On the Campaign Trail

September 05, 2010

Rat ad

State Sen. Donald F. Munson accused his opponent, Del. Christopher B. Shank, of "attacking, attacking" in a series of campaign mailings.

"I considered the last couple to be vile," Munson said.

Munson struck back with a full-page ad in the Aug. 29 Herald-Mail. The headline: "Smear Artists At Work." It asked "Do you smell a rat?" and showed an illustration of a rat.

The ad alleges "last-minute charges, distortions and half-truths," without naming any or who made them.

But, in an interview, Munson acknowledged the ad was aimed at Shank and his campaign mail.

Munson said "hundreds of people" told him it was about time he was aggressive, without being personal.

Shank, though, called the newspaper ad "unfortunate."

He defended his mailings as meticulously researched, accurate examinations of Munson's record.

"If he wants to throw down in this very personal attack on my integrity and credibility, he has a burden to give examples," Shank said.


One Shank mailing says, "When it comes to illegal immigration, Don Munson is on the wrong side of the fence." It shows men looking around as they scale a fence.

Another piece says "Tired of Excuses?" and shows a picture of Munson amid thought bubbles giving different reasons why he voted in favor of money for Casa de Maryland, a group that helps immigrants.

A third mail piece groups three 1974 events: Richard Nixon's resignation, the Arab oil embargo and Munson's election to the Maryland General Assembly, alleging that, 36 years later, Munson has "abandoned" his conservative principles.

Candidate chat

Some Washington County candidates are planning to meet Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Bob Evans on Dual Highway in Hagerstown to eat and talk about issues. All candidates are welcome.

As of Friday, the RSVP list included school board candidates Dottie Gruhler and Shawn M. Bryce, and Washington County Commissioners candidates Robin Lynne Wivell and Joe Lane, according to Gruhler.

"This is a casual gathering in which we can get together and share some energy," Gruhler wrote in an e-mail.

Munson/Shank forum

A chance to hear state Sen. Donald F. Munson and Del. Christopher B. Shank talk together is coming up.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a forum for the two candidates Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. at Hager Hall Conference & Event Center at 901 Dual Highway.

Tickets cost $20 for anyone who didn't register by Friday. Call 301-739-2015, ext. 100.

Harshman fundraiser

Washington County Board of Education candidate Karen J. Harshman is holding an all-you-can-eat hamburger and hot dog cookout fundraiser Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Always Ron's on Burhans Boulevard in Hagerstown. Tickets cost $10 each. They're available at the door or by calling 301-739-8575.

--Andrew Schotz

"On The Campaign Trail" will run periodically. Send campaign news and tips to Andrew Schotz at">

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