Dr Politics: Maryland Republicans Moving the State Forward
By Dwight Patel
I know the left seems to have a monopoly on the word “Forward.” However, thanks to Governor Larry Hogan and the totally awesome state of Maryland, we owe all of our leaps forward to Republican governors and Republican legislators. Over the past 100 years, Maryland Democrats have been dragged into the 20th century by Republican initiatives.
Maryland Republicans led the charge to end slavery in the state of Maryland, which was strongly supported by Democrats in the state of Maryland. People have forgotten this one. Also, as a footnote, in 1966 the Democrats nominated a pro-segregationist for governor in Maryland, but we’ll talk about that more in another column.
Governor Phillips Lee Goldsborough (1912 – 1916)
In 1911, Maryland elected Phillips Lee Goldsborough as governor of Maryland. He came from Dorchester County, Maryland located on the Eastern shore. Goldsborough was first elected Comptroller of the State of Maryland in 1897. I know you are saying, “Oh that’s all great, but how did he move Maryland forward?” In 1916, during his tenure as governor, the state of Maryland bought the Maryland Agricultural College located in College Park, Maryland.
This purchase eventually established the University of Maryland College Park campus, which became the flagship campus where notable alumni included Glen L. Martin, Kevin Plank, Jim Henson, Councilman Donald Irvine, David Marks, Dwight Patel, Michael Higgs and many other notable graduates of the great school. However, if it weren’t for Gov. Goldsborough, the University of Maryland would still be a small agriculture college in a sleepy little town called College Park. Note: Democrats in the statehouse opposed this purchase by Gov. Goldsborough.
Governor Harry Nice (1935 – 1939)
Governor Harry Nice served one term as governor during the Depression, during which he discovered the wisdom of not raising taxes during economic hard times. As usual, the Democrats wanted to raise taxes to increase revenues when most of Maryland and America were struggling from the results of FDR’s “New Deal.” Even back then, the Democrats were obstructionists and blocked Gov. Nice’s initiatives to reduce taxes and institute debt relief for Marylanders who were affected by the Depression and the effects of FDR’s “New Deal.” Gov. Nice was forward in his thinking and broke new grounds by trying to cut taxes in the Old Line State.
Governor Theodore McKeldin (1951 – 1959)
Governor McKeldin is alot like our forward-thinking Governor Hogan and former Governor Ehrlich. Both of them, like McKeldin, understood the importance of roads. Although Governor McKeldin had run for governor twice before and lost to the Democrat, he knew he had better ideas for the state and ran again for governor. This time, he defeated uber-liberal New Deal Democrat Gov. William Preston Lane.
McKeldin endeavored to improve the state highway system, namely by establishing the Baltimore Beltway (now I-695), the Capital Beltway (I-495), and the John Hanson Highway (US 50 between Washington, DC and Annapolis). He was a staunch supporter of interstate cooperation, who once said: "I rode by train over several state borders. I carried no passports. No one asked me to identify myself. No one had the right to. This is America."
He was also an advocate for civil rights for African Americans and was awarded the Sidney Hollander Award. When you are on either of the beltways or the BW Parkway, you can thank Republican Gov. McKeldin for these highways. Note: If the Dems had their way, none of this transportation infrastructure would have been built. Democrats as usual wanted to spend money on frivolous wasteful social programs and the failed New Deal agenda. Also, keep in mind that in 1952 at the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Governor McKeldin placed General Eisenhower’s name for consideration when he addressed the convention.
Governor Spiro “Ted” Agnew (1966 – 1969)
*In 1968 Gov. Agnew was elected Vice President along with President Richard Milhouse Nixon
Before I start on the accomplishments of Governor Agnew, I understand he made a few mistakes as Baltimore County Executive, Governor, and Vice President. However, he is a saint. At least he didn’t sell missile targeting technology to the Chi-coms or turn over uranium rights to the Russians -- just food for thought.
Governor Agnew may have been the luckiest Republican in Maryland, because he was in the right place at the right time. I wrote Ray Krul’s biography about 15 years ago. Ray was a personal friend of Gov. Agnew. I even used the same gas station he worked at while he was in law school in Rosedale, Maryland. Ray told me how old Ted ran for judge several times and lost. Along with others, Ray talked him into running for County Executive in Baltimore County. When Ted tossed his hat in ring and won, no one was more surprised than Ted himself.
In 1966 Ted Agnew decided to run for governor. He defeated Democrat George P. Mahoney, who was a segregationist and a member of the Klan. Again, right place, right time. Ted was elected the 55th Governor of Maryland. In 1966, he received the endorsement of the NAACP. Then, our forward-thinking Republican governor ushered in an era of tax reform, repeal of the laws against interracial marriage (Democrats opposed Gov. Agnew’s forward-thinking agenda), and the crown jewel—the Bay Bridge (span 2) which was completed in 1973. Sad fact: Democrats opposed the second span. Yet another Maryland Republican governor moved the great state of Maryland forward.
Governor Robert Ehrlich (2002 – 2006)
Governor Ehrlich was elected in 2002 and was the first Republican governor elected since Ted Agnew. Governor Ehrlich had an excellent forward-thinking agenda which included several road projects. He supported slots and used the revenue for schools. Governor Ehrlich completed a 40+ year old road project for Montgomery County, which was the inner county connector, connecting 270 in Montgomery County with I-95 in Prince George’s County.
This road project, as Gov. Ehrlich once noted, went on for much too long. You could see signs on highways that said ICC Study project. Since Democrats had no interest in building the ICC, Gov. Ehrlich, a Republican, got the ICC built which is now known as the Gov. Bob Ehrlich Expressway.
As governor, Ehrlich also presided over a state budget surplus and a strong business friendly environment in Maryland. Governor Ehrlich, like past Republican Governors in Maryland, has moved the state forward by completing a 40 year old road project which the Democrats opposed, along with the innovative idea of using revenue from slot machines to provide additional funding for public schools.
Governor Larry Hogan (2014 – present)
It is great that in 2016 Governor Hogan had the vision to improve the roads that Republican Governor McKeldin put in motion, along with improvements to I-270 and other road transportation projects throughout Maryland. Governor Hogan is the 2nd most popular governor in America, and that’s not an accident. He knows how to work with both sides of the aisle when the Democrats are obstructing for the sake of obstructing. If you are a Montgomery County legislator in Annapolis, it’s all about thwarting Governor Hogan’s forward-facing agenda. Governor Hogan is getting things done in Annapolis when it comes to transportation infrastructure. He is also building the Purple Line, which has been on the books for years. This is another example of how the Democrats dithered while Governor Hogan got things done.
Montgomery County Democrats have opposed Governor Hogan on everything from a lock box for gambling revenue to go to public schools to better roads projects. Important to note Montgomery County voters the Democrats in Annapolis have opposed Governor Hogan’s road projects just because they came from a Republican.
These are the same Democrats who opposed Gov. Ehrlich’s slots. However, when failed presidential candidate Martin O’Malley wanted slots, they couldn’t vote for this project fast enough. Maryland Democrats have stood in the way of progress for over years. They opposed the purchase of the Maryland Agricultural College, opposed Gov. Nice’s tax reform, Gov. McKeldin’s beltways and road projects; Gov. Agnew’s second span of the Bay Bridge; Gov. Ehrlich’s ICC (Gov. Bob Ehrlich Expressway) and now they oppose Gov. Hogan’s transportation initiatives such as the widening of I-270, the Capital Beltway (-I495), the widening of the BW parkway and other transportation projects in Maryland.
While Governor Hogan puts Maryland first, the Democrats in Annapolis like Mike Busch and Mike Miller play partisan politics to score political points. In Maryland, we only get real change when we elect Republicans. This November, we need to support every Republican running for the State Legislature and if you live in the Drive for 5 districts, be sure to support the Drive for 5 candidates:
- For State Senate Vote Del. Christian J. Miele MD-8 [DONATE AT mieleformaryland.com]
- For State Senate Vote Del. Ron A. George, MD-30 [DONATE AT rongeorge.us]
- For State Senate Vote Del. Mary Beth Carozza, MD-38 [DONATE AT marybethcarozza.com ]
- For State Senate Vote Craig Giangrande, MD-3 [DONATE AT giangrandeforsenate.com]
- For State Senate Vote Bill Dotson, MD-28 [DONATE AT electbilldotson.com]
In Montgomery County
The choice is clear this November 6th. Vote Republican to continue changing Maryland for the better-- Vote Democrat and you’ll take the state back to the days of high taxes, oppressive regulations on businesses, and sitting in traffic jams. The choice is clear: Re-elect Governor Hogan and the rest of the Hogan Team.