Never let it be said that Republicans are a fair-weather party.
A rainy day certainly dampened the area surrounding Schumaker Park as the Wicomico County Republican Club held its annual Crab Feast yesterday, but it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. The picture below was taken at one of those rare points where the rain died down to a light shower, rather than the torrential downpour which plagued the event.
We still had our usual solid crowd of about 250, who I am convinced would come out in a hurricane for crabs and camaraderie. If you added a little wind I think we would have had a nice tropical storm like this same weekend in 2011 because there was a point it rained to beat the band.
One casualty of the weather was the silent auction, which for many items had to become a live auction because the tally sheets got all wet under the tent. Some items stayed out of the rain, though.
And the weather played havoc with the roster of speakers as well. I think this was the result of having to do a live auction, but in most years several elected officials will make remarks. This time the bulk of the talking was done by Congressman Andy Harris.
Harris only made brief, somewhat boilerplate remarks about his race and the need to change the regime in Washington beginning with the removal of Barack Obama but continuing with the urgency of putting Dan Bongino in the United States Senate. (Unfortunately, Bongino couldn’t represent himself at the event; his county coordinator Shawn Jester filled in.) “Party today, but work for the next 73 days” to the election, Harris admonished us.
We also heard quite briefly from Delegate Addie Eckardt, who reprised her message delivered at the GOP headquarters opening last week about the need to “turn this ship around.” Also expressing his thanks for continued support was Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello.
So it wasn’t like the event in other years where a number of candidates seeking election locally or statewide were there to speak and press the flesh – while most made their rounds, they chose to be acknowledged but not make remarks. I don’t know if Matt Holloway
or John Hall came, but I saw the remaining four GOP members of County Council there (Stevie Prettyman, Gail Bartkovich, Joe Holloway, and Bob Culver) along with the other three local Republican officials – Maciarello, Sheriff Mike Lewis, and Orphans Court Judge Bill Smith. We also had Delegate Charles Otto come up from Somerset County to join us. (Update: WCRC officer Marc Kilmer assured me that John Hall was there. Maybe I didn’t hear him being introduced.)
In that respect, look for next year’s event to be chock full of would-be aspirants for office because the 2014 event will be after the state election primary for the first time in several years unless they make it a spring event. (Once a late-September gathering, the Crab Feast migrated forward about a month beginning in 2010 to a late-August date – last year was an exception thanks to Hurricane Irene.)
I can say that I made the Republican Club a few dollars myself since I donated two copies of my book to the auction, and they sold for above face value. Then again, my contribution paled in comparison to how these buttons did, as well as the 50-50 drawing.
So after two years in a row of a late-August downpour (at least this year the hurricane was down in Cuba) chances are next year should be a beautiful afternoon like we’ve had in the past. In the meantime, the beer was cold and by many accounts the crabs delicious, so what’s a little rain?