On the Campaign Trail

May 24, 2010
  • Neil Parrott

Bipartisan welcome

A Republican spoke fondly of a Democrat in Hagerstown last week, and vice versa.

The occasion was a visit by Maryland Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot, who was on a statewide "listening tour."

During a roundtable talk at Coldwell Banker Innovations on Dual Highway, state Sen. Donald F. Munson welcomed Franchot to Washington County, which he called "the very best place on Earth."

Munson told the group he and Franchot have known each other for many years and said Franchot's staff is always helpful.

Franchot, at one point, said, "There's not a harder-working advocate for Western Maryland than Sen. Don Munson."

Both men are running for re-election this year. Munson is facing a Republican challenge for his seat from Del. Christopher B. Shank.

Asked how across-the-aisle camaraderie might be seen during a primary battle, Munson said there's no connection.

"I'm a senator," he said. "One of the responsibilities is to greet elected officials and I'm here to do that today ... My primary responsibility is not politics today."


Poffenberger launching campaign

Brien J. Poffenberger plans to announce this week what has been discussed openly for months: He's running for state delegate in Subdistrict 2B.

In February, Poffenberger, a Democrat, took an unpaid leave of absence from his job as president and CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce to focus on his campaign.

Last week, he e-mailed supporters about his plan to kick off his campaign Wednesday at 6 p.m. on the square in Sharpsburg.

On the Republican side, Neil Parrott got the jump on Poffenberger by filing to run in February. Both have been raising money for their campaigns for months.

The race opened after Christopher B. Shank, the current 2B delegate, announced he was challenging Sen. Donald F. Munson in a Republican primary this year.

Hough hoofs it

State delegate candidate Michael Hough figured that a good way to meet Subdistrict 3B residents was to walk among them.

He did that over a three-day period this month, starting in Sandy Hook in Washington County on May 4 and finishing in Kemptown in Frederick County, Md., on May 6.

Hough said he talked to more than 100 residents and business owners.

While walking 15 miles the first day, 15 the second and 10 the third, he developed a few blisters, but nothing serious, he said.

Hough, a Republican, is facing the current 3B delegate, Charles A. Jenkins, in a primary.

-- Andrew Schotz

"On The Campaign Trail" will run periodically. Campaign news and tips may be sent to Andrew Schotz at"> For information about local, state and federal candidates who have filed to run in the coming election, go to Under "Home," click on "Tristate Elections."

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