In the opening days of her campaign, Kathy Szeliga announced she had the support of practically every Republican member of the Maryland General Assembly. So I wasn’t surprised to see a more recent message from Delegate Mary Beth Carozza backing her, but the content of that endorsement was more interesting and compelling than most boilerplate endorsements I hear about.
I’m going to quote Carozza at some length here, so be ready:
I am excited to share the news that I am endorsing my friend and colleague, Kathy Szeliga, as our next United States Senator.
Kathy is a true friend and a real team player. When I first made the decision with my family to be a candidate for State Delegate in new District 38C, Kathy was the among the first Republican leaders to call me, thank me for running, and ask how she could help my campaign.
Actions always speak louder than words, and Kathy was my special guest for my first reception at The Atlantic Hotel, hosted by Michelle and John Fager, back in July of 2013. For the past three years, Kathy has continued to take time from her summer vacations in Ocean City to spend time with my supporters throughout the district.
Kathy knows and loves the Shore. She understands the challenges we face in protecting our key industries of tourism, agriculture, and small business. She appreciates the value of our beaches, bay, and boardwalk as well as our commercial and recreational fishing and boating industry. (Plus, Kathy met her husband years ago in Ocean City!)
I’m also proud to say that Kathy Szeliga has been right there from the very beginning with her strong support for Governor Larry Hogan. We both knocked on plenty of doors and campaigned hard for Larry Hogan in the last election because we so strongly believe in the Governor’s leadership in changing Maryland for the better. Now during the legislative session, we’ve both been in the trenches working hard to put Maryland’s fiscal house in order and bring common sense tax and regulatory relief to Maryland small businesses and families.
Now we need Kathy Szeliga to bring that same change to Washington, DC.! Join Kathy’s team and learn more about her commitment to all of Maryland by visiting (her website. I link to it in the sidebar.)
Even if you factor in the obvious fact that Mary Beth and Kathy are both elected officials in the same body, you should give Szeliga credit for trying to build the Maryland GOP – granted, Carozza’s district was sort of a gimme for the GOP because Democrats were trying to pack Norm Conway’s district with as many District 38 Democrats as they could. But Mary Beth worked hard for all of the 70-plus percent of the vote she received and Kathy was a significant part of that early effort.
Yet the concern I have with Szeliga (not necessarily Mary Beth, but her endorsement gives me the chance to speak about this) is the utter lack of specifics I find on issues. Her website doesn’t have an issues page and, to be quite honest, I haven’t sat down and listened to the handful of debates she’s been featured in. My fear with any GOP candidate is that they will go up against the Democrat (likely either Chris Van Hollen or Donna Edwards) and they will try to out-concern the other side, speaking in platitudes and soundbites rather than solutions.
Nor do I see Kathy as a particularly pro-liberty candidate: one example is a recent post she put up regarding speed camera repeal and why she voted to kill the bill – it covered work zone cameras in addition to red-light and speed cameras. In my monoblogue Accountability Project from last year I also found she voted against a repeal bill in committee. If it was that important, I have to ask why she didn’t attempt to amend either bill?
We also have the bill she co-sponsored in 2014 (as part of the county delegation) regarding the Harford County Republican Central Committee in an attempt to create a committee more to her liking.
While I’m certainly not going to go all #NeverKathy on the race, suffice to say I’m not sure I share Mary Beth’s enthusiasm regarding Szeliga for Senate.
On the other hand, I really want to give props to Delegate David Vogt for this website, which is still making me chuckle. Nothing like a little pre-emptive strike, particularly since it all rings so true.