GOP gear up for election 2006

May 11, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM


Most Maryland Republicans at the Lincoln Day Dinner Wednesday night were enthusiastic about their party's prospects going into the 2006 elections.

Except for Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat.

"It's tough," he said. "You'd be crazy not to admit it's tough."

Steele was the guest speaker at the dinner at the Four Points Sheraton in Hagerstown. About 250 guests attended the annual Republican dinner, said Paula Lampton, Washington County Republican Central Committee chairwoman.

Scott Hesse, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the House of Delegates seat in District 2C, said he believes voters are ready for a change in Annapolis. District 2C roughly encompasses the City of Hagerstown.


"Hagerstown needs a better local representative," Hesse said.

He did not believe that President Bush's low approval rating would affect local Republican candidates despite reports to the contrary.

"That has little effect on state and local races," he said.

Del. George C. Edwards, R-Garrett/Allegany and House minority leader, is running for state Senate, and said he is enthusiastic and energized about the upcoming election.

"I think we're going to elect a lot of Republicans from this part of the state," he said.

Former Delegate Paul Muldowney again is seeking public office in House of Delegates District 2C.

"The climate (for Republicans) is as good as it was four years ago," he said. "I hope we sweep Western Maryland with Republicans."

Muldowney said his party can do that simply by talking about everything the current administration has accomplished. Fiscal responsibility, increased funding for education and new jobs were just some of the accomplishments that should be talked about, said Bo Harmon, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s campaign coordinator.

Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, said the atmosphere moving into the 2006 elections was positive.

"The momentum is there," he said. "Particularly in Washington County."

Steele said while the momentum is there, the political climate for Republicans is "poisonous" and "tough."

"It can become a distraction," he said. "They will try to make it a distraction."

Steele described the upcoming election as an election of change, and said he looks forward to working for the people of Maryland in the U.S. Senate.

"People ask me why I'm running for Senate, and it's to get something done," Steele said.

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