Friday, September 30, 2011

Maryland GOP Divided: Anonymous Democrats Say Colleagues' Romney/Perry Endorsements Reflect Divisions

Earlier this week, Maryland Juice reported on a blip of GOP Presidential activity in Maryland. In the course of the GOP in-fighting, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry both released their lists of Maryland endorsers. We asked several Democratic lawmakers to comment on any meaningful patterns in which Republican lawmakers supported Romney vs. Perry. Their responses point to a trend of Romney endorsers being more moderate than Perry supporters. But some of our sources noted a more interesting dynamic: GOP Delegate Nic Kipke has endorsed Romney over Perry, while attempting a House leadership coup from the right.

We reprint the Maryland Romney/Perry elected officials endorsement lists below, followed by comments from several anonymous Democratic legislators (all from Montgomery). You can see the full GOP endorsement lists with former electeds and party activists in our previous coverage.

Mitt Romney's Endorsements from MD Legislators
  1. State Senator Richard Colburn
  2. State Senator Joe Getty
  3. State Senator Allan Kittleman
  4. Delegate Kathryn Afzali
  5. Delegate John Cluster
  6. Delegate Addie Eckardt
  7. Delegate Donald Elliott
  8. Delegate Michael Hough
  9. Delegate Nic Kipke
  10. Delegate Steven Schuh

Rick Perry's Endorsements from MD Legislators 
  1. State Senator Chris Shank
  2. State Delegate Wendell Beitzel
  3. State Delegate Gail Bates
  4. State Delegate Kathy Szeliga
  5. State Delegate Nancy Stocksdale
  6. State Delegate Kelly Schulz
  7. State Delegate Justin Ready
  8. State Delegate Steve Hershey

Montgomery Lawmakers Sound Off on Romney/Perry Endorsements

Response 1: The story is the House R leadership fight. In that light, I was surprised by Kipke's endorsement of Romney. Kipke is going to challenge O'Donnell and is both well-liked and respected both among Ds and Rs. He's a moderate, but to win the leadership fight, he's running to Tony's right, which is why the Romney endorsement is news.

Response 2: From looking at the list, it seems that generally the more hardline, right-wing legislators went with Perry. While those that are more likely to work with Democrats went with Romney.

Response 3: I don't know that there's enough here to identify much of a pattern among the endorsements from electeds - the more interesting question would be further down the lists, but I'm not familiar enough with the GOP activist ranks to parse that. Romney does seem to have a few more of the moderates (like Kittleman). But then you notice that his list includes Nic Kipke, who is currently trying to challenge the red-faced microphone-slamming temper-tantrum-throwing blowhard of a minority leader Tony O'Donnell from the right. Perry seems to have more of the younger crowd that were elected in 2010, people like Blaine Young from the Frederick County Commission and Justin Ready from Carroll County. Justin is one of the more intelligent and less batshit-insane members of the Republican newcomers. But he's got some fairly moderate folks on his list too, like Wendell Beitzel. So no, not much of a pattern yet. One other interesting note - Kathy Afzali and Kelly Schulz represent the same two member district in northern Frederick County. Del. Afzali endorsed Romney, Del. Schulz endorsed Perry. Interesting dynamic.

Response 4: The more moderate Republicans are going with Romney and the more conservative ones with Perry.  Interesting to me that Senator Nancy Jacobs, Senate Minority Leader, has seemingly not committed yet, which puts her in the same ambivalent place as a number of the other Republican Senators.  They’re all holding out for the Great Right Hope!  It looked like that was going to be Perry, with his Southern twang, Texas-Chainsaw-Massacre approach to the death penalty, aggressive skepticism about the theory of evolution and global climate change, and openly religious campaigning, but he seems to have lost some of his luster at the debates with his tongue-tied answers and simply by defending the policy of allowing the children of undocumented immigrants to go to school in Texas at in-state tuition prices.  Well, at least his Maryland supporters in the GOP may have to tone it down a bit when they campaign against the Maryland Dream Act since the guy they want as standard-bearer for the GOP has spoken up so passionately for the same policy in Texas.

Response 5: The competing lists generally breakdown fairly predictably between the moderates on Romney's list (i.e. Sen. Kittleman, the lone R in General Assembly out front on civil unions and marriage equality issues) and the wingnuts on Perry's list

Response 6: Romney has the sane ones.

1 comment:

  1. I will let you in on a secret, Nic Kipke is not actually that conservative and has given up his bid for the leadership.