Not to be forgotten

In recent weeks, 2012 U.S. Senate candidate Dan Bongino has created a lot of buzz regarding his future plans, rumors which included everything from being appointed to the recently vacated Anne Arundel County Executive post or being elected Maryland Republican Party Chair to a potential run for Governor. While the two former options were eliminated in a statement from Dan, many still speculate about his possible pursuit of the Governor’s chair.

Apparently the proverbial “last year’s model” didn’t want people to forget about him and his own run from not-so-long ago, so I received an e-mail on Saturday which explained the following:

Dear Friend,

Eric Wargotz believes that the economic health and well-being of all Americans must come first. That is precisely why we are working with Eric to determine what his next move should be. As the 2014 elections approach, we are examining opportunities at both the State and Federal levels as well as locally.

Eric Wargotz is a rare blend of individual who truly understands what it is to serve. As a physician, caring family man, business owner, former County Commissioner and U.S. Senate Nominee, Eric Wargotz understands that you come first, that together we hold the power and that he works for all of us. Conservative and compassionate, Eric Wargotz understands the complex issues facing us and believes in working towards common-sense solutions and not through oppressive government policies which threaten our liberties and our private enterprise. Eric Wargotz has a proven record of fiscal conservatism including reducing taxes and job creation.

Eric Wargotz was Maryland’s Republican U.S. Senate Nominee in 2010 and continues to be an active community leader throughout the State. Dr. Wargotz garnered the largest percentage of the vote in the history of challenges to this entrenched incumbent Senator and Washington Insider. Eric Wargotz is a respected physician, small-business owner, and former elected President of the Queen Anne’s County, MD Board of County Commissioners who while in office:

  • KEPT his promises.
  • LOWERED taxes.
  • INCREASED government transparency and accountability.
  • Made PRIVATE SECTOR JOB CREATION a top priority.

“Like you, I am outraged by career politicians who care more about their political lives than the people who elected them. Politics as usual has gotten us into this mess, and both parties share the blame for where we are today. It’s time we returned to our core roots of fiscal discipline and job creation to dig America out of this hole and secure our nation’s future. Please support me and my team in our effort to raise necessary funds to pursue the path to victory as we survey the landscape to explore how best I may serve you.

Thank you in advance for your support and generosity.”‘

In the 2010 election, Wargotz had a higher percentage of the overall vote than Dan Bongino received in 2012, but only received 655,666 votes compared to 693,291 for Bongino two years later – bear in mind also that Dan had an independent candidate drawing perhaps 3/5 of his vote away from Dan’s column.

And just like Dan, Eric’s options are limited by the small number of statewide offices on the ballot this time around; however, Wargotz does have a track record of winning in Queen Anne’s County which he alluded to in his letter. Shrewdly, he did not preclude starting over politically with a local office (and obviously, smaller budget required.)

However, Eric has limited 2014 options for higher office unless he wants to challenge Maryland’s lone Republican federal elected official in Andy Harris for a Congressional seat or incumbent Republicans in a race for the General Assembly. In essence, his only option for a statewide office is a run for governor – but is it a winnable race for him? Given the bullet points he outlined in his missive, it seems to me that’s the direction Eric is pointing in. (Moreover, for a local run Eric could probably launch his campaign later this fall given his name recognition in Queen Anne’s County. So why else would he start talking up his options now?)

Therefore, it would not surprise me to see this message as a precursor and feeler for a run for Governor. (Revising his website with this message is also a clue.) Obviously, except for Bongino, Eric is the only one among the current presumed contenders who has previously run statewide, although Charles Lollar has run the statewide Americans for Prosperity organization for some time. (The same can be said for Larry Hogan and Change Maryland.) But money may be an issue, as Eric wasn’t a prolific fundraiser in his U.S. Senate bid and instead relied a lot on out-of-pocket funding. While Wargotz has an outstanding state account, as of January 2012 he only had $3,435 in it (with a loan balance of $11,000.) Last month Wargotz filed a Affidavit of Limited Contributions and Expenditures on that account for the period since January, 2012 – an ALCE affirms a campaign has not spent or received over $1,000 in the previous filing period. As always, though, the ALCE is not binding for a future period.

But if Wargotz wants to be included in the conversation of potential 2014 gubernatorial candidates, sure, I’ll start that ball rolling. Since most other areas of the state have a candidate hailing from their section, why not one from the Eastern Shore?

I’m still trying to figure out who “we” is, though. I know he reads this space, so perhaps Eric can enlighten me and the rest of us.

5 thoughts on “Not to be forgotten”

  1. Eric is a big fan of Plan Maryland — that may play well with green Republicans, moderates, and the left, but it will leave center-right and hard-right Republicans with some pause. Don’t believe me? Look up QA Ordinance 08-25 — it was never brought to a vote but it was written by the Queen Anne’s Conservation Association. Eric ultimately never brought it to a vote due to withering criticism. He has supported every effort to sharply reduce property owner’s rights in the county — in essence, he turned on his supporters.

    Eric’s budget shenanigans in QAC were nothing short of shameful — he can claim lower taxes and fiscal responsibility all he wants but using one-time Federal money to pay recurring accounts isn’t exactly going to impress anyone. The mess the prior set of county commissioners left was staggering — they left enough of a mess that the new set of commissioners had no choice but to raise taxes.

    I don’t think Eric could get elected to Chief Librarian in QAC so naturally, he has to find greener pastures.

  2. Eric Wargotz was a superb commissioner and we in QAC sorely miss his leadership and the prior Board. No Federal money was used and in fact the final budget left the incoming commission with a surplus. The new set of 5 R commissioners were shameful in mismanaging our money and had to raise local income taxes and property taxes to exorbitant rates because they did not and still do not have a clue on how to manage the County. They also eliminated the homestead of 0 and replaced it with yet another tax raising effort. with a cap at 5%.

    Eric Wargotz work to find a solution to the growth debate in QAC was admirable and diplomatic. He has never supported Plan Maryland but did try to restore value and property rights in QAC . That was the point of the discussion around the ordinance the misinformed person above refers to.
    TDR’s wold have provided value to the property development rights. Eric got the discussion rolling just as he said he would do. He did not ram the bill through to passage even though he could of as he had 2 co-supporter commissioners on the proposed ordinance (3 out of 5 : enough to adopt it). A lively debate ensued which was the purpose to begin with. Unfortunately, their term concluded and resolution to our growth debate here in QAC still eludes us and farmers/property owners still are sitting on dead property development rights whereas wargotz proposed to have value restored to them.

    Eric Wargotz was a superb commissioner and will be excellent in whatever office he successfully attains.

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