In today’s Examiner, it’s reported that incumbent Wayne Gilchrest and challenger Andy Harris are running neck and neck in the battle over campaign donations. This article got me thinking. With the February 12 primary election date looming, I expected these two would’ve been more aggressive in their attacks on each other by this stage in the game. In fact, it’s the only prayer Harris has if he thinks he can unseat a long time Congressman. If Harris thinks he can rely on the anti-Gilchrest sentiment that infests his safe republican district, then he clearly has no understanding of the 1st District as a whole. With Eastern Shore folk, it’s an us versus them philosophy. Despite some of his wacky votes, Gilchrest is viewed as a friend and neighbor. They’ll be damned if they’ll allow an outside like Harris to come in and declare he’s the new sheriff in town. And unfortunately for Harris, due to that motivator, there’s potentially a lot more likely voters on that side of the bridge than this one.
Attacks or no attacks, I still expect Gilchrest will win especially since there are currently 4 declared candidates in the race on the republican side. I predict the few anti-Gilchrest republicans on the Shore will end up voting for native John Leo Walter. Splitting the vote among challengers usually means victory for an incumbent. Even if Harris prevails (in what will have to be an ugly fight), he’ll still have to face the likely democratic nominee, and Eastern Shore native, Frank Kratovil in the general. Anyway you shake it, I doubt the Shore will concede their seat to any outsider from the west.