Update 2, 8 p.m.: There is a draft movement to get writer and former State Senate candidate Ron Miller to run. I also have it on good authority that another former Delegate and candidate is considering the race as well.
Update: Eric Wargotz is on record in the Washington Post as considering a bid, too.
“We need to change the mindset — the idea that Republicans can’t win here. I’m a physician. I believe there’s a cure and a diagnosis for everything.”
A published report is now saying that Brian Murphy is “hinting” that he wants to be Maryland GOP Chair. Obviously the angle presented by Sun writer Anne Linskey is one of a near-rematch between Brian Murphy and Mary Kane – technically this rematch would be true if Mike Ryman jumped into the race (and for all I know right now observing this race he just might.)
Certainly Murphy would bring a more conservative element to the chairmanship, and those of us who supported him in the gubernatorial election were reminded on November 2nd that those naysayers who said only Bob Ehrlich had a chance against Martin O’Malley were, oh, only about 14 1/2 points shy of being right. Shoot, Brian could have gotten 40 percent of the vote just by being a underfunded placeholder.
The rub for any of these “insurgent” candidates, though, is whether they can keep some of the large donors and rainmakers on board. Of course, business sense does help when it comes to running a party, but there’s no denying that a number of people and entities decided to step up and open their checkbooks the moment Audrey Scott was elected. As I reported at the time:
In the spirit of cooperation, Mike Collins of Anne Arundel County began a parade of people willing to donate to the party. All told, the impromptu effort raised $4,000 for the party coffers, which included donations from two county committees.
In thinking back, though, one could construe that effort as a little bit insulting. The party’s needs didn’t change and hopefully its principles didn’t change either, but suddenly they were worth donating to again. Will Mike Collins and his ilk again snap their wallets shut in a snit if Murphy or another non-establishment candidate (read: anyone besides Mary Kane) wins? That seems like a poor reaction to losing control of a party that, quite frankly, badly underperformed on a state level.
One who will not be running is Jim Rutledge, who announced on his Facebook page he wouldn’t be a candidate. But he had some strong words for those who were:
This is the time for bold leadership, not the time to succumb to the siren’s song of moderation, liberalization, and the club mentality of the Rockefeller republicans who have held sway over too many elements of the party in MD for too long. We in MD are being ruled not represented. Money is king and those that have it threaten to walk if they do not get their way. I say, let them walk, no let them run to their democrat friends. It is time for the ruling class to be deposed. Just look at the MD GOP website today promoting a celebration of Audrey Scott who presided over one of the worst GOP performances in the nation. After losing 2 MD Senate seats, she should have taken the honorable path and resigned immediately.
Time is short, and under pressure, taking the familiar “safe” way will be a great temptation. Take the opportunity now to buck the trends and strike for a new face on the MD GOP. The phone calls and emails having been flying and clamoring for new leadership and a new direction. The enemies of liberty abound, and we are counting on you to strike the ground for freedom now.
I write as a citizen. I am no longer a candidate, and I am not running for the Chair. I have obligations to fulfill that will not permit me to give the job the time it will require.
The “familiar ‘safe’ way” got us drubbed by 14 1/2 points and only netted us 4 seats in the General Assembly. But in areas the state party didn’t touch nearly as much we were much more successful – look at our success here in Wicomico County where we picked up at least one (and possibly two) County Council seats and the State’s Attorney office. (Too bad we couldn’t fill the whole ballot or we may have done even better!) And I’d be willing to wager that those who run as the most conservative alternatives win easily in Salisbury’s upcoming election (which is nonpartisan.)
Maybe it’s time to listen to those who have success?
Blog note: I think I’m going to create a widget for my sidebar on the ins, outs, and maybes. Look for it later today or tomorrow.