNC Chairman

Maryland’s former Lt. Governor Michael Steele wants to be the next Chairman of the Republican National Committee and is likely to formally announce his candidacy for the post on Thursday.  Steele is well qualified for the post and this blog heartily endorses his candidacy.

Steele was Maryland’s first and only Republican Lt. Governor, serving in that capacity from 2003-2007 under Bob Ehrlich—which made him the highest ranking African American in the history of the Seventh State.  Prior to that, he was chairman of the Maryland Republican Party.  In 2006 he ran for the U.S. Senate, losing to Ben Cardin by 11 points in a heavily Democratic state in a bad year for Republicans.  He later became, and still is, the chairman of GOPAC.  FOXNews indicates that Newt Gingrich, the founder of GOPAC, is not interested in the RNC post and may soon endorse Steele.

Steele would make a great RNC Chairman.  He’s run a the party on the state level—in a heavily Democratic state—held office, raised money, and comes across very well on TV when explaining conservative positions.  A lawyer by training, he was mentioned by some as a possible Vice Presidential pick for John McCain this past election.  I think he could help re-brand the GOP and make it the party of ideas again.  Those wishing to show support for his bid should visit DraftMichaelSteele.com and sign their petition.

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Frank Kratovil is going to Washington

This man is going to Congress

This man is going to Congress

The AP has just reported that Democrat Frank Kratovil has narrowly won the race to represent Maryland’s first congressional district.  No call was possible on election night, after which Kratovil lead 160,915 to 160,000 over Republican Andy Harris.  After the absentee ballots, which normally favor Republicans, were counted Kratovil actually increased his lead to about 2000 votes.  There are approximately 4800 provisional ballots to be tabulated and a few more absentee ballots that were postmarked on or before election day may still trickle in, but they are not expected to alter the outcome.

Frank Kratovil, the elected State’s Attorney for Queen Anne’s County, won every county on the Eastern Shore.  Harris, a physician who represents the Baltimore suburbs in the State Senate, won narrowly in Anne Arundel County and racked up big margins in Baltimore County and Harford County.  The first district is, by far, the largest in the state in terms of area; it covers about 29% of the state, which has eight total districts.  Though the non-Shore portions of the district are small in area, they hold about 45% of its population.  Democrats have a very slight advantage in party registration, but the district is a conservative one, represented by a Republican for 18 years.

Maryland's first congressional district (click to enlarge)

Maryland's 1st congressional district (click to enlarge)

Along with the state’s 6th Congressional District, the 1st District was gerrymandered by the legislature to give Democrats a stranglehold on the other 75% of the state’s congressional seats.  Now that a Democrat has the seat, I would predict that the General Assembly will move more registered Democrats into the district when they redraw the boundaries after the 2010 census, though the 2010 election will be held under the current lines.  (Back in 2000 the Democrats who dominate the state legislature moved many Republican-leaning areas from the 2nd District, then held by Republican Bob Ehrlich, into the 1st District.)  Note that this blog is opposed to gerrymandering or drawing district lines for political purposes and believes that districts should be drawn in a non-partisan way by an impartial body composed for that purpose.

Kratovil is a moderate Democrat who has promised to join the Blue Dog coalition of fiscally conservative Democrats.  He will replace outgoing Representative Wayne Gilchrest, a moderate Republican defeated by Harris in a three way primary.  Hopefully he sticks to his guns and helps get the federal budget situation under control; the narrowness of his victory and a desire to serve more than just two years may help keep him from veering left once he takes office.  Godspeed, Frank.