On the Campaign Trail

August 22, 2010

Ehrlich likes both, endorses neither

Former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich has pledged not to endorse either candidate in the Republican primary between state Sen. Donald F. Munson and Del. Christopher B. Shank. But he's not keeping quiet.

Ehrlich said about Del. Christopher B. Shank: "With everything that is wrong with one-party rule in Annapolis, Chris Shank represents what is right -- a strong leader who has never compromised values. We need leaders like Chris Shank to move our agenda forward in Annapolis."

Shank used the Ehrlich quote on a campaign mailing.

Munson supporter Gidget Gallahan found the mailing misleading, as if Ehrlich were endorsing Shank.

But, while in Hagerstown for a business roundtable, Ehrlich said the quote was accurate. He also said he planned to make a statement about Munson.

A few days later, he did: "Don Munson is known in Annapolis for working tirelessly on behalf of his constituents. The people of Washington County are fortunate to have him as a member of the Budget and Taxation Committee."


Xanthy Munson-Hoover, Munson's daughter and campaign manager, said the new Ehrlich quote will go out on campaign mailings soon.

A vote apart

During the roundtable, Ehrlich blasted Gov. Martin O'Malley and other Democrats for raising the income tax on millionaires, calling it "class warfare tax policy" that drove families out of Maryland.

The tax passed "despite the protestations of these folks surrounding me here," Ehrlich said, gesturing at two delegates and two senators sitting near him.

Except Munson, one of the senators, voted for the tax.

Afterward, Ehrlich said he didn't know about Munson's vote and called it a bad one.

But Munson is sticking by his vote. He said he did it to support O'Malley in exchange for the governor's intervention to save funding for the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown. The plan, as Munson described it, worked.

Right to Life choices

The Maryland Right to Life Political Action Committee has made endorsements for this year's election. Local picks so far include:

  • U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md.

  • State Sen. George C. Edwards, R-Garrett/Allegany/Washington, District 1

  • State Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, District 2

  • State Sen. Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, District 3

  • Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., R-Washington/Allegany, Subdistrict 1C

  • Del. Andrew A. Serafini, R-Washington, Subdistrict 2A

  • Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, Subdistrict 2C

  • Michael Hough, running for state delegate in Subdistrict 3B

    There was no pick in the Subdistrict 2B delegate race.

    The PAC also endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Murphy and Jim Rutledge, a Republican running for U.S. senator.

    Poffenberger picnic

    Democratic state delegate candidate Brien J. Poffenberger is holding a Picnic in the Park fundraiser Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Funkstown Community Park. Tickets for adults cost $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Tickets for those younger than 12 cost $5 in advance, $6 at the door.

    -- Andrew Schotz

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

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