Sup­port for Ho­gan prompted party switch for Mo­horovic

The Dundalk Eagle - - EDITORIAL - By BILL GATES bgates@ches­ Fol­low me on Twit­ter @DEa­gle_s­ports

Jake Mo­horovic has the most ex­pe­ri­ence of any of the can­di­dates for the House of Del­e­gates from the 6th District, be­ing first elected to the House of Del­e­gates in 1994 and serv­ing two terms be­fore los­ing a re-elec­tion bid in the 2002 Demo­cratic pri­mar y.

He ran again in 2006 and 2010, each time fall­ing short in the Demo­cratic pri­mary be­fore fi­nally break­ing through in 2014 — just in time to get hit by the surge of public backlash against out­go­ing gov­er­nor Martin O’Mal­ley and his heir ap­par­ent, An­thony Brown, that helped Repub­li­cans fi­nally break the Demo­cratic stran­gle­hold on the Dun­dalk-Edge­mere area and sweep all four area seats in the state leg­is­la­ture.

Now Mo­horovic is back for an­other run — as a Repub­li­can.

“I de­cided to switch par­ties be­cause Gov. [Larry] Ho­gan promised there would be no new taxes, no new fees, and he kept that prom­ise,” Mo­horovic said. “He re­ally tries to work as a bi­par­ti­san gov­er­nor, works on is­sues that have an im­pact on the en­tire state, and puts pol­i­tics sec­ond.

“He’s im­pressed a lot of vot­ers in a pos­i­tive way, and they’re go­ing to send him back for a sec­ond term.”

Mo­horovic said polls have shown 24 per­cent of Democrats have said they will vote for Ho­gan in the gen­eral elec­tion.

He does not ex­pect there to be much of a backlash over switch­ing par­ties.

“I’ve been go­ing door-to-door in a num­ber of com­mu­ni­ties, talk­ing to Democrats,” Mo­horovic said. “And they agree with the rea­sons I’ve switched, and said they have switched for the same rea­sons. The vot­ers want govern­ment to re­solve is­sues, and they’re tired of all the bick­er­ing on is­sues. They want co­op­er­a­tion.”

Still, Mo­horovic is try­ing to un­seat one of the three Repub­li­cans — Bob Long, Robin Gram­mer Jr. and Ric Met­z­gar — who beat him in the 2014 gen­eral elec­tion.

Those three do have some­thing now they did not have in 2014: a record to run against.

“I’ve been study­ing their vot­ing record­sand how they’ve voted on the state op­er­at­ing bud­get and cap­i­tal bud­get,” Mo­horovic said. “Each year, one or all of them have voted against the cap­i­tal and op­er­at­ing bud­gets.

“That’s vot­ing against the re­turn of our tax dol­lars to our district that can be used to im­prove Dun­dalk. Those bud­get in­clded no new taxes, didn’t raise fees, and were bal­anced. That’s ex­actly what [the in­cum­bents] cam­paigned for, and they voted against it.”

Some can­di­dates feel that, with­out the neg­a­tive in­flu­ence of O’Mal­ley and Brown, reg­is­tered Democrats who voted Repub­li­can in 2014 will re­turn to the party. Mo­horovic feels polling data shows Democrats still in­tend to vote for Ho­gan, and he will be a pos­i­tive force at the top of the ticket for whichever three get through the pri­mary elec­tion.

His big is­sue is con­stituent ser­vice: “call my office, email me, I’ll re­spond back to you.” Mo­horovic also feels more attention needs to be given to find­ing so­lu­tions for the drug epi­demic.

“We need to open a re­hab fa­cil­ity where peo­ple can stay as long as they need,” he said. “Thirty days, 60 days, 90. Thirty days of­ten isn’t long enough for peo­ple to get the help they need.”

And he’ll vote to pass the cap­i­tal and op­er­at­ing bud­gets.

“There are projects in our neigh­bor­hoods which need money,” he said. “Air con­di­tion­ing in schools. In­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments. More Mede­vac he­li­copters.

“I want that money com­ing back to our district. But with the caveat: no new taxes, no new fees.”

Will a change in party af­fil­i­a­tion make the fourth time the charm for Mo­horovic in his bid to get back to An­napo­lis? And what brings him back every four years to make an­other at­tempt?

“I still have a com­mit­ment to public ser­vice,” Mo­horovic said. “Just like a fire­fighter or a po­lice of­fi­cer gets sat­is­fac­tion out of their ser­vice to the com­mu­nity.”

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