Some Post Election Thoughts

I wanted to join my colleagues Mark Newgent and Chester Peake to give some initial thoughts on last night’s election.

First, let me congratulate the members of what I hope will be the RedMaryland caucus, the candidates we endorsed early in the process that are headed to Annapolis. Mike Hough won a very impressive victory in District 3B. Justin Ready, as a first time candidate, came in first in the multi-delegate District 5A even outpacing the incumbent Nancy Stocksdale. Both these guys had to navigate tough waters both in the primary and general, worked extremely hard and ran great campaigns. We were right to spot their talent early and they are part of a brighter future for Maryland Republicans.

They will be joined by Delegates Tony McConkey and Mike Smiegel who we also endorsed early in the process. McConkey, who always seems to have a tough fight despite representing a solidly Republican district, once again suffered the slings and arrows of negative attacks to win a third term in the legislature. Delegate Smiegel, one of our favorites because of his outspoken conservatism, easily won another term.

While results are still coming in, it looks like Republicans have made gains in the General Assembly and done well in many county level races.

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Of course, all the positive news for Republicans last night was, in my opinion, overshadowed by the loss in the Governor’s race. The importance of that race could not be overstated, believe me we tried. What role the Ehrlichs choose to have in the MDGOP going forward and whether their supporters stay united behind someone or something or whether the party undergoes a complete reorganization will dominate our discussions on this blog for the coming weeks, months and years.

There will be a lot of work to do but it is important to keep some perspective. Things were every bit as bleak in 1990 and 1998, perhaps more so, but each time we found a way to be competitive and win in the next election cycle. And while we may fear coming redistricting it is important to remember that Parris Glendening did everything he could to screw the GOP after the 2000 census even to the point of violating the state constitution. It will be hard for O’Malley to do much worse though he will give it a try.

There will be a lot more to say about last night and about the way forward. RedMaryland will be there as we have been since 2007.

Hang in there. We will get there.

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