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Those are the words of Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, MD-01, recently ousted in the primary by uber-conservative Andy Harris.  Not exactly a ringing endorsement. And it was in response to a question of whether he would endorse Harris in the general come November:

Earlier this week, Gilchrest told Roll Call he has already decided who – but not when – he will endorse.

Much to the consternation of NRCC Chair Tom Cole, he gave a telling clue on how he made his decision.

"Let's see, the Republican Party, or my eternal soul?" Gilchrest said.

"Party loyalty, or integrity?"

This is one of those races the netroots needs to get on, pronto.  MD-01 can be won.  The Republicans have cast their lot with the conservative, Club for Growth candidate, Andy Harris, and ousted a well-loved, moderate Republican Congressman in Gilchrest.

Gilchrest clearly favors Kratovil at this point, with his comments above.  And a top staffer is already forming "Republicans for Kratovil":

First District Democrat Frank Kratovil is holding the first of what is expected to be many ‘Republicans for Kratovil’ events in Kent County next Tuesday, announcing the roster of hosts this afternoon.

They are: Scott Bramble, Joseph C. Flanagan, Jr., Frank Frohn, Trey Hill, Howard Rose and, finally, Karen Willis – long-time District Office Manager for Rep. Wayne Gilchrest’s Chestertown outpost.

While some of the hosts had been supporting Kratovil since before the primary, Willis was certainly not of them. She’s intimately involved in managing the federal grants for much of the Eastern Shore, handling the Congressman’s outreach in Kent, Queen Anne's, Caroline, Talbot and Anne Arundel counties.

The geographic dynamics of this race will play a huge role come November.  Andy Harris is from Baltimore County, Kratovil is from the Eastern Shore.  If you know anything about Maryland, you know that folks from the Shore aren't too keen on having somebody from Baltimore represent them in Congress.  The Eastern Shore makes up 55% of the voters in this District, so if Kratovil can raise his name recognition and profile, he's got a shot.  

To learn more about Frank, click here.

And if you are feeling so inclined, Frank can use the financial support, especially going up against the Club for Growth candidate. Click here to help him out directly.

Or hit Frank's Act Blue page, if you're feeling netrootsy about your contribution.

I plan on pimping this race throughout the year, so watch for it.  It should be a top Dem target race.  If we don't win it this time around, you can bet we'll have a wingnut in that district for 20 years.

And for a District that is 50-50 split between Dems and Rs, that ain't right.

Originally posted to wmtriallawyer on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 08:20 AM PST.

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