Monday, November 28, 2011

MD GOP Rep. Andy Harris Endorses Newt Gingrich // Plus, Anti-Tea Party Republican Becomes Democrat, Challenges Harris

Maryland's beloved Tea Party Congressman Andy Harris is back in the news today with his endorsement of former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich for President. Politico this morning had the exclusive:
EXCLUSIVE – ANDY HARRIS TO ENDORSE GINGRICH: Maryland Congressman Andy Harris will endorse Newt Gingrich today. The freshman Republican, who was not in the House during Gingrich’s tenure as Speaker, will be the first of several federal and state legislators to announce their support for the surging presidential candidate, according to a source familiar with the rollout plan.
It will be interesting to see what Mr. Harris' Tea Party fans think about this endorsement. Indeed, the National Journal recently opined on this topic with an articled titled, "Can Newt Gingrich Pass Tea Party Muster?" They wrote:
Newt Gingrich doesn’t seem like the tea party’s type. He’s the ultimate Washington insider, a career politician who spent two decades in that reviled institution known as the U.S. Congress. Especially when compared to stick it-to-the-man tea party heroes like Rep. Allen West of Florida and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Gingrich doesn’t seem to fit the part. He is the man.
Meanwhile, Mr. Harris is facing a challenge of his own from a fellow Republican. The Elkton-based Cecil Whig site reports that small business advocate Wendy Rosen has switched her registration to the Democratic Party and is now challenging Mr. Harris. Her interview with Cecil Whig seems to convey frustration with the Tea Party and Mr. Harris' focus on hot-button social issues instead of the economy and jobs:

Democrat Wendy Rosen expects to transcend political labels in the 2012 election and unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Harris with her message of small-business support being the mechanism to revive the nation's economy....

"Probably the biggest reason I decided to run for Congress is I'm as frustrated as everyone else," said Rosen in an interview Wednesday.

Rosen, herself a former Republican who switched parties just a few years ago, is a Cockeysville resident, same as Harris....

Rosen said she has been walking the halls of Capitol Hill for the past decade and watching how the middle class and the nation's smallest businesses are being left behind....

"I'm most interested in economic revitalization. And I think that a lot of the issues of the past that were social issues are not going to be as important in this election. And if they are, I think people are being duped to focus on something that is not what all us have to focus on at this moment," Rosen said....

"There are traditional Republicans, like the kind I was. And then there are Tea Party Republicans, which are more about obstructionism and destructionism, and that's basically what I'm fighting against," Rosen said.

Rosen thinks the obstructionism and lack of creative solutions is dismal. She said so much of Congress is just trying to keep stirring the pot and the clock running, rather than come up with real tangible solutions, a lot of which cost little or no money.

Ms. Rosen sounds like a breath of fresh air after hearing so much of Mr. Harris' hot wind! You can find out more about her campaign at this website I stumbled upon: Her site states:
Wendy Rosen is the leading advocate for the “Made in America” movement. For 30 years her writings, interviews and workshops, protest rallies, lectures and op-ed commentaries have fueled consumer interest in American made and handmade products.
P.S. As Gingrich and Romney duel for Maryland endorsers, don't forget that a bunch of Maryland Republicans got on board with Rick Perry for Prez already, including GOP Sen. Chris Shank (who is weighing a CD6 bid). Maryland Juice previously reported on Mitt Romney and Rick Perry's Maryland endorsers. At the time, that included the following:

Mitt Romney's Maryland Endorsers
  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
  11. Former United States Ambassador to New Zealand Robert Goodwin
  12. National Committeeman Louis Pope
  13. National Committeewoman Joyce Terhes
  14. 2010 Republican Candidate for Lieutenant Governor and Former Secretary of State Mary Kane
  15. Former Maryland Republican Party Chairman John Kane
  16. Former Maryland Republican Party Chairman Audrey Scott
  17. Former Maryland Republican Party First Vice Chair Chris Cavey 
  18. Former Maryland Republican Party First Vice Chair Chuck Gast
  19. Maryland Republican Party Treasurer Christopher Rosenthal
  20. Garrett County Republican Party Chairman Brenda Butcsher
  21. Howard County Republican Party Chairman Loretta Shields
  22. Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Mark Uncapher
  23. Frederick County Councilman Paul Smith
  24. Howard County Councilman Greg Fox
  25. State Central Committee Member – St. Mary’s County Mary Russell
Rick Perry's Maryland Endorsers
  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
  9. Finance Chairman Dick Hug, Bob Ehrlich for Governor, 2002 -2010
  10. County Councilman Jerry Walker, Anne Arundel County
  11. Commissioner Evan Slaughenhoupt, Calvert County
  12. Commissioner Haven Shoemaker, Jr., Carroll County
  13. Commissioner Doug Howard, Carroll County
  14. Commissioner Blaine Young, Frederick County
  15. Former Councilman Mike Christman, City of Annapolis
  16. Former Commissioner Eric Wargotz, Queen Anne’s County
  17. 2nd Vice President Patt Parker, National Federation of Republican Women
  18. 1st Vice Chair Diana Waterman, Maryland State GOP
  19. Former General Counsel Dirk Haire, Maryland State GOP
  20. 2nd Vice President Sylvia Darrow, Maryland Federation of Republican Women
  21. 3rd Vice President Catie Ravenscroft James, Maryland Federation of Republican Women
  22. National Committeeman Trae Lewis, Maryland Young Republicans
  23. Legal Counsel Jason Rheinstein, Maryland Young Republicans
  24. Central Committee Member Flora Betro, Howard County
  25. Central Committee Member Lisa Griffith, Allegany County
  26. Central Committee Member Debbie Belcher, Anne Arundel County
  27. Central Committee Member Jeanette Radford, Montgomery County
  28. Central Committee Member Dwight Patel, Montgomery County
  29. Central Committee Member Rachel Audi, Prince George’s County
  30. Central Committee Member Alan Rzepkowski, Anne Arundel County
  31. Central Committee Member Sastry Dhara, Montgomery County
  32. Central Committee Member John Milden, Montgomery County
  33. Central Committee Member Joe Collins, Jr., Baltimore City
  34. Central Committee Member Gary Collins, Baltimore City
  35. Former Central Committee Member Doug Burkhardt, City of Annapolis
  36. Former Central Committee Member Brandon Wright, City of Annapolis
  37. Former Central Committee Member Ruth Umbel, Garrett County
  38. Former Central Committee Member April Rose, Carroll County
  39. Board Member Michelle Corkadel, West Anne Arundel County Republican Club
  40. Former President Diane Nash Dillon, Chevy Chase Women’s Republican Club

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