Jesse Colvin will get things done for Maryland
Is Maryland truly Blue? Often viewed as a “Blue” state, the record in Maryland tells a very different story. In spite of a 2-1 advantage of registered Democrats over Republicans, Maryland voters favored Reagan over Mondale in 1984 and Bush over Dukakis in 1988. Even within the Democratic Party, Marylanders trend towards moderation as reflected in the strong showing of pro-business Democrat Paul Tsongas who soundly defeated liberal Bill Clinton in the
1992 Democratic primar y. Since
1994, we have elected four governors — two Democrats and two Republicans. Not surprisingly, the Baltimore Sun recently endorsed Larry Hogan, citing his ability to get things done and reflect Maryland’s “Middle Temperament.”
While the Democratic candidates have been successful at all levels, it has not stopped Mar ylanders from electing a long list of centrist Republicans to numerous offices, both local and national, including, over the past several decades: Mac Mathias, Marjorie Holt, Helen Bentley and Wayne Gilchrest (from Maryland’s 1st). We consistently refuse to follow a fixed pattern of party politics. When given a viable choice, we favor the candidate most likely to get the job done — Democrat or Republican. Marylanders prefer successful, pragmatic, cooperative “Doers.” William Donald Schaefer, the ultimate at getting it done on numerous economic expansion projects, even borrowed Nike’s slogan, “Just Do It.”
This is what we need now in Maryland’s 1st — someone who can think and act independently and not be beholden to a team of radicals, either on the left or the right. For nearly a decade, Andy Harris has represented the 1st and operated within the extreme of the so called Freedom Caucus. We had two shots at comprehensive immigration reform that would have fully resolved one of today’s most pressing issues in 2005-06. That bipartisan effort in the Senate, led by John McCain and Ted Kennedy, was blocked by extremists in the House including the Tea Party Caucus, forerunner to the Freedom Caucus. As a result of extremist obstruction, the country tragically continues to struggle with this key issue over a decade later.
Economically, Harris and his fiscally conser vative caucus claim that their primary objective is to restrict spending and dramatically reduce or eliminate the federal deficit. But in 2016, going against their deepest convictions, they inexplicably voted for a huge tax cut, strongly favoring the ultrawealthy, while fully aware that the administration’s pending budget would dramatically increase federal spending. The result: an enormous increase in the federal deficit they claimed to detest; a burden likely to be placed upon the shoulders of our children and grandchildren.
In spite of his physician, Harris expertise as a proudly voted to wreck the Affordable Care Act, including the provision protecting those with pre-existing conditions, without any effort to provide a viable alternative. While the ACA is certainly not perfect, it provides critical benefits to thousands in our District. Why not propose ways to improve the law rather than destroy it out of political pettiness? On so many issues directly impacting the 1st, the opioid crisis, the welfare of the Bay, weak job creation, underperforming schools and inadequate technology, Harris has failed to deliver in a meaningful way.
It is time for a change. It is time for the 1st to follow Maryland tradition and elect a “Doer.” We now have that option in Jesse Colvin. As a young man, Jesse acted on his calling to serve after 9/11, studying Arabic and the Middle East to prepare to face the growing terror crisis, joining the Army and becoming a Ranger officer to serve his country, including four active combat tours, and then launching his professional career as an expert in battling corporate fraud. Yet facing the extreme dysfunction and failures in Congress — often caused directly by Harris and his colleagues in the Freedom Caucus — Jesse set aside his career and worked tirelessly to earn our votes. Along with dozens of veterans running for Congress around the country, both Democrats and Republicans, he joined the group With Honor and has vowed to serve with the utmost integrity and in a fully bipartisan effort to be part of the solution. Jesse Colvin is successful, pragmatic and cooperative, and he will “Get It Done.”
All that is at stake is the future for our families. We must vote in the tradition of Marylanders and select the best individuals in each race from the governor to Congress and all the way through the ballot — let’s all set aside political parties and labels and vote for the Doers.
Richard J. Dumais writes from St. Michaels.