Governor Ehrlich Endorses Andy Harris

Our colleague Michael Swartz gives a run down on the interesting race shaping up in MD-1 where state senator Andy Harris is challenging incumbent and nominal Republican Wayne Gilchrest.

The Baltimore Sun reports on an great development in that race, at least from my point of view as someone who wants to send Wayne Gilchrest packing: former Governor Bob Ehrlich has endorsed Andy Harris.

This has been coming for a while and though political endorsements, in my view, are overrated this endorsement has incredible significance.

In the past couple of elections my party, having worked long and hard to earn the monicker of the Stupid Party, has intervened in primaries on behalf of incumbents that were of little or no use to either the party or to conservatism.

In 2004, the party intervened in the Pennsylvania senatorial primary on behalf of the odious Arlen Specter (who used yard signs emblazoned “Kerry-Specter” in the general election) against a solid conservative Pat Toomey. In the primary Specter eeked out a victory of less than 2 points. Without the Republican party’s aid Specter would be drooling in his cream o’wheat and not actively working against us in the Senate.

In 2006, the Stupid Party apparatchiks again intervened in attempt to throw another solid conservative, Tim Walberg in MI-7, under the bus in favor of a candidate very much like Wayne Gilchrest, former Representative Joe Schwarz.

In fact, in 2004 the Maryland GOP directly intevened on behalf of Gilchrest in his primary race against state senator Richard Coburn.

Running against any incumbent is an uphill battle, but Gilchrest is showing the wild desperation of a politician who knows he’s on life support. The Harris campaign is outraising Gilchrest, Gilchrest has been reduced to claiming endorsements he has never received, denying his votes against the war in Iraq, and accepting campaign ads from far left groups.

The wild card in this melee has always been the actions of the national and state Republican parties. The Maryland GOP is pretty much on the ropes in terms of finances, cohesion, and clout so no one really cares what they do. The NRCC can, however, do what they did two years ago and actively support Gilchrest. The Ehrlich endoresement effectively forecloses this option. This is a note that tells Wayne Gilchrest there is no one left to lie to, there are no rabbits to pull out the hat, and he’s alone except for his friends in Moveon.org.






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