Cecil County Exec Candidate Is Raffling a Semi-Automatic Rifle

    Danielle Hornberger, an aide to U.S. Rep. Andrew P. Harris (R-Md.) who is challenging Cecil County Executive Alan McCarthy in the GOP primary, is raffling a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle to raise money for her campaign.

    In a “Dear Friend” email to supporters, Hornberger begins by inquiring about their physical and financial health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “I know this is a very difficult time for everyone,” she writes. “Unfortunately, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our daily way of life. My campaign will be observing necessary steps to ensure safety of our citizens while also continuing to spread our message of smaller, smarter government.” She then provides a link to useful information for “individuals and businesses struggling during this difficult time.”

    Hornberger then pivots.

    “I have some exciting news to share during this unprecedented and otherwise stressful time — my campaign will be raffling off an AR-15 rifle!” she writes.

    Tickets to win a DEL-TON 316-H MLOK AR-15 in 5.56 NATO cost $5 apiece — or $20 for five or $40 for 10. The drawing will be held on Aug. 1 — two months after the primary, which has been rescheduled for June 2. The winner will be subject to the usual state background checks for gun purchases.

    “Although my campaign is primarily focused on reversing the tax hikes and other out-of-touch decisions from the current County Executive, I believe it is important to stand up for the 2nd Amendment — and am excited that one lucky supporter will be going home with a brand-new AR-15,” Hornberger writes.

    The challenger’s fundraising appeal comes as the conservative website Red Maryland reported late Friday about a political action committee called Project Cecil PAC that may be aligned with McCarthy. Red Maryland suggests the PAC, which espouses conservative values on its website, is a Democratic front group.

    In her email about the AR-15 raffle, Hornberger references the Red Maryland report, saying “interesting news has surfaced regarding my opponent.”

    Cecil County County Councilman Bill Coutz and Hogan administration official Ewing McDowell are also competing in the Republican primary, but it is largely regarded as a two-way race between McCarthy and Hornberger, who is married to Del. Kevin C. Hornberger (R).

    The winner of the GOP primary will be heavily favored in the general election over Jeff Kase, a member of the Democratic Central Committee.

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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.