Once again, it’s the fourth Monday of the month and I spent the evening at the Wicomico County Republican Club meeting. Our attendance was somewhat lower than in months past but pretty good for not having a speaker announced beforehand. As always, the Pledge of Allegiance and club business came first, and then we heard from an assortment of speakers under the topic of new business.
First off, club President Bill Hall mentioned the PACE/MPPI Town Hall meeting this upcoming Wednesday that I noted on the Election Calendar last night, but also added something I didn’t know about, so this will be an Election Calendar update of sorts.
October 26: District 38B Delegate hopeful Michael James is holding a Meet and Greet Reception at the Blue Ox Steakhouse on 127th Street in Ocean City from 5-7 p.m. Cost is $25 and RSVP goes to Rose Brous, (410) 289-7039.
And another event I actually forgot to include last night that I knew about:
November 6: Congressman Wayne Gilchrest is hosting an Election Eve Victory Rally from 6:30 to 8:00 at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center, 300 S. Salisbury Boulevard in Salisbury (that’s Business Route 13 for those out-of-towners reading this.) As it says on my flyer, All Republican Candidates, Friends, and Supporters Invited! (It’s a free event too, so I’ll stop in before the Central Committee meeting that night – luckily they’re close together.)
Ok, back to the club meeting. Ellen Andrews of Governor Ehrlich’s campaign was next to speak, and she commented on the good attendance at the Autumn Wine Festival. (I’ll post on that sometime this week since I was there as a volunteer.) She also once again stressed the importance of getting out the GOP voters, and we found out about a caravan of support that will run from here to OC the Saturday before the election. (Sort of like a funeral procession for the O’Malley bid?) I’ll see if I can nail down details for this by the next Election Calendar.
Joe Ollinger of Ron Alessi’s County Executive campaign was next up. Before I continue, I’d like to thank Ron for providing the food, particularly the brownies. But Alessi didn’t stay for the meeting, Joe spoke on his behalf. Mostly he was looking for volunteers, and he had a unique trinket to pass out (everyone got a small bag of them) – bottlecaps which say “Vote for Ron Alessi – keep the cap” (a reference to Wicomico County’s revenue cap.) I actually had my own bag of caps and left them there, darn it. I set them aside because I was writing notes on the meeting and didn’t grab them when I went to ask Ellen Andrews a question afterward.
Woody Willing of the Board of Elections briefly commented on the state of voter registration – registrants since the process reopened after the primary are running almost 2 to 1 in favor of Republicans (261 to 144) so we’ve chopped 100 off the gap in a month, which puts us on pace to overtake the D’s in 4 years (just like my goal.)
Central Committee head Dr. John Bartkovich also thanked the Wine Fest volunteers (you’re welcome) and asked for people to serve as a backdrop for our upcoming TV ad to be taped tomorrow. Also tomorrow begins the radio advertising campaign that will be on various local stations.
Continuing, John was looking for volunteers to work at headquarters, noted that the latest polls had both Steele and Ehrlich within the margin of error as far as their races go, and briefly explained the statewide ballot questions. The one that irks me the most is the parkland one, it’s simply the General Assembly making another power grab. Before the election, I’m going to attempt to break down these questions…just a lot of races to cover in not a lot of time! (Actually, Crabbin’, one of our fine local blogs, has gotten a head start on it.)
One other item that was covered in brief as Bill Hall reassumed the speaker’s role was letters of gratitude from Mike Lewis, Ron Alessi, Rich Colburn, Stevie Prettyman, and William Smith for our club’s contribution to their respective campaigns. Since Gail Bartkovich was one of the few candidates present, she also thanked us in person.
Delegate Page Elmore was among the last to speak as he pointed out how much capital funding Governor Ehrlich had given to Wicomico County in general and in particular Salisbury University. According to Elmore, the $49 million received by SU this year was the largest capital works allocation in the state, surpassing even the main College Park campus of the University of Maryland.
Unfortunately, the speaker anticipated for tonight couldn’t attend. Jason Schumaker works for Scott Rolle’s Attorney General campaign. It was noted by others who were here tonight that Rolle’s opponent, Doug Gansler, is quite liberal and has had scrapes with the state’s highest court insofar as professional ethics are concerned. (I link to Gansler’s campaign site as well as Scott Rolle’s, both under Maryland Statewide.)
This meant that we had a pretty short meeting compared to the average and I’m actually through recounting it at a decent hour. I believe we’ll have a meeting next month if only to plan for the annual Christmas party, then it’ll be a slower time as we recover from this year’s election and lay the groundwork for the next partisan election in 2008.