Friday, November 5, 2010

Five Republicans To Watch...

OK, here are my picks for Republicans to watch in the months and years ahead. I know two of them – Marks and Jennings – rather well because I worked with both of them in Ehrlich world at various times. But I have observed the others fairly closely. Each has a lot of potential for upward mobility, which is why I included them here.

Andy Harris: The brightest bright spot for Maryland Republicans on election night, Andy Harris’s victory over Rep. Frank Kratovil effectively doubled the GOP’s ranks in the state congressional delegation. With Bob Ehrlich leaving the political scene, conservative Harris may seek to position himself as the new “It Guy” for Maryland’s GOP. Equally interesting will be the extent to which Harris is targeted during redistricting by some of his former colleagues in Annapolis.

David Craig: The Harford County Executive is now the GOP’s senior local elected official. A good government Republican, Craig may not be known for his charisma, but his reputation as an effective manager and problem-solver is well-established. A veteran of the state legislature, Craig is the party’s sleeper candidate for governor in 2014.

David Marks: The GOP wave that some people – including myself – thought was coming to Baltimore County never materialized. But one bright spot for county Republicans was the election of Marks, a former state and federal transportation official with a long history of community involvement, to the Baltimore County Council. A thoughtful moderate who emphasized bipartisanship and reform in his campaign, Marks captured a council seat Democrats held for decades. He will be a breath of fresh air in a county accustomed to one-party rule.

J. B. Jennings: Early on, it appeared that Jennings’ primary opponent, former House Minority Leader Al Redmer, might be outworking him. But Jennings hit the ground running after the legislative session ended, defeating Redmer in the 7th District State Senate primary by more than 20 points. Jennings is a solid conservative whose genial nature makes him a good fit for a collegial legislative body. And, he is well-positioned to incorporate some of the remnants of Ehrlich’s grassroots organization into his own

Allan Kittleman: The scion of a Howard County political dynasty, Kittleman’s reelection to the State Senate leaves him as one of the last Republicans standing in a county increasingly more Democratic. Youthful and moderate, he is exactly what a suburban Republican in Maryland should be. Frequently he was mentioned as a possible lieutenant governor candidate for Bob Ehrlich. If 2014 turns out to be a favorable year for Republicans, he may be a strong candidate for the open Howard County Executive’s seat.


  1. Wow! Henson admits he placed the robocall and that he did it with Ehrlich campaign's knowlege.

    Baltimore Sun is reporting the story. Henson on the record.

  2. Gold stuff RJC.

    Harris and Jennings are probably too conservative for statewide office; Craig is probably too old. That leaves Marks (not seasoned enough yet but give him a few years) and Kittleman. Honorable mention should go to the junior Eastern Shore delegate Jeannie Haddaway, Steve Schuh - the strong-willed fiscal conservative from AA County, and Brian Murphy, who's gubernatorial bid - while falling short - was still considered a success because of his newcommer status.

  3. jennings and the others must distance themselves from Ehrlich and the old guard.

  4. Here is a concern with Kittleman...he could not deliver Howard County to Ehrlich so I wonder just how strong he is.

  5. RJC, interesting look but I think you missed the mark and left some key prospects out. First my take on your five, than my five:

    Andy Harris is very unlikable and looks like an evil version of Dennis the Menace's Father. He is unelectable state-wide.

    David Craig, I believe is termed out and may be in a position to run. He will be 65 when the time comes and if he can begin to expand his base into Baltimore County he could be force in the GOP primary. That said he isn't exactly a ball of fire and it is hard to see how he parlay's his experience in Harford County into State-wide appeal. He is hardly a youthful 61, see how he holds up over the next 4 years.

    Don't know David Marks, but he ran a very good campaign. Hard to call him a rising star without seeing him work.

    JB is an absolute rising star. He is well liked by both sides of the aisle, has a war record, agricultural background and is bright. He is a voice of reason that conservative Democrats could get behind, however he clearly needs to distance himself from Ehrlich over the next 4 years. JB stays away from the partisan sniping of Tony O'Donnell and has proven to be effective in Annapolis.

    Alan would be wise to take a shot at the County Executive seat, however he would have a significant uphill battle against Guy Guzzone who is very popular in Howard County. Kittleman can't be blamed for Ehrlich losing Howard County, Ehrlich's campaign was KKT like. Kittleman needs to remember he is a moderate and break away from the back bench mentality of only offering criticisms but no solutions. Alan is likable, youthful and a decent person but has almost no legislative accomplishments of which to stand upon. Time for him to demonstrate he build coalitions with conservative democrats to pass solid policy based legislation.

    My five to watch:

    Barry Glassman: This Senator is the real deal. Like JB but more seasoned and respected in Annapolis. He is the exact type of candidate that would give any Democrat trouble state wide. Barry has an easy going demeanor but has demonstrated a real ability to work across party lines to achieve results. He is a farmer, businessman and experienced elected official. Barry is the best hope of the GOP, however because he isn't a bomb thrower, the gang that can't shoot straight probably will never figure it out.

    JB Jennings

    Jeannie Haddaway: Attractive, smart, youthful, Haddaway comes from the eastern shore and has a bright future. She is a strong conservative with a great environmental record.

    Charles Lollar- ran a good campaign against Steny. He presents very well and his military background is a plus. As the rare African American Republican, Charles could be an asset to a statewide tixket if the party could find a role for him over the next four years.

    Brian Murphy- bit off more than he could chew in his venture for Governor, but he proved to be an effective candidate. The reality is he is not ready to run state govenrment, showed a lack of understanding of the legislative and budgetary processes during his race. However, if he set his sights more realistically down the ticket he is good farm team material.