One advantage of losing the race for Central Committee involves my ability to speculate openly without worrying about who will take offense to my comments. Then again, I spoke candidly throughout my campaign. And make no mistake; it rattled some in the establishment. Anyway, we as Republicans face a potential disaster come November. Going into yesterday, I felt Democrats had a chance to pick up one seat on the council: Werner over Grasso. I truly believe Councilman Grasso will have a tough time against Coach Werner. Now, we face the unthinkable: Michael Anthony Peroutka may cost the Republicans a seat in an overwhelmingly conservative district. If the Republicans lose both races, then the Democrats will hold a super-majority on the Anne Arundel County Council.
First off, let me acknowledge that Mr. Peroutka defeated me by 295 votes in the District 31 Republican Central Committee race. Frankly, I am honored to come that close against someone who ran nationwide for President of the United States back in 2004. I offered my congratulations via email, but have yet to receive a response. Perhaps he has not seen it yet. Regardless, the Central Committee doesn't concern me whatsoever at this point. Instead, I am worried about losing ground in a county that has shifted decidedly right over the past 10 years.
Bottom line, if Peroutka doesn't explain and/or denounce his extremist positions, he will probably lose the November Election. For those that doubt this possibility, look no further than Frank Kratovil's victory over Andy Harris in 2008. To this day, Harris blames the loss on the Obama voters. Of course, he cannot explain how John McCain won the same area by 12 points. Back then, Harris stood proudly alongside radical organizations such as Club for Growth and Eagle Forum. Today, Peroutka maintains his membership in the overtly racist League of the South. He also believes in a theocratic form of government. Face it, the Council doesn't need his inevitable theatrics. When it comes to local government, citizens want their trash picked up in a timely manner and a police/fire department that responds rapidly in an emergency. In other words, Peroutka's antics would interfere with the efficiency of these vital services.
Admittedly, I do not know much about the Democratic candidate, Patrick Armstrong. Last night in an online forum, I suggested he might want to change his Facebook profile picture that featured him smiling next to Anthony Brown. Others must have passed along the same advice whereas he now uses a different photograph. To win, he'll need to follow Kratovil's example by running to the right. At the very least, he should immediately put out a press release denouncing the Rain Tax and pledging to govern as a fiscal conservative.
While I would welcome such rhetoric out of a Democrat, I strongly prefer a Republican in that seat. For the second primary election in a row, Maureen Carr-York came up just short. As someone who has gotten to know Maureen over the last five months, I can attest that she has both the temperament and ideology that will satisfy District 5 residents. Unlike Dick Ladd and Michael Peroutka, Maureen Carr-York believes in civility on the council. Like it or not, that's how things get accomplished on a small governmental body. Without a doubt, she provides the safest option for those of us who want to keep that seat in Republican hands. As mentioned, an anticipated close race between Grasso and Werner makes this a must win for us. Maureen Carr-York can undoubtedly win this race as a write-in candidate. Meanwhile, Michael Peroutka makes that an uncertain proposition. For the good of our party, "Run Maureen Run."