Last night a Republican revolution overturned an old order in central Maryland that could put that state's party on the road back to having a voice.
Moderates were sacked (in the medieval sense instead of the football) by conservatives more determined to fight the power of their Ruling Party than cooperate with it. Delegate Michael Hough won nearly 70 percent of the vote against long time moderate incumbent David Brinkley. Two of his "conservative team" of delegate candidates won their primaries in the three seat multi-delegate district. Conservatives also seized command of Frederick County's Republican Executive Committee.
This, paired with Neil Parrott's victory in Washington County, among others, shows that Maryland Republicans will likely continue their march rightward.
Republican rediscovery of conservatism in the nominally Free State can be explained in a number of ways.
First, a handful of Maryland Republicans have honed campaigning to a fine confluence of art and science. Ted Dacey ran the Hough campaign, whose coattails extended long enough to help elect two more conservative delegates and overturn the Frederick County GOP committee. Dacey has a quiet and unassuming personality, but is also a tireless organizer and strategist. He helped to elect his brother as Frederick alderman and has worked many campaigns. Another up and coming, highly respected campaign leader is Delegate Parrott's campaign manager, Kari Snyder. Both work endless hours and perform any task to make sure the campaign runs right.
They are only two of a growing army of young conservatives in that state who don't accept the idea that their Ruling Party cannot be dethroned or beaten.
Maryland conservatives also tap into growing discontent with the policies of their Ruling Party. Issues such as the "rain tax," the "bathroom bill," and other Free State absurdities have turned Republican voters sour on "going along to get along." Marylanders see their private sector at the state's extremities suffering. Now they are fighting back.
Resurgence of Maryland conservatism will ignite voters who, otherwise, would see no difference between the parties. If Maryland's GOP can continue this momentum, it can make more congressional districts and senatorial races competitive. This will force their Ruling Party to seek more money nationally, taking Democratic resources away from other races. Also, the failures of Maryland's leftist experiments will get wider examination and discussion.
Maryland's road back from Democratic domination will be long. They can take heart that West Virginia's Republicans had to struggle and fight to get back to competitiveness, but succeeded against tradition, a corrupt machine, and other factors. If they can go to the next step with successful outreach, continue to groom successful conservative leaders, and take advantage of the inevitable federal government contraction, Maryland's Republicans have no reason to not count on brighter days ahead.