GOP Senate Primary Turns Negative
While the Ben Cardin vs Chelsea Manning Senate primary turned into a snoozer, the Republican primary has turned negative.
Christina Grigorian sent out an email on Tuesday attacking primary opponent Tony Campbell’s driving record and calling on him to drop out of the race. It is unclear to whom this email was sent; Red Maryland is not included on Grigorian’s distribution list.
From: Christina Grigorian <email@example.com>
Date: June 19, 2018 at 12:40:45 PM EDT
To: Christina Grigorian <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Tony Campbell Must Step Down . . .
Fellow Republicans —
Trending: Catherine Pugh Should Resign
Tony Campbell must step out of the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate for reasons that have nothing to do with his politics, which are clearly out of step with the Republican Party (e.g., working to elect Obama, seeking Progressive Maryland’s endorsement in 2014, etc.).
According to Maryland judicial records which were brought to our attention yesterday, Antonio (“Tony”) Wade Campbell has been charged with four violations in connection with an alleged hit and run that occurred in Baltimore County last month. The specific charges against Mr. Campbell are: (1) failing to stop after damaging an unattended vehicle, (2) failure of driver in an accident to locate and notify the owner of a damaged vehicle, (3) failure of a driver in an accident to provide insurance policy information, and (4) failure of a driver to furnish required identification in or on an unattended damaged vehicle.
A preliminary inquiry hearing on these charges was held in Baltimore County District Court on May 31, 2018, and his trial is scheduled for August 6, 2018. Under applicable law, if Mr. Campbell is found guilty of certain of these misdemeanors, he could be subject to fines, imprisonment, or both.
If these allegations of a late night hit-and-run incident are true, one must strongly question whether Mr. Campbell has the integrity and ethics needed to represent the people of Maryland in the U.S. Senate. (Remember the famous saying, “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”) To be sure, this would not be the character of someone worthy of representing Maryland Republicans in the general election. Furthermore, our party should not suffer the public spectacle of its U.S. Senate candidate fighting hit-and-run charges in the middle of the general election. And you can be sure that the media and the Democrats would find ways to use these alleged violations to taint other Republican candidates up and down the ballot. In my opinion, these events disqualify Mr. Campbell as a viable candidate.
I am calling for Mr. Campbell to immediately drop out of the U.S. Senate race. In addition, I am calling for all of those who have endorsed Mr. Campbell to immediately rescind their endorsements. While Mr. Campbell has not yet been found guilty of these charges, the fact that he is alleged to have engaged in this conduct and must now defend himself requires him to do what is right for our party and the people of Maryland.
If you would like to discuss my campaign for the U.S. Senate, please contact me at (301) 525-3610 or email me at this address.
Christina J. Grigorian
Candidate, U.S. Senate
Campbell shot back this afternoon
In regards to the e-mail from my opponent, here are the facts:
1) A few weeks ago, I was involved in a minor vehicle incident in a parking lot. I did not realize I had made contact with the other vehicle until I received a note at my residence the next day.
2) The scrape to the parked vehicle (2017 Jeep Renegade) is estimated at $1,000 to fix and is being handled by my insurance company.
I have no intention of withdrawing from this race. My opponent has shown herself to be a political opportunist who does not deserve to serve as the Republican nominee for the United States Senate.
She has never bothered to be active in the Republican Party. Never volunteered to be an officer of a Republican Club. She is Pro-choice, weak on the 2nd Amendment, weak on immigration and not a supporter of President Trump.
We have pro-choice lawyer as a United States Senator presently. Give Marylanders a real choice in November. I ask for your continued support, your prayers and your vote.
Republican candidate, US Senate
This primary has been relatively sleepy. As we have noted previously, the only candidate we have seen at events for the most is Campbell, who has been just about everywhere.
Grigorian’s campaign, so far, seems like it has been focused on showing up at events and buying sponsored posts on Facebook like this one which is coyly attacking somebody (presumably Campbell). It doesn’t seem like there is a coherent message or reason for the campaign. Campbell’s charge about Grigorian being pro-abortion is not refuted by anything that we have seen on her website; her issues page is a nearly blank slate full of platitudes with vague conservative messages, but also ones that sound like she may very well support gun control, prioritize transit, and she may oppose school choice.
We’d love to get clarity on Grigorian’s campaign, her reason for launching the attack on Campbell, and on the issues but it looks like we will never get that. Grigorian has, as of this writing, not completed our US Senate Candidate Survey. Grigorian and conspiracy theorist Gerald Smith are the only Senate candidates who have refused to complete our candidate survey (you can see the others here). Additionally, Grigorian has refused to participate in this Thursday’s US Senate debate being sponsored by Red Maryland. Grigorian’s only interaction with Red Maryland was a very, very brief interview during our Spring Maryland Republican Party Convention show.
Why is Grigorian actively dodging talking to Maryland’s only conservative news source? A good question.
We’ll let Campbell’s statement speak for itself. The most interesting thing about this is the fact that after a nearly somnambulant campaign, Grigorian launched a broadside at Campbell in the middle of early voting. That Grigorian wants to be doing this a week out from election day while simultaneously dodging a debate aimed at Maryland’s conservative primary voters not talking about the issues is a stunning indictment of her candidacy.
We’ll know in a week from now who the winner of this exchange will be. But be sure to join Campbell and the other candidates who were willing to debate this Thursday to learn more about them and make an informed decision before voting.