Outgoing Republican Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (District 1) threw his support behind Barack Obama for president this week, saying that the Obama-Biden ticket will do more to rebuild America’s image abroad. A moderate Republican from the Eastern shore, Gilchrest lost to State Sen. Andy Harris in the primary. Gilchrest’s support of Obama follows his recent endorsement of another Democrat, Frank Kratovil, who is running against Harris for the District 1 seat.
The pair will appear in a forum at Harford Community College tonight from 7 to 9 p.m., and will square off in a debate Sept. 30 at Salisbury University.
Gilchrest split with the Republican party largely over the Iraq war, which he voted for in 2002. Now on his way out in a district that trends conservative, Gilchrest’s brand of moderate Republicanism seems to have landed him squarely in league with the Democrats. For his part, Harris seems to be carrying the mantle – and the money – of the Ron Smith/Bob Ehrlich Republicans of Maryland. His signs, stickers, and buttons are everywhere, and in July, when Harris had a strong presence at every Independence Day parade in the district, he proudly announced on his website that he had $150,000 more cash on hand than the Kratovil campaign. Harris is down on illegal immigrants, thin on education, and absolutely hates human cloning, as evidenced in his sponsorship of the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2007, which died an early, unceremonial death without ever reaching the state house floor last year. As a practicing physician, Harris surely knows how serious the threat of human cloning is, and how pressing an issue its outlaw is to Marylanders.
Kratovil is close to Harris on immigration, as he has to be to stand a chance of winning in District 1.
Gilchrest was always my favorite congressman. Everybody loves Ruppersburger and everybody thinks Bartlett is crazy, but Gilchrest always seemed the most sincere.
I remember when I called him for an interview about Perry Point VA Medical Center in Perryville, right in the midst of the fallout over the conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC.
I didn’t really think I’d be able to get in touch with him on such short notice and on such a tenuous connection (had anyone checked to see if Perry Point was doing better than Water Reed). But lo and behold he called me right back. It was the last of what were a handful of positive interactions I had with him.
He told me he and his staffers had a poll going about what the name of my newspaper (Aegis) meant. Then he asked if I knew. When I correctly answered the question he congratulated me.
“Your reward is you get to talk to a congressman!” he said, in a gameshow announcer voice.
Anyway, it’s a shame he was ganged-up on and lost his re-election bid.
As for those looking to take his place, I used to be really impressed by Andy Harris. He was sharp, involved in national issues, yet always took care of his local constituents. Then he seemed, as with most other Republicans, to get swept up in the Bush-Cheney doctrine and went crazy proposing Ronald Reagan Day, etc.
I know next to nothing about Kratovil, but Gilchrest never seemed to me like the type of guy to make an endorsement like this out of spite to the party that turned its back on him.
Brian Young says
Gilchrest is wrong about Obama. John McCain led the effort to repair relations with North Vietnam after they tortured him. He got involved in politics because of his time traveling the world as the Navy liaison to the Senate, and has known foreign leaders for over 30 years. Barack Obama has little foreign policy experience, and doesn’t know foreign leaders personally.
McCain will be the President to led our country in the world for the next four years.
Andy Harris has fiscal and energy solutions. He’s a leader who has thought about his positions. He may be republican, but it’s because his policies fit with the republican party and not the other way around. Andy Harris will be a great congressman for the first district.
He dude…haven’t you heard? It’s the new trend now: If your own party doesn’t endorse you, SUPPORT THE OTHER!
vietnam vet says
Mc cain has to many issue’s. can you imagine him falling dead’ and palin takeing over. we thought we had problems before.lord have mercy’. no use asking god for help we turned our back on him too.
Jobeth Bowers says
Don’t forget the cecil county candidate forum(similar format to tonight’s) next month, October 7th at Cecil College.
For more info, check out the Cecil County Chamber of Commerce Website:
Completely non-political Pro for Andy Harris: I went to high school with his son, so Harris kindly arranged a behind-the-scenes tour of the State House for our class that got me interested in writing about government.
Completely non-political Con for Andy Harris: He and his driver backed into my parked car — with me in it — left a dent with their big “Harris for Congress” SUV, and drove off after Sen. Bob Hooper’s funeral. I didn’t notice the dent until a month later, but still… hit-and-run scandal?
For all of you conservatives who are not completely happy with the McCain ticket, please take a few minutes to educate yourself on the 3rd party of the future – the Constitution Party!
Chuck Baldwin for President and Darrell Castle for Vice President.
Do they have a chance?….no, not in our current political climate, but you can help to break up the two-party system that our forefathers warned us against for future elections!
DEMAND they be heard in future elections and debates, so the word can spread!…there IS an option!!!
Interesting sentence from their website, but I’m having trouble working it out…if one of the constitutional limits is separating church and state…how do we restore the law to its biblical foundations? Hmmm…
“Join the Constitution Party in its work to restore our government to its Constitutional limits and our law to its Biblical foundations.”
Another goody…A family is “divinely” intended to be a husband, a wife, and their children. I know its a shot at the gay community, but there are tons of variations to the modern-day family, and this as a “party principle” is just ludicrous.
Another direct shot at abortion laws: life is from “conception” to natural death. Gag.
This is just more mind-numbing crap. But by all means, keep drumming up votes for them, as I would love for them to get even a small fraction of McCain’s votes.
vietnam vet says
I don’t think mc cain is going any where. he’s under the spell of No Bama