While we political nerds continue to obsess over the tea leaves of the 2016 campaign, one candidate this week decided to get a jump on his candidacy - for State Senate in District 30, a long-coveted pickup opportunity for Republicans on House Speaker Mike Busch’s home turf. Incumbent John Astle has narrowly won several recent races, including the last two with 51 percent.
From the Baltimore Sun:
Ron George, a former Anne Arundel County delegate who left the General Assembly to run for governor last year, said Monday that he will run for the state Senate in 2018.
George, a Republican who lost to Larry Hogan in the primary, will seek the District 30 seat held by Democratic Sen. John C. Astle, who has survived several close elections during his 32 years in the legislature.
After serving two terms in the House of Delegates from District 30, George was drawn into another district before deciding to run for governor. He said in his announcement that he is moving back to the district to be closer to his business, a well-known jewelry store on Main Street in Annapolis.
George said his early start — coming three years before the election — should give him an advantage in fund-raising.
“I know the district and its citizens well, but I want to knock on every door and hear from each person,” he said in a news release.
He may want to knock on every door, but how much utility will a contact have three years before the election?
Not to mention, there’s at least one more Republican candidate who might have something to say about who the nominee is in D30.
McMillan expressed surprise at George’s early start
“The last election was less than a year ago. The more I think about it the more I chuckle,” he said. “I think the voters are intelligent enough to realize there are more candidates who will come forward.”
McMillan said that for now he will concentrate on his role as delegate.
“I’m going to focus on doing a good job and the decision on what to do next will take care of itself,” McMillan said.
This is going to be a very competitive race, perhaps more so than any other in the state. But I have to question aformal entry into any state senate race three and a half years before the general election. Nobody cares right now, and even if they do, there’s a whole election cycle between now and then still to play out. But if nothing else, the GOP has served fair warning that it intends to fight for District 30, to fight hard, and to fight early.