Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Turnbull Takes on Owings

Just as former Ehrlich Cabinet Member George Owings is announcing his run for Governor as a Democrat, Maryland Democratic Party Chair Susan Turnbull is declaring, "Game on!" Here's her comment on his candidacy, which we reprint from the party's blog.

Who is George Owings?

As you might imagine, I’ve been getting some questions about George Owings and his candidacy for Governor of Maryland.

Despite the fact that I have been involved in the Maryland Democratic Party for more than 25 years, I don’t really know George Owings. What I do know is that he was a loyal appointee of Bob Ehrlich. He may be a nice enough guy, but to be honest no one in the state or especially the Democratic Party is clamoring for a return to the Ehrlich administration.

Most Marylanders know that Governor O’Malley is doing a good job leading the state forward in this very difficult time. In fact, from where I sit, Maryland is in much better shape than our neighbors and we can be really thankful we’ve had such a steady hand leading us. Maybe that’s why Governing Magazine chose Martin O’Malley as Governor of the Year in 2009.

George Owings’ conservative record on tobacco, choice, women, health care, guns and the environment have led to his close affiliation with the state GOP and Bob Ehrlich. Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan has even said that he and George Owings agree on most issues.

George Owings has said on the record that he was disappointed to lose his political appointment in the Ehrlich cabinet, and even admitted that he needed a “cooling off period” to get over his anger when Governor O’Malley won and appointed new cabinet secretaries. This “challenge” sounds a little too personal and it makes you wonder whether George Owings is still reading from Bob Ehrlich’s talking points.

One thing I have seen this year is that Democrats, be they conservative or liberal, are happy with Governor O’Malley and recognize that Maryland has stable, conscientious leadership.

Written by: Susan Turnbull on January 6, 2010.
Just one teeny-weeny question. Doesn't the party usually stay officially neutral during contested primaries?