Just 500 supporters may be enough

On the eve of the state Republican convention, it appears that Charles Lollar is making the GOP 2014 gubernatorial race at least a trio and perhaps a foursome. If this is the extent of his goal in making a decision, I think it will be one easily met:

Charles Lollar is the right man to be our next Governor.  With your help, we can make this happen. Join the Draft Lollar Team today or visit our Facebook page for all the events occurring around Maryland.  Please make sure you “like” the page, as well.  Our goal is to be at 500 “likes” by Christmas 2012.  Let’s create an environment for a truly successful campaign for the highest office in Maryland!

Our first mission is to have Ambassadors for the Draft Lollar Campaign at the MD GOP’s Fall Convention. This year’s convention will be held at Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center, in Ellicott City, Maryland, on November 30th and December 1st. This will be the first time we as a team will be seen promoting Charles Lollar as a potential Gubernatorial Candidate for the 2014 Election.

Now I’ve seen commentary questioning the idea of a candidate encouraging a draft effort, but I can’t say that this is a bad thing. It creates buzz and the opportunity for free media, which are two things I generally find interesting on the surface. Sometimes I dig and find substance behind the sizzle and sometimes the substance is lacking; in this case I believe there’s plenty of matter to discuss. Personally I think Charles will jump into the race and here’s why.

With the success of Change Maryland at attracting followers (25,000 and counting) it’s likely state Republicans will allow Charles to blow by the number prescribed – I would say a good marketing strategy would place Lollar’s support in the 2,000 to 3,000 range. Larry Hogan’s group is far and away the social media leader; by comparison the Facebook page for fellow Republicans David Craig and Blaine Young have 1,534 and 127 “likes” respectively. (Lollar’s nascent “draft” page is at 152 “likes” as of this writing.) Charles also has the advantage of a little bit of statewide name recognition, although his southern Maryland base isn’t really the center of population.

I can also tell you that at least two of these contenders will be pressing the flesh this weekend at the convention since David Craig’s infamous e-mail invitation was to a hospitality suite there, while Blaine Young used old-fashioned snail mail to convey his message. (Young’s message, while perhaps a little clunky on sentence structure, did have all the words spelled correctly and in place.) It wouldn’t surprise me to see Larry Hogan or Lollar there, either.

You know, for a party that everyone writes off, people sure do look for support from us. While I’ve met all these candidates (Lollar, Craig, Hogan, and Young) in person somewhere along the line, it will be good to take a fresh look at their qualifications and see how much substance they have. It’s not too early to back a 2014 candidate who makes a good impression and is right on the issues.