Last night, the Charles County Republican Central Committee held their Lincoln-Douglass Dinner.There were planned and unplanned absences by candidates and tardiness issues before things finally got started
First, as I reported , Larry Hogan hadn’t planned to be there because of a scheduling conflict. The Hogan campaign tried to keep the information on what the conflict actually was a much more tightly guarded secret than they did the identity of Boyd Rutherford as Hogan’s running mate. I pointed out that Hogan was attending a fundraiser for a Queen Anne’s County Commissioner candidate (Paul Comfort) last night. That candidate has primary opposition and formerly lived in Charles County and worked as county administrator there until he was dismissed. After learning of where Hogan was, I heard from multiple Charles County Republicans that Comfort wasn’t well-regarded by Republicans in Charles County when he worked for county government. Unless the Hogan campaign is more paranoid than previously thought, this explanation for all the deception involved with the Comfort event makes the most sense.
Additionally, David Craig missed the dinner last night. As Harford County Executive, he attended an emergency weather meeting (ahead of the expected winter storm) that ran late, causing him to miss the meeting. Somehow, communications either to or from some of the event organizers resulted in it being said that he was under the weather and rumors spiraled downhill after that. Without going into details, there were false rumors of Craig not being there for serious health reasons. Many people who heard the rumors last night and have heard what happened suspect that Charles Lollar sympathizers involved in the event were responsible for things getting blown out of proportion.
Surprisingly, Brian Vaeth also missed the dinner. None of the candidates who attended made it there in time for the VIP reception.
Bishop E.W. Jackson, the keynote speaker, was reportedly a dynamic speaker according to some in attendance. However his speech ran long and by the end the audience was getting restless with people shifting in their seats. One person in attendance told me he was afraid it was getting to the point people might start leaving early, but that didn’t really happen.
After Jackson, candidates and their surrogates spoke. They were all kept strictly to their five minutes, including Charles Lollar who is well known for being long-winded (for any haters doubting me – it was even joked about when he was speaking at the MD GOP Fall Convention breakfast.)
I heard people say good things about Ron George and Lollar’s speeches. I also heard one person say that Boyd Rutherford, there on behalf of Hogan, needs to improve his speeches because he is dry and not really that engaging.
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.