State’s Top GOP Leaders Cast Doubt on Fellow Republican’s Bid for House Seat

The assault by Republican leaders on Anne Arundel County Councilman Jerry Walker (R) — a former county GOP chairman who is seeking a seat in the House of Delegates — continues. Already the target of two mailers paid for by a fundraising committee for state House Republicans and substantially funded by Anne Arundel County Executive Steven L. Schuh (R), Walker is now the subject of a letter penned by state GOP Chairman Dirk Haire and Republican National Committeeman David Bossie that zeroes in on his voting record.  In a letter sent to Republican voters, the party leaders write that Walker voted with Democrats on the County Council 57 percent of the time — in a county where Republicans hold a 4-3 advantage on the Council. They characterized his votes, especially on tax policy, as “directly contrary to the interests of Republican voters.” “Given our minority status in the House of Delegates and the nature of Councilman Walker’s votes, we are concerned that the history of aiding Democrats over Republicans would not be helpful to our Party’s efforts to advance Republican principles,” Haire and Bossie wrote. While the leaders emphasized that they are not taking sides in the seven-way Republican primary in District 33 — incumbent Dels. Michael Malone, Tony McConkey and Sid Saab are among the candidates — they noted that Schuh and House Minority Leader Nic Kipke (R-Anne Arundel) oppose Walker’s bid and urged voters to “review each of their qualifications — and voting records.” Walker had $174,000 in his campaign account as of June 10 — far more than any of the other Republicans. Coincidentally, Haire’s wife, attorney Jessica Haire, is competing in the Republican primary to replace Walker on the Anne Arundel County Council. The Presidential Coalition, an organization affiliated with Citizens United, the conservative group that Bossie heads, has endorsed Jessica Haire’s candidacy.

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Josh Kurtz
Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.

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