A key endorsement

One of the first big-name endorsements in the MDGOP Chair race came last night.

In a note to his supporters on his Facebook page, Jim Rutledge laid out some of the reasons he supports Maryland Society of Patriots head Sam Hale:

  1. He “is a proven leader at the grassroots, people-to-people level of persuasion.” Jim recounts how Sam founded the Maryland Society of Patriots and that it became a favorite stop for conservative candidates courting votes.
  2. He is “honest and transparent” and gives “straight talk from an intelligent mind.”
  3. He “has a work ethic second to none…his energy is badly needed to move us forward in Maryland.”
  4. He “is an optimist and visionary” who is “not daunted in his passion for turning the tide of freedom” despite living in the┬áliberal enclave of┬áMontgomery County.
  5. He “is a Christian who understands the call to civic activism,” and who “puts his faith into action.”
  6. He “is young and well-educated…youth and energy attract youth and energy.”
  7. Finally, he “is independent from the influences of the Washington, D.C. establishment.”

Truthfully, it’s not surprising Rutledge would place his backing behind a party outsider, as Hale may be the only aspirant to not either have been a 2010 candidate (Amedori, Campbell, Kane, Mooney, Wargotz) or involved with the Maryland GOP in some other fashion (Esteve is head of the Maryland College Republicans and Langer is on the Queen Anne’s County Central Committee.)

I haven’t taken the opportunity to speak to Sam yet, but as I noted yesterday he did an interview for RedState with Matt Newman. Later this week I’m thinking about sending out my own set of questions to see who has the guts to reply – after all, I’m one of the few people who are discussing the issue publicly to actually have some say in the matter.

It’s important to me that I make the best-informed decision I can to advance the conservative principles I believe in. Unlike some party chairmen, I put principle over party as much as I can (granted, it can’t always work that way – I do have some pragmatism.) So, those of you I think are in the running should be on the lookout.

MDGOP: the intrigue continues

Well, well, well…yesterday was an interesting day. Pretty soon we won’t be able to tell the players without a scorecard.

With the interest in taking over what I thought was an irrelevant, moribund party who was shellacked in all four statewide races (oops, three since they didn’t even have a candidate for Attorney General) now beginning to peak, the rumor mill of who’s in and who’s out is beginning to grind out a few names we might recognize.

I don’t know for sure who will end up on the ballot come December 11 in Annapolis, but this is how I understood the process as it was when I went to bed last night:

Looks like they’re in:

  • Mike Esteve (Maryland College Republicans/Baltimore TEA Party Coalition)
  • Sam Hale (Maryland Society of Patriots)

Leaning that way:

  • Mary Kane (2010 LG candidate, former Secretary of State and onetime House of Delegates candidate)

Once in, then out, but maybe in again:

  • Andrew Langer (Institute for Liberty and frequent TEA Party speaker)

The good old ‘considering it’ group that’s testing the waters beneath the surface:

  • Alex Mooney (State Senator who was defeated in 2010)
  • Eric Wargotz (U.S. Senate candidate in 2010 and outgoing Queen Anne’s County Commission president)

Thanks, but no thanks:

  • Larry Hogan (former Congressional candidate who may be positioning himself for a 2014 run)

Feel free to add changes, new names, and dropouts to the comment section. I’ll stay on the rumor mill as I work today.