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October 22, 2008

Kratovil = Gilchrest = O'Malley?

The Andy Harris campaign is attempting the 1st District version of Barack Obama's current John McCain = George Bush line of attack by sending around an e-mail with the news that Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, who is crossing party lines to endorse Democrat Frank Kratovil, voted in 2006 for Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, instead of Republican Gov. Bob Ehrlich. According to an article in The Capital, Gilchrest made this admission while accepting the John V. Kabler Award from the League of Conservation Voters at its annual dinner Monday night.

It's not so shocking that Gilchrest would have voted for O'Malley -- there's been bad blood between Gilchrest and Ehrlich ever since the congressman testified against Ehrlich's slots plan in 2003. It's also not so shocking since, as the Harris e-mail points out, Gilchrest is supporting Obama for president; the guy's evidently not so into the straight party ticket.

Harris campaign manager Chris Meekins writes: "O'Malley, Kratovil and Gilchrest support higher taxes, more wasteful government spending, and amnesty for illegal immigrants - that's liberal."

All in all, the result of the 1st District race will be a pretty interesting test case in how damaged the Republican party brand is. Harris has been running hard to the right in this district from the start (recall the "Gilchrest and Pipkin -- two peas in a liberal pod" line from the primaries and the current "liberal policies never work" tagline in some of his ads), betting that it's not as moderate as Gilchrest's long record of success there would suggest. In 1994, when Republicans were sweeping nationwide, that strategy would definitely have worked. In 2008? We'll soon find out.

Posted by Andy Green at 7:13 AM | | Comments (1)


What no one has yet mentioned here is why on earth the 1st district crosses the bay. The gerrymandering in MD is staggering to behold. I once tried to tell a friend who works for the DNC about it and he didn't believe me. I showed him a map of my district, the 2nd and he literally choked on his soda.

What a pathetic, awful joke MD has become. 60 years ago the Ritchie model was the envy of states all over the nation and today our governor and legislature continue to be give F's across the board. Good job everyone.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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