John Leopold’s Sour Grapes?


On March 26, Brian Griffiths noted:

You’ve probably already heard that John Leopold won a partial victory today in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. While his convictions on misconduct charges were upheld by the court, the Court ruled that the Judge’s sentence banning Leopold from running for public office was illegal.

And I’m willing to bet that before the end of the day John Leopold’s return to campaign life will begin.

Unless you have been under a rock, you know that the filing deadline for candidates to run in the Democratic or Republican primary was on February 25th. That opportunity for Leopold has sailed, unless a Republican candidate were for some reason stricken from the ballot, either by stepping down, disqualification, or by death, in a seat in which he is eligible to run for. Since there are no Republican vacancies up and down the ballot in Anne Arundel County, that avenue is closed to him.

Which is why John Leopold will run as an independent.

A letter to the editor from Leopold appeared on yesterday:

One of the most cynical and self-serving actions taken by the General Assembly was moving the primary election from September to June

Rather than try to stimulate greater voter turnout and public participation in the political process, the June date seeks to depress it. More families are on vacation in June, and interest in voting is expected to be tepid.

Maryland had to move its primary date earlier to comply with federal requirements designed to provide enough time to get general election absentee ballots to military personnel serving overseas, but the General Assembly could have moved the date back a matter of weeks rather than months. And there is no good reason for its decision to make the filing deadline four months before the primary rather than the customary two.

One evident purpose of the early primary is to allow for a longer time period for the Democratic Party to heal its wounds and unite behind the gubernatorial nominee after a divisive primary. As with legislative redistricting, the goal is to serve the political interests of the dominant political party rather than the general public interest.

When the General Assembly convenes in January, it should move the primary back to September.

Of course, as Griffiths points out, the new filing deadline directly impacted Leopold’s ability to file. Now, if he does indeed run, Leopold will have to get onto the ballot as a petition candidate, possibly in District 31-B. Anyone who knows the history of Leopold’s behavior in office will find his protestations about the General Assembly, or anyone else, going against the general public interest to be laughable.

More from Griffiths:

So yes, John Leopold will be on the ballot. It isn’t like Leopold has any overriding loyalty to the Republican Party; he has found the Republican Party to be a useful vehicle for his selfish political ambition over the years, but he has hardly been a champion for it or the conservative causes that it represents. For those of you who may not remember, let’s take a trip back into memory lane when it relates to John Leopold:

  • In 1978 when he was the Republican nominee for Governor of Hawaii, Leopold demanded that he be endorsed by the Party in a primary, despite the fact that he was running unpopposed. Eventually, he dropped out of the race late in the election cycle only to drop back into it several days later;
  • In 1980, Leopold was a Delegate to the Republican National Convention and sat on the Rules Committee. While there, he fought the Reagan Campaign in an effort to keep the Equal Rights Amendment as part of the GOP platform.
  • Began district shopping, ending up in Pasadena when he was elected to the House of Delegates in 1982. After two terms in the House, began a bid for County Executive in 1990, and dropped a bombshell in a May 15, 1990 Sun article that says that polling shows he can’t beat Republcian frontrunner Bobby Neall in a primary, but may switch to run as a Democrat.
This archived Sun articles shows some “highlights” from his pre-Maryland days, including his time as the state director for Planned Parenthood in Hawaii.
This letter to the editor appears to be nothing but Leopold grousing about not being able to get on the ballot except by petition – and also get his name out now before he starts the petition drive.
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