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Democrats dabble in humor at dinner

May 11, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

FUNKSTOWN -- Playing off the politics and wit of Saturday's White House Correspondents Association get-together, Washington County's Democrats dabbled in humor at their annual dinner on Monday.

Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, joked about Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown claiming to be the father of Donoghue's son P.J.

U.S. Rep. Christopher Van Hollen, D-Md., quipped that he won't get involved in a paternity suit between the two men.

Washington County Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire, a Democrat, cautioned people not to overbid on George W. Bush playing cards in the silent auction.

"Seems that the only thing you can do with those is go fish or declare war," Aleshire joked.

The Democrats also sounded serious themes -- unity, responsibility, progress -- at their Jefferson-Jackson Dinner at Next Dimensions Restaurant near Funkstown. About 125 people attended.

Aleshire offered a glimpse of his political future. He said he'll be "at the forefront" of the race for the district's state Senate seat after Republican Sen. Donald F. Munson retires.

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Reached Monday night, Munson -- who has held the seat since 1991 -- said he's told supporters for two years that he'll seek another four-year term in 2010.

"My intention is to run again," he said.

Aleshire was elected a county commissioner in 2006, during his second term on the Hagerstown City Council.

He said he ran for office the first time because he didn't want to wonder 20 years later how he could have made things better.

He said civic duty means being productive, working hard, abiding by the law and thinking of the community. He attends dozens of meetings of government, civic, fire department and other groups to hear their concerns.

Brown, a friend of Donoghue's from their days as state delegates, said the evening was a celebration of Democrats' accomplishments and values.

Federally, President Obama is making progress in turning around the economy, he said.

Maryland can be proud of its schools, affordable higher education, efficient government and diverse economy, Brown said.

Van Hollen, who also served with Donoghue in the Maryland House, said Democrats can't be complacent despite controlling the White House and Congress.

In all but two cases, the president's party lost Congress seats in the next election after he took office, he said.

"We need to make sure we stay in touch with the mood of the American people," Van Hollen said.

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