Mike Hough gets coveted endorsement of out of town bloggers


UPDATE: I’ve been told that Red Maryland founder streiff, who Greg Kline quotes in the endorsement, does live in District 4. He is one of the four people with a vote on endorsement decisions for the site. Additionally, Greg Kline made this response to me via Twitter:

Freshman Delegate Mike Hough didn’t get the Senate endorsement of House Minority Leader Nic Kipke and he had to resign as Assistant House Minority Leader, but he did a get a prestigious endorsement today.

Red Maryland endorsed Delegate Mike Hough a day into his GOP primary campaign against Senate Minority Leader David Brinkley. Hough will be on their podcast tonight with Greg Kline and again on their Friday night podcast tomorrow night with Duane Keenan. All snark aside, the guys at Red Maryland are all friends of mine. I just question the timing and impact of this endorsement right now and also find it a little bit puzzling in light of some of Hough’s connections.

The impact of newspaper endorsements has been on the wane in recent years and I wonder if any endorsement by a blogger, or group of bloggers, has much impact at all. I especially wonder what an endorsement by a blog one day after Hough got into the race would have when the attention of most people in the district is probably anywhere else but on this election. I’ve made similar comments about Jackie Wellfonder and Red Maryland’s endorsement of Larry Hogan before he was even a candidate. I think the endorsements could have a bigger impact closer to the primary and, in the case of Wellfonder and Red Maryland, they could avoid the impression that some have that they are just shills whenever they write about the respective races. Those types of comments are unfair to both of them since they can make incisive and dead-on points regardless of who they support. I also generally question the endorsements of people who don’t live in a district. That’s why I stayed out of the District 36 mess last summer.

I won’t be endorsing for Governor in the primary at this point either. I don’t have a dog in the fight or a horse in the race. Other than my one tongue in cheek endorsement of Charles Lollar, which I later withdrew, I haven’t done any endorsements on this site.

My other reason for questioning the endorsement by Red Maryland of Delegate Hough relates to Ted Dacey, who is reportedly running Hough’s campaign. Dacey was behind the robocall scandal prior to Frederick city elections last year as he coordinated things on behalf of the campaign of his brother Phil. Brian Griffiths of Red Maryland called the whole situation “sinister” and mentioned that Ted Dacey sold the state party on the robocalls without telling MD GOP officials that the other Republican candidates and the county’s central committee opposed the tactic. Hough’s ties to Alex Mooney are also concerning to some Republicans in the district that I have talked to.

While I question the timing of the endorsement and I think it’s important to point out what Red Maryland contributors have said about Dacey in the past, I do understand the actual political actions by Brinkley and Hough that drove the endorsement.

Here’s what Greg Kline had to say about Hough in the Red Maryland endorsement:

It is my privilege to announce that the editors of Red Maryland unanimously endorse and support Michael Hough for the District 4 Senate Seat and encourage our readers to do likewise.
We have known Mike Hough for years.  Before being elected to the House of Delegates, Mike was a legislative aide and led the Maryland Republican Assembly whose mission was to support the election of conservative Republicans throughout the state.  Mike is a dedicated movement conservative who has demonstrated both as an activist and as an elected official, a commitment to conservative principles. As a member of the House of Delegates, Mike has a solid conservative voting record, including voting against every O’Malley budget and every tax increase proposed during the O’Malley administration.  Mike has unabashedly led the fight on many of the most important issues facing our state, introducing legislation to stop the implementation of Obamacare, staunchly defending life and our Second Amendment rights.
More than just talking the talk and walking the walk as a conservative legislator, Michael Hough is a decent and honorable man.  He is a proud husband to his wife of JoeyLynn and devoted father to his three children, Katelynn, Grant and Abby.  He is a native Marylander and an Air Force veteran.
Here’s their indictment of Brinkley:
 If you are a longtime reader of Red Maryland you know we have documented our concerns with Senator Brinkley through the years. Senator Brinkley has voted for five of the O’Malley budgets, approving massive increases in state spending.  Despite a public call for hearings on the state’s implementation of Obamacare, Senator Brinkley voted to implement and fund the state’s healthcare exchange.  Senator Brinkley also co-sponsored a bill to raise gas taxes in Frederick County.
As our founding editor Streiff stated it in 2011,  “Senator Brinkley’s voting record marks him as a squish on virtually any issue vaguely related to conservatism.”
This year’s session has only reinforced Senator Brinkley’s reputation.  After supporting Mike Miller as President of the Senate, Senator Brinkley voted for a bailout of the state’s healthcare exchange, the cost of which is unknown.  His perfunctory leadership in the State Senate sharply contrasts with the actions of the House Republicans, including Mike Hough, who have resolutely resisted the Democratic monopoly in Annapolis.
I am not a fan of Brinkley by any stretch of the imagination and I even privately remarked disgust to one of my friends at Red Maryland about Brinkley’s elevation to Senate Majority Leader. I agree with almost all of what Kline says above. My comments on the Red Maryland endorsement of Hough have nothing to do with my own views on this race.
I have no horse in this race. I am just looking forward to writing about it covering it as a news event as it continues to get bloodier and nastier. Most of the Maryland GOP primaries have been tame since I moved here compared to what I was used to in South Carolina.  I am sure Red Maryland will continue to point out many things I agree with personally.
Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton is an award-winning blogger who has been aggregating and blogging since 1998. He has worked as a reporter, in government, and as a communications professional in Columbia, SC and Washington, DC.

Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.

Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.
Jeff Quinton

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  1. Jeff: First of all you definately deserve kudos for the original story. I was at the legislature and so I took time there to chase down and verify what was going on. I interviewed Del. Hough, then Sen. Brinkley, then verified with both Hough and Minority Leader Kipke that he (Hough) would not be discharged from his leadership position (as Assistant House Minority Leader). Note a difference between losing a slate position and the Assistant House Minority Leader position. Of course changing to the Senate race against an incumbant Republican Senator would mean there could be a change in the slate. They are two different things. Which did he resign from? Even when Kipke denied Hough would lose the AHML position, he noted to me that there may be a change in the slate situation.

    As to the Brinkley vs Hough race itself, I also would tend to have no dog in this fight. I don’t live in their district. However, even those outside a district can have an interest in the outcome. Since legislators don’t just legislate in their districts, and their laws impact all of us, the race is important to everyone.
    Carpetbagging may apply to candidates, but not voters.

    As you noted, there are four people who determine who, if anyone, gets an endorsement from Red Maryland. Jackie & I are not on that list. I don’t want to be for journalistic reasons. Jackie may support Hogan for Governor, but she was very fair in giving David Craig airtime on her program.

    I agreed to do my program with the understanding
    that I could cover other candidates, and I have. Ron George is active in the legislature, and thus was (and will be) covered along with the others. There are a lot of Senators and Delegates involved in important issues. To cover those issues, other voices must be heard. Maybe it is my background, but I enjoy giving various opinions airtime. I may have my views, but I hope over the years that I have developed a working relationship with Democrats and Republicans, those on the left and those on the right.

    Senator Brinkley was gracious in the time we spent together, both during the interview and off the record. Delegate Hough was forthcoming as well. Ultimately the voters will have to determine if they want someone more conservative or not, and who that is.

    I don’t want to be considered a RINO (Reporter In Name Only). I don’t want to be a shill, but to report what is going on and let the listener weigh it themselves. The editors may make endorsements on the commentary side, but on the news sides of things, I must decline and strive to be fair.

    Thanks again for breaking the story, Jeff. I hope my contributions have added to it.

    All the best,
    Duane Keenan