Annapolis, MD — Last night, voters in Maryland and Virginia rejected the race-baiting campaign tactics of Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie and of Maryland Republicans in key municipal races, including an appointee of Governor Larry Hogan.
Despite rebukes from civil rights groups, newspapers, and many Republicans of Gillespie’s anti-immigrant fear-mongering ads, Governor Hogan endorsed Gillespie and called him a “great leader.” Virginia voters did not agree with his assessment, electing Governor-elect Ralph Northam by an overwhelmingly wide margin.
In Maryland, anti-immigrant ads were run against the Democratic Mayoral candidate, Gavin Buckley, by the Republican Party-funded campaign of Mike Pantelides. Similarly, Annapolis aldermanic candidate James Appel—a Hogan Administration appointee and Hogan re-election campaign official—distributed fliers attempting to tie Alderman-elect Marc Rodriguez to the violent MS-13 gang. Rodriguez defeated Appel by more than 20 points.
“The Hogan team is using the same playbook as Trump and Gillespie. This Trump-like race-baiting encourages people to hate and fear their neighbors,” said Maryland Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Matthews. “Fortunately, last night voters sent a message to Governor Hogan and the Maryland Republican Party that their divisive politics has no place in Maryland. A blue wave is building in Maryland, and we will continue rebuilding the Maryland Democratic Party to take full advantage of the Democratic energy we saw last night to defeat Governor Hogan next year.”
Last night’s election results in Annapolis and Frederick—bellweathers of statewide races in Maryland—do not bode well for Governor Hogan’s reelection odds. In 2013, one year before Hogan’s election, Republican Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides won by less than 1 point; last night he was defeated by Mayor-elect Gavin Buckley by 24 points. Republican Frederick Mayor Randy McClement won by 18 points in 2013; he was defeated by Mayor-elect Michael O’Connor by 22 points. Appel, Pantelides and McClement were all endorsed and by Hogan.