Support for Hogan prompted party switch for Mohorovic
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.”