When incumbent GOP Representative Wayne Gilchrest lost his primary to a "Club for Growth" backed extremist, Maryland's First Congressional District became competitive -- and with help, could actually favor the Democratic candidate, Frank Kratovil. When Blue Catapult PAC held an event for Frank, we learned that not only is he a great candidate, but that the dynamics of the district make it ripe for a Democratic pickup.
Why can MD-01 turn Blue?
- Frank is a Great Candidate. He is the current State's Attorney for Queen Anne's County, and he is in court in the morning and campaigns later in the day. Unlike his opponent, he is a native of Maryland's Eastern Shore, which comprises about half the voters and are very protective of their congressional representation. Frank is a lifelong Democrat and was President of Maryland Young Democrats when he was younger. He is outspoken against the War and supports a sane fiscal policy.
- This is now an Open Seat. With the moderate Wayne Gilchrest losing his primary, the seat is now truly competitive. The district breaks down in Party ID to about 40% Democrat, 40% Republican and 20% independent. Gilchrest represented the district well with his moderation, including opposing the continuation of the War, and not always supporting Bush's tax policies. As this is going to be a truly competitive seat, it should get most of the attention of Maryland's Democratic political apparatus.
- Frank's opponent is Too Conservative for the District. The right-wing 527 "Club for Growth" put in over $1 million in media and mailings in beating Gilchrest and will probably do more in the Fall. Gilchrest has not endorsed the man who beat him in the primary and some of his former staff are already helping Kratovil. The GOP candidate, Andy Harris, is a state representative who believes that taxes are too high and government should leave business alone. As Frank said to us on Tuesday, with all the problems in the country -- the War, health care, the environment, etc. -- all Harris talks about is taxes.Gilchrest's independence fit the district well -- Harris' knee-jerk conservatism does not. he is alos from the Baltimore metropolitan area which will put Eastern Shore resident ill at ease.
But to make this District blue, Frank needs your help. While his Cash on Hand at the end of last quarter was not far from Harris', the Club for Growth spending will add unofficial troughs to his campaign. Once Frank gets his message out he should win -- but he needs the resources to do that.
Just $15, $20 or $30 will go a long way as the more funding Frank gets now, the more seriously the national party will take his campaign.