Harris concedes First District race

It was a bittersweet day in Salisbury today; the weather was nice for this outdoor event but the results of Election 2008 finally sank in as Republican State Senator Andy Harris conceded the votes weren’t there to win the First Congressional District seat over Democrat Frank Kratovil.

State Senator Andy Harris faces questions during his concession press conference in Salisbury this afternoon.

Standing in front of the old courthouse, Harris read from a page of prepared remarks before taking questions from the press gathered for the appearance.

State Senator Andy Harris made a last-minute change to his speech. Accepting the pen back is Upper Shore campaign director Pat McLaughlin (right), looking on is local blogger Joe Albero (center).

Andy Harris speaks in front of media assembled from both Salisbury and Baltimore. It really wasn't as chilly as the woman suggests it was.

In his remarks, Harris gave thanks to the veterans who served and spoke about this “journey” he had traveled over the last year and a half. He also thanked his family, his volunteers, and the “amazing, hardworking” people of his district who sought a “piece of the American dream.” Andy also brought up the fact that his parents were immigrants to America and perhaps never dreamed their son could have the opportunity to run for Congress, yet he had.

After noting he had spoken to opponent Frank Kratovil earlier that morning, he wished Frank well in Congress and said it was time to “come together as Americans united.” Meanwhile, Andy needed to go back to work in the Maryland General Assembly to lower taxes and cut spending in Annapolis.

A small group of perhaps two dozen supporters were present to wish Andy well and thank him for making the effort.

In front of about two dozen supporters who took time from their lunch hour to attend, Andy answered a few quick questions after giving his concession speech. In not winning, Andy simply stated that Americans had “delivered a message for a different direction”, and while he didn’t agree with it he respected the decision. While the question about whether the campaign was too negative came up, Andy saw it more as a “vigorous debate” and when asked what he’d do differently kiddingly remarked the obvious, “win the election.”

After he sidestepped a commitment to run again in 2010, the final question that was asked was whether not being from the Eastern Shore hurt Harris in the race, to which he responded it “may have been a hurdle.”

Here is where I take off the reporter hat and begin the editorial.

Unless the Eastern Shore begins growing rapidly, we’re always going to share a Congressman with another part of the state. While the two sides of the Shore are different, there’s nothing that ever said we were “entitled” to have a Congressman from our side of the bay – prior to Wayne Gilchrest, then-Congressman Roy Dyson lived in southern Maryland. Neither Frank Kratovil nor Andy Harris grew up on the Eastern Shore, and while Kratovil hails from Maryland, the D.C. suburbs are a far cry from the lifestyle we have here.

It will be interesting to see just how often Frank comes around to our part of the state now that he’s won. One knock against Wayne Gilchrest was that he didn’t seem to be around all that often, and odds are Frank Kratovil has that EZ-Pass all set up to zip back and forth across that Bay Bridge he lives in the shadow of. The question is just how often the car will roll any farther down Route 50.

I’d rather have a Congressman who lives on the other side of the bridge and represents a good conservative viewpoint than one who happens to live on my side but won’t often vote that way.

Comments

5 Responses to “Harris concedes First District race”

  1. WICOMICO COUNTY (MD) on November 11th, 2008 10:04 pm

    Harris concedes First District race…

    It was a bittersweet day in Salisbury today; the weather was nice for this outdoor event but the results of Election 2008 finally sank in as Republican State Senator Andy Harris conceded the votes weren’t there to win the First……

  2. Joe Blow on November 11th, 2008 11:15 pm

    Napoleon returns to Waterloo?

  3. Austin on November 12th, 2008 3:29 pm

    It is sad indeed when you cant seem to quit the insults of our newly elected Congressman. You continue to tell us how Frank will vote and you thought you knew how we would vote. Clearly you dont know much at all.

  4. Michael on November 12th, 2008 7:55 pm

    Where did I insult Frank Kratovil? Questioning whether he’ll continue to appear in this area and interact with his constituents? Questioning his independence?

    I make no apologies for being conservative or being skeptical. Tell me how much of this I should agree with.

    Certainly I have my disagreements with him and, depending on the final count, I’m representing either the majority or the vast, vast minority of First District voters who found either Andy Harris or Richard James Davis the better candidate.

  5. Taking advantage of the third party : monoblogue on October 26th, 2010 8:16 pm

    […] had Davis not been on the ballot, but chances are good Andy may have won. As you may recall Andy didn’t officially concede until the absentee count showed he was too far […]

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