Ken Hadfield was turning a long night into a longer Election Day, standing outside Dundalk Middle School handing out leaflets for former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. this afternoon and admiring his work from 12 hours before.
“Did you see all the signs?” said Hadfield, who had been part of a group of volunteers who went from about 10 p.m. through the night and into the morning planting hundreds of signs here and at polling places nearby. “You think we have a few Ehrlich signs?”
He counted 175 here, another 75 at Logan Elementary, another 50 at Dundalk Church of the Brethren. He’s a Democrat all the way, he said, and believes in what he called “Democratic values,” which he said are “liberal. … I people in helping people.”
And in that spirit, he said he’s heading a group of Democrats for the Republican former governor, Ehrlich, over the Democratic incumbent, Martin O’Malley.
Ehrlich is “the better man for the job, in this time, in this area,” said Hadfield, whose 25-year-old son, Jordan, mounted a strong primary challenge against longtime state Sen. Norman Stone in District 6.
Three main reasons for his allegiance in this one race, Hadfield said: jobs, jobs and jobs.
“We’ve lost 142,000 jobs” in the Dundalk area over the last 40 years, he said, a fact he doesn’t necessarily blame on every office holder. They just don’t seem to have done enough to bring in new jobs, he said.
“I teach all 12th graders” in Dundalk High School, said Hadfield, who teaches technology. “They can’t wait to get out of Dundalk.”
In his view, “O’Malley has done nothing for this district,” and Ehrlich has a plan to establish business incubators in Dundalk, Essex, Edgemere and Rosedale to help build new companies, and to reform the tax code to give businesses a break.
He was spending the day passing out literature to voters here and nearby precincts, and said he was finding a most receptive audience in an area where Ehrlich – who grew up on the other side of Baltimore County in Arbutus – has always been an unusually popular Republican.
“Ehrlich all the way,” said Hadfield, referring to the response from voters he’s talked with.