Ghrist in MD-1?

Maryland’s first congressional district will be one of the hottest races in the state in 2010. Democrats at both the state and national level will do all they can to hold on to a seat not occupied by a Democrat for 18 years prior to Rep. Frank Kratovil’s victory in November.

Jeff Ghrist, a Republican Caroline County Commissioner, told the Caroline Times Record, he is looking to run against Andy Harris for the Republican nomination in Maryland’s first congressional district.

The most interesting part of the article

“I have done an awful lot of research and read a lot of articles on line and read the blogs attached to them. It seems to be the feeling of Republicans that they weren’t happy with Andy Harris. I bring a fresh face that they can support,” Ghrist said, adding that he won’t get involved in any negative campaign such as the one Harris waged against his opponents in 2006.

“My campaign is going to be about me and what I can do for this district. What (his opponents) have done (will be) irrelevant,” Ghrist insisted.

There does seem to be some lingering resentment about the type of negative campaign Harris ran last time, though Republican Primary voters tend to care more about where a candidate stands on the issues than whether they are “likeable”.

Being from the Eastern Shore should help Ghrist, but he is from the smallest county on the Shore – Caroline. (Did you know Caroline County is the only county on Maryland’s Eastern Shore that does not touch the Bay?)

Kratovil, who faces a tough vote on health care and has already bowed to U.S. House leadership in supporting climate change legislation, should prove an ample target for any Republican challenger: Harris, Ghrist or even E.J. Pipkin.

But the late primaries in an off-year election almost always benefit the incumbent, even in a tough district – something Kratovil’s colleagues, Steny Hoyer and Chris Van Hollen are well aware of.

The biggest sign that he is a competitive candidate will be if he can raise any money. If he raises no money he has no chance.

If Republicans want to win back their seat, they can’t have a contested primary.


3 Responses

  1. No disrespect guys, but neither Worcester nor Wicomico touch the bay. Worcester touches Pocomoke Sound. Wicomico – Tangier Sound. The only reason Somerset qualifies is because the western side of Smith Island does.

    No big deal, but you would have been more correct to state that Caroline is the only land-locked county on the Shore. Of course, they might argue that because of the Choptank River.

    As far as the MD-1 race goes, you are right that we need an uncontested primary.

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