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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Why has the Republican Party totally abandoned Prince George's County?

(Posted 28 Nov 2007)
Why has the Republican Party totally abandoned Prince George's County?

That is the question I would ask if I were attending the Maryland GOP convention this weekend.

In the 2006 election, there were no Republican candidates for most county and state legislative offices.

In the very few cases where a Republican ran for one of those offices, and in the 4th District Congressional race, there was virtually no Republican Party support of the the Republican candidates.

With the 2008 primary election less than three months away, there appear to be three Republicans running in District 4 and two in District 5.

But you wouldn't know that, or be able to find out who they are, if you relied on the web sites of the Maryland Republican Party or the Prince George's County Republican Central Committee.

The Maryland Republican Party site currently shows only the last name of one of the three candidates running in District 4 and nothing about either of the two candidates running in District 5.

The Prince George's County Republican Central Committee site doesn't list any candidates at all. That site has recently eliminated the names and contact information of district central committee members (maybe there aren't any committee members), so I can no longer even try to contact the committee member from my district.

For the record, here are the candidates who have filed to run for Congress as Republicans, according to the State Board of Elections:

District 4:
District 5:


  1. To: PG-Politics@yahoogroups.com
    From: "mykelsemailbox" mykelsEmail@Gmail.com
    Date: Sun, 02 Dec 2007 12:56:55 -0000
    Subject: [PG-Politics] Re: Why has the Republican Party totally abandoned Prince George's ...

    Greetings All,

    Forgive my late response. I emailed DCRussell directly, but
    apparently my response wasn't shared with the group.

    The origianl posting posed the question "Why has the Republican Party
    totally abandoned Prince George's County?". This is a loaded
    question which implies that our county has in fact been abandoned.
    Nothing could be further from the truth. Consider the following

    1 - During the 2006 election, the RNC, Md. GOP, Gov. Ehrlich and Lt.
    Gov Steele spent enormous sums of money to reach out to both
    Republican and Democrat voters in our county. In one case alone,
    they mailed a sample ballot with the names of Gov., Lt. Gov. and
    every Republican candidate running for State office, to every
    registered Republican in the county. To my knowledge this had never
    been done before.

    2 - The Republican Party expended the resources necessary to improve
    our efforts in door-to-door, phone banks and literature drop
    efforts. Those resources were provided to us despite counsel from
    others who felt they would be better utilized in other tight races
    where Republicans had a better prospect of winning. To my knowledge
    this had never been done before.

    3 - The Republican Party rallied to support Lt. Gov Steele, a
    resident of our county, in his bid for the U.S. Senate. He appeared
    during prime time T.V. at the Republican National Convention, enjoyed
    the support of the party hierchachy, and received considerable
    financial support in his effort to win that seat. (A lot more than
    was done for say...um...Mr. Mfume) To my knowledge this had never
    been done before.

    DCRussells post also lamented that there were very few cases where a
    Republican ran for most of the county and state legislative offices.
    While this is true, its not the fault of the Republican Party. The
    simple fact is that Republicans in our county are outnumbered 6-1 in
    voter registration. Democrats also enjoy the support and resources
    of incumbents to recruit, train and mentor prospective candidates.
    Sadly we have none of those advantages.

    Reversing these numbers will not be easy. Only time and great effort
    will change them. Even then it may be difficult to gain a foothold,
    but it will be done. But we cannot learn from our failures if we
    fail to acknowledge progress when it occurs. In the original post
    DCRussell failed to acknowledge the numerous candidates who did run
    for office, against long odds, and against overwhelming resources.
    Despite their initial defeat at the polls, they have grown stronger
    from experience and will mount a more formidable challenge the next
    time around. In some cases their effort have inspired others to join
    the fray. For instance, in 2006 there was 1 Republican challenger in
    the 4th Congressional District, in 2008 there are now 3 Republican
    challengers. The same is true for the 5th Congressional District.
    We must crawl before we walk, walk before we run.

    The last point took issue with the fact that I hadn't listed any
    candidates for the 4th or 5th Congressional District. DCRussell
    expressed the belief that you wouldn't know who was running if you
    relied on the websites of the Md Republican Party and the Republican
    Central Committee for Prince George's County. First let me point out
    that none of the Democrat Parties Congressional candidates have been
    listed on either of their websites. So, for the record Md GOP is the
    only site which provides any information regarding Congressional
    candidates. Second, the final date to register or withdraw as a
    candidate is Monday, December 3rd. While I can't speak to when the
    Democrat's State or local party will list their candidates, I can
    speak for the Republican Central Committee for Prince George's
    County. I will be happy to list every Republican candidate after Dec
    3, 2007. Third, some of the candidates you listed have only recently
    registered. Some haven't established a web presence yet. Some have
    contacted me as recently as this morning to provide update
    information, or request assistance. However, you can rest assured
    that as they complete the process of organizing their campaigns, I
    will provide their information on our website.

    In closing let me again invite you to take a more active and direct
    role in our party. There is much work to be done in Prince George's
    County and few of us to do it. We could always use a helping hand.
    If you are interested in applying your talents to making a difference
    in our county, please contact me directly.

    Mykel Harris
    Chair, Republican Central Committee
    Prince George's County

  2. Furthermore, I spend a lot of my time working to promote the PG Young Republican Club and motivate people to get involved.

    We have not abandoned Prince George's County and we need to start working together and becoming a motivated, organized team.

    Together, we make a difference!