Democratic Hopeful Colvin Picks Up Gilchrest Endorsement in 1st District House Race

Democrats in Maryland’s 1st congressional district are poised to decide who will take on four-term incumbent Rep. Andy P. Harris (R) in November. And one longtime Harris foe — fellow Republican and former congressman Wayne Gilchrest — hopes they choose Jesse Colvin (D). A former U.S. Army intelligence officer who served four tours in Afghanistan and later in South Korea, Colvin has picked up endorsements from Gilchrest and Maryland Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D). Colvin has raised more money than all the other Democrats combined — $568,428 as of the June 6 fundraising reports, the most recent filings in the race — and is considered the favorite heading into Tuesday’s primary. Jesse Colvin District 1 is centered on Maryland’s Eastern Shore but it extends north and west across the top part of the state, picking up portions of Baltimore and Harford counties. President Trump carried the district by 29 points in 2016. But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has optimistically put the district on its target list — along with about 100 others — as it searches for the 23 seats it needs to flip to take control of the House. Gilchrest believes Colvin is the right Democrat to compete in a deep-red district. “Much of the First District is conservative,” Gilchrest said. “But by and large it’s a pragmatic, conservative group of people. They want public policymakers to be competent, have integrity and to reveal at least a little passion.” “Jesse Colvin, in my opinion, does not reflect the far left or the far right, Democratic principles nor Republican principles. He reflects a person that is interested in public policy,” he continued. Gilchrest was a moderate Republican who served eight terms, but he lost to Harris in a three-way primary in 2008. Harris lost to Democrat Frank Kratovil in the general election that autumn, but Harris won a re-match in 2010 and has represented the district ever since. Gilchrest crossed party lines to endorse Kratovil in that 2010 contest. And the former lawmaker, now education programs director a t the Sassafras Environmental Education Center in Kennedyville, told Maryland Matters he is poised to stump for Colvin in the fall to bring down his two-time foe. He is also appearing at a get-out-the-vote rally for Colvin Tuesday evening in Cecil County. In endorsing Colvin earlier this month, Franchot said, “Jesse is a fourth-generation Marylander and successful business leader with a unique understanding of the First District’s economy — from its industrial, technology and distribution hubs of the I-95 corridor to the seafood, agriculture and tourism sectors that sustained the Eastern Shore for generations.” Rep. Andy P. Harris Harris is the only Republican in Maryland’s House delegation. He faces token opposition in the primary from Martin Elborn and Lamont Taylor. Democrat Michael Pullen, who has raised $191,301, won the endorsement of Progressive Maryland, Moms Demand Action and the Sierra Club. Two other Democrats, Stephen Worton ($125,887 in campaign receipts) and Allison Galbraith ($102,254) also are waging competitive campaigns, hopeful they will be the choice of their party to take on Harris in November. The congressman had more than $1.3 million in his campaign account as of June 6. bruce@marylandmatters.org

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