I’ll let Maryland Republican Party Chair Alex Mooney get the first word in:
Earlier today, the House of Delegates passed Governor O’Malley’s gerrymandered Congressional District Plan.
After only a short debate, the House voted to pass it 91-46. It needed 85 votes for passage. We were 7 votes away from stalling the Governor’s plan. 7 votes. And last night, we were only 3 votes away from stopping it in the Senate. (Emphasis in original.)
Well, you already know how I feel about the situation, but I have two other observations to add before I call it a night.
First of all, there probably is or will shortly be a party at State Senator Rob Garagiola’s house because the governor did his level best to put him in Congress – never mind he has nothing at all in common with the residents of the “traditional” Sixth District.
Second, my hunch is pretty strong that we have one more Republican Senate entrant, and his name will not be Eric Wargotz. I think Pat McDonough sees the writing on the Congressional wall and will go for a statewide race. Of course, there is one caveat – he would have to do a lot of campaigning during the regular General Assembly session. But we know he’s running for something and it’s more likely now that a statewide race will be his preference.
But it’s those seven damn votes in the House of Delegates and three in the Senate which may haunt us for the next ten years. Even more so is the thought we were thisclose to keeping two Senate seats, and if we were only one vote short perhaps one other Democrat besides Senator Muse would have turned. (Knowing that, we also know that Jim Mathias voted for the plan. I also looked up the committee vote, and sure enough Delegate Norm “Five Dollar” Conway voted it out of committee. Why am I not shocked?)
So we fight on. In 2014 it’s time to remember this because they can’t get rid of all the conservatives. If we turn out 100 percent we still win.