We started 2010 with great hope in Maryland and around the country for Republicans. We had just won the Special Election in Massachusetts, electing Scott Brown to the US Senate. That with the great prospects of taking back the House and Senate. We were excited that Governor Ehrlich would be running again to try and take out Martin O’Malley. We were two years into the Obama – Biden reign of terror on conservative values across America. The Pelosi led congress had just crammed Obama Care down the throats of Americans (this was supposed to fix the alleged Healthcare crises in America). We on the right were very excited about 2010.
2010 – The Good and the Bad
2010 came and went with a mix of highs and lows. Nationally, we did manage to fire Speaker Pelosi and re-take the House of Representatives by the largest margin in decades, however the Democrats kept control of the US Senate. But in Maryland, it was as if all hope was lost. We took a beating in the State House and we lost two Republican State Senate seats. Here, in Montgomery County, we got our clocks cleaned but there is something I’ll get to later this year in a commentary called “Containment.” Due to massive voter fraud in Prince George’s County and Baltimore City, Gov. Ehrlich lost. It was as if Maryland Republicans were down for the count. Democrats were beating their chests about how they had killed the Republican Party in Maryland. Many Republicans decided to give up and leave Maryland for greener pastures, while a few of us decided to fight for another day. We knew it wasn’t over and we knew the GOP in Maryland wasn’t dead.
2010 Turn Around
Change started coming in Maryland in late 2010. First with the election of a new MDGOP Chairman, former State Senator and now US Congressman Alex Mooney. Alex was elected at the Fall MDGOP Convention in Annapolis, this was also the very first MDGOP Convention I had ever attended. Maryland’s convention was nothing like other State Conventions I’ve attended and was operated very differently than how Virginia, California, and Texas run their conventions. Alex took over the reigns of the GOP at the end of 2010.
2011 With Forward Momentum, Change Comes Slow
Chairman Mooney understood that to change the GOP we need to refill our coffers. One of Chairman Mooney’s first fundraising events was the Reagan Ball in February 2011 and it was well attended. I was one of the attendees, in a crowded room. This was a great event. We also started hearing about candidates running for President, a couple of my favorites were Speaker Newt Gingrich and Sen. Fred Thompson. But before I get too far ahead there was a big storm coming which threatened to divide the Maryland GOP.
Long story short, the 2011 Spring MDGOP Convention in Ocean City one of the most divisive conventions I had ever attended. The issue was weighted voting verses One-Man, One-Vote. Regardless of if it was a good or a bad thing for the MDGOP, reflecting back I’d say it had a neutral impact for our party. The small counties that elected Republicans got bonus votes and those who couldn’t lost some voting strength.
For the good and the bad, I for one never want to attend a convention such as that one again We had some people get violent by knocking cameras out of women’s hand and punching fellow members of state central committee. This was a sad part of our decade.
On a good note, this was also the launch of Change Maryland. Governor Hogan started it as a non-partisan organization, focused on fixing the Free State. This, we will see, is the cornerstone of the most popular Governor in America, and how he won in an overwhelmingly Blue State. But that’s getting ahead of myself, more about that in 2014.
As 2011 came to a close, we as Republicans were getting very hopeful at the prospects of taking back the US Senate and White House, and holding on to the House of Representatives.
2012 the year the World was to End
In 2012 we saw some great moves forward. The GOP took back the US Senate in 2012. We also picked up more state legislatures around the country and governorships. This was a good sign of what was to come in the future.
Governor Romney was the GOP Nominee for President. Even with the massacre in Benghazi, Gov. Romney fell short of what he needed to become President. The left-wing media did their best to brush everything under the rug from the bad economy to the Benghazi cover-up. In addition, the Democrat Senate Majority leader lied about Governor Romney. Which he later boasted about on a 60 Minutes interview. Those lies combined with the inability of Romney to go after Obama hard lead to his defeat in November.
For us in Maryland, we lost our other Republican Congressional seat in MD 6. Rep. Bartlett lost to a Democrat millionaire who decided he wanted to buy a Congressional seat. Things were looking bleak for us in Maryland. Mitt Romney lost, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett lost. Things were bad to put it mildly. After 2012, many more Maryland families moved out of the state. Many went to Virginia. (However, as we will see, I think we had the last laugh on them).
2013 – Time to Rebuild
2013 was a rebuilding year for MDGOP, learning from our mistakes of 2012. In 2013, the GOP not just in Maryland but around the country started using digital technology more effectively. We were getting smart on where to spend resources.
In Maryland, a guy named Larry was making major headway with Change Maryland becoming more and more popular not with just Republicans, but Independents and even some Democrats. Many at this point were really excited about the prospects of Larry Hogan running for President. We saw Harford County Executive David Craig and State Delegate Ron George announce that they will be running for Governor and some other guy can’t remember his name from Charles County also got into the race. Larry Hogan had yet to make any moves in 2013 towards running for Governor.
We were all waiting for Larry Hogan to jump in. We all knew Larry Hogan would be our next Governor. Even though the guy from Charles County was winning straw poll after straw poll. I seem to remember he had some of the more obnoxious people supporting him. At the Fall 2013 MDGOP Convention, Change Maryland had a huge suite where folks were expecting his announcement that he’d be running for Governor, however, us Hogan supporters would have to wait until February 2014, for the official announcement.
2014 The Year We Started Winning
2014 was a great year. Not only did we win the Governorship in Maryland we also won the Governorships in blue states like Illinois, and Massachusetts.
In 2014 the magic was back, the GOP in Maryland had started winning. This was a sharp contrast from four years earlier when Maryland Democrats were writing the obituaries for the GOP. They said we wouldn’t win another election ever in Maryland. Wow, “ever” ended pretty quickly.
This takes us to the ½ way point of the decade. Part two will cover everything from 2015-2020.