During a Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce GOP Congress candidate forum Monday, Del. Kathryn L. Afzali talked about going “nose to nose, toes to toes” as a campaigner.
That nearly happened after she said during her closing statement that she has been praised for “passing bills that Senator (David) Brinkley tried for 20 years to pass.”
Later, she told The Herald-Mail that she was referring to last year’s bill to exempt agricultural land worth no more than $5 million from an estate tax.
Afzali recruited Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, to push for the bill. He promised to testify for the bill in the House, but only spoke for the Senate version, sponsored by Sen. Ronald N. Young, D-Frederick/Washington.
O’Malley spokeswoman Takirra Winfield wrote in an email Monday that “a scheduling conflict” kept the governor from testifying in the House.
This year, the bill is back, with broader support.
The Gazette quoted Afzali in January as saying someone “very high in the administration” told her the bill would pass this year, but without her name on it.
However, Winfield wrote that the governor’s office asked Afzali if she wanted to be a sponsor “at the start of the session when we submitted the legislation.”
Regardless, when Monday’s forum was over, Brinkley and his campaign spokesman, Don Murphy, challenged Afzali to explain her allegation about Brinkley and the bill.
As she prepared for a TV news interview, Afzali asked if the men were trying to intimidate her.
Brinkley, a state lawmaker for 17 years, noted that he hasn’t even been in the General Assembly for 20 years and that the bill she mentioned hasn’t passed yet.