Ehrlich vs Murphy
Earlier two RedMaryland contributors wrote posts in support of Brian Murphy’s campaign to earn the privilege of cleaning Martin O’Malley’s clock in November.
I’d like to take a couple of minutes to address their points and make my own views known.
For the record, I don’t think we’ve done a lot of Murphy bashing on the site. We’ve endorsed Ehrlich because we believe, all things considered, he’s the better candidate to face Governor O’Malley. We don’t necessarily believe that Governor Ehrlich is more conservative that Mr. Murphy and this isn’t a test of “electability.” It is our considered judgment that considering the merits of both men, Governor Ehrlich is the stronger candidate and will be better able to expand the minuscule ranks of Maryland elected Republicans.
I agree the efforts by the Maryland GOP to clear the field for Governor Ehrlich was wrong. Party organizations have no business picking winners and losers amongst candidates. That is a function that should be reserved to the candidates and the voters. The party organization is there to support the party’s nominee. We’ve seen both in Maryland and at the national level that the interference of the national party apparatus in primaries very, very rarely results in a win for the party. You only have to look at the pathetic record of the RNC, NRSC and NRCC to see what I mean.
Governor Ehrlich is an impressive candidate. He didn’t need the help and perversely the help that he received may very well cost him votes amongst the GOP base which is getting increasingly torqued over this poor-man’s king making.
They also make a very good point. While conservatives from which Mr. Murphy will draw most, if not all, his primary support historically close ranks and vote GOP in the general election, GOP moderates have a rather shameful history of voting democrat if they don’t get their way in the primary. If Mr. Murphy pulls an upset in the primary, he has every reason to expect that Governor Ehrlich’s supports, which includes the editors of the site, to give him their full support.
Personally, I think Mr. Murphy is a good candidate. I think having a strong conservative candidate in the race serves the Maryland GOP well by giving voice to a philosophy which is based on free markets and free people. Rather the antithesis of the cradle to grave nanny state we’ve managed to grow here in Maryland.
So I hope Mr. Murphy gives Governor Ehrlich a run for his money because the winner will be stronger and better able to retire the incumbent.