Is Montgomery County a Hopeless Cause for Republicans?
By Dwight Patel Candidate for State Senate, District 20
I am a big believer in hopeless causes, I know the naysayers will go on about how Montgomery County is a hopeless cause for Republicans. But I have in my 46 years on this earth I have lived through many hopeless causes.
I remember when a Democrat congressman from Texas was ostracized by the Democrat Party for supporting President Reagan’s Tax Cut plan (Kemp-Roth Tax Cut). Rep. Phil Gramm resigned his safe Democrat House seat, switched parties and ran for same seat as a Republican. When he ran for the 6th Congressional District in Texas, there wasn’t a single Republican elected in that congressional district. Rep. Gramm not only won the seat as a Republican, he was the first Republican elected anywhere in the 6th Congressional District. After that, more and more Republicans started winning elections in the 6th Congressional District down ballot. That was a hopeless cause that we won.
In 1987, I remember when Rep. Michael Barnes decided to run for the U.S. Senate from Maryland. Michael Barnes represented Maryland’s 8th Congressional District. The Republican nominee was State Senator Connie Morella, a professor at Montgomery College in Rockville. Her opponent was State Senator Stewart Bainum, a multimillionaire business executive who consistently outpolled Morella throughout the campaign. People said it would be impossible for Morella to beat a well-entrenched wealthy Democrat state senator. However, on Election Day the well-funded, uber-liberal Democrat was handed his first political defeat at the hands of an unknown Republican professor from Montgomery College. Another hopeless cause was overturned.
In 2000, when Governor George Bush ran for president, people said that defeating VP Al Gore with a good economy was next to impossible. However, even after all the voter fraud on the part of the Democrats in Ohio and Florida, Governor Bush became the 43rd president of the United States. But that’s not all. When he won, many people said he would be a one-and-done president, and it would be hopeless to even think about the second term. Wrong! He won by an even larger margin in 2004 than he did in 2000, even though exit polls that year had Sen. John Kerry winning.
In 2002 people said Rep. Ehrlich was foolish to leave a safe congressional seat to run for governor, which was a 50-50 chance at best. However, we know Rep. Ehrlich ran for governor and defeated well- funded Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend to become Maryland’s 60th governor in 2002. And that’s not all. When Gov. Ehrlich first ran for the Maryland House of Delegates, people said it was hopeless for him to knock out the incumbent Republican in the primary, but Ehrlich won the primary and went on to become a delegate.
Are you becoming more hopeful yet? Wait, I have tons more examples.
After the defeat of Governor Ehrlich in 2010, all hope looked like it was lost, and the little hope we had was crushed after the defeat of Governor Mitt Romney in 2012. However, a few of us held out hope that our political fortunes would turn around in 2014.
In January of 2014 then businessman Larry Hogan announced he would be running for governor. Many Republicans were thinking that Larry wouldn’t be able to win the primary, since Charles Lollar was winning gubernatorial primary straw polls all over the state. In June, Larry Hogan won the Republican nomination for governor, defeating Charles Lollar, Harford County Executive David Craig and state delegate/businessman Ron George.
The naysayers still said Larry would never become governor. However, on Election Day 2014, businessman Larry Hogan defeated well-funded, union-backed former Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. This sent shockwaves around the country, especially since Maryland elected a Republican governor four years after the Democrats in Annapolis said the Republican party was DOA in 2014. Others said it would be 50 years before we elected a Republican governor.
Hey Mike Miller, Michael Busch and Maryland Democrats, that was a fast 50 years wasn’t it? Oh, wait it was eight years, after your policies of tax hikes plus your borrow-and-spend policies nearly bankrupted the state of Maryland.
My takeaway is this: There’s no such thing as a hopeless cause or race. You just have to have better ideas and work harder.