Monday, July 8, 2013

Democratic Senators Lisa Gladden & Bobby Zirkin Endorse Allan Kittleman, GOP Candidate for Howard County Executive

UPDATE: The commentary below appeared in this month's issue of Business Monthly, but it turns out the piece was written by Maryland Reporter's Len Lazarick, who has mirrored the full article on his own website (additional excerpt below):
MARYLAND REPORTER: It’s no secret that Sen. Allan Kittleman will need lots of Democrats to vote for a Republican for Howard County executive for him to accomplish what the GOP did 23 years ago — take over the county government.

“If Allan Kittleman can’t have a chance in Howard County, no one has a chance,” said attorney Michael Davis, who was campaign chairman for Republican Chuck Ecker when Ecker defeated Democrat Liz Bobo during her re-election bid for executive in 1990. Four years later, Republicans controlled the County Council, the courthouse offices and a majority of legislative seats.

Davis was involved in a poll taken last year that he said showed Kittleman “has good name recognition; he’s got high trust factors and likability factors.” But he’s still got “a tough fight”....

Maryland Juice previously noted that GOP State Senator Allan Kittleman was running for Howard County Executive in 2014, and that he would likely be facing off against Democratic HoCo Councilmember Courtney Watson. But we highlighted a report in that Democratic State Senator Bobby Zirkin had crossed party lines to endorse Kittleman for Executive. There were rumors that another Democratic State Senator Lisa Gladden would be supporting the Republican candidate for HoCo Exec, but we never saw confirmation of that story until today. In fact, I only heard that Gladden was supporting Kittleman through an unverified report on Twitter about a month ago:

Last night a Maryland Juice reader forwarded us a scanned copy of an interesting article that appeared in the July 2013 edition of Business Monthly, which features interviews with Senators Zirkin and Gladden highlighting their endorsements for Allan Kittleman. The article, titled "Kittleman's Uphill Fight" does not yet appear in the online edition of Business Monthly, but we provide some excerpts from the newsprint below:
BUSINESS MONTHLY: "It's the content of your character, it's not a 'D' or 'R' behind your name that makes a difference, said Zirkin.... Zirkin said he also asked Kittleman whether he could bring up same-sex marraige. Kittleman was only one of the dozen Republicans in the state Senate that supported the measure...."

Sure enough, Gladden, with a more liberal voting record than Zirkin's is a Kittleman fan. "Allan is a whole different breed of Republican," Gladden said in an interview.... Gladden recognizes there's a whole range of issues on which she and Kittleman disagree, but he supported her position on an issue she's passionate about, abolition of the death penalty....
Notably, Zirkin highlights Kittleman's support for marriage equality, while Gladden highlights his support for death penalty repeal. But one Democratic commenter in the article below highlights other issues where Kittleman conflicts with mainstream Democratic politics. In the article, Howard County Democratic Party Chair Michael McPherson called Kittleman a "flaming Tea Party zealot" who opposes gun control and works to restrict women's access to health care.

More on the HoCo Exec battle soon!

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