Leopold takes detail to fundraiser with Huckabee
Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold’s county-paid security detail ferried Leopold Wednesday to a fundraiser for the Maryland GOP headlined by former Arkansas governor and possible GOP-presidential contender Mike Huckabee at a private home in Montgomery County, Leopold’s spokesman said Thursday.
Leopold paid $100 by private check to attend the event sponsored by the Maryland Republican Party at a home in North Potomac, said spokesman Dave Abrams, adding that an officer from the detail drove Leopold to the event.
Leopold, a Republican, is under investigation by the state prosecutor’s office, which is looking into whether he improperly used his county-funded security detail to work on his recent campaign. Leopold has denied any wrongdoing and has moved to limit the use of the security detail following last year’s election.
“The county executive goes to all types of community and political events during the day or night,” said Abrams. “The county executive has been very clear that he has curtailed the use of his detail to minimize the use of overtime. But on advice from the police department, he has a security detail present when he goes to public events. The decision to use the detail is made on a case-by-case basis.”
Ryan Mahoney, a spokesman for the state Republican party, said about 150 people attended the event and paid anywhere from $100 to $2,500. The event was expected to raise between $15,000 and $20,000.
Other notable Maryland Republicans in attendance were Harford County Executive David R. Craig and Del. Justin D. Ready, of Carroll County, Mahoney said.
As for the popularity of Fox News host Huckabee in Maryland, Mahoney said, “He’s pretty popular nationally. He finished second to John McCain in 2008. Most people don’t remember that. He’s got a following.”
Mahoney added that his party plans to invite other possible GOP presidential contenders to the state. What about Donald Trump?
“If he wants to come, who knows,” Mahoney said, in a fit of laughter. “But no, we have no plans to bring The Donald yet.”