Local GOP feeling confident about 2014 prospects
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 14:53

Long says he is considering Council bid

by Ben Boehl

    When it comes to the 2012 election, Republicans are shaking their heads trying to figure out what went wrong.
    Republican candidate Mitt Romney was defeated by President Barack Obama, many of the key statewide referendums that were opposed by most Republicans passed and Republican congressional candidate Nancy Jacobs was easily defeated by incumbent Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger
    But Republicans found a silver lining in the Dundalk and Essex precincts.
   

According to the Baltimore County Board of Elections, Romney beat Obama in the Dundalk area 50.8 percent to 46.3 percent and won 11 of the 17 precincts in the Dundalk-Edgemere area. This comes after the 2010 election, in which Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob Ehrlich lost statewide but soundly defeated Gov. Martin O’Malley 61 percent to 38 percent in Dundalk and 58 to 41 percent in Essex.
    Meanwhile, GOP candidates for the 6th District General Assembly offices ran strongly, coming close to breaking the longstanding Democratic lock on local elections.
    As East Baltimore County Republican Club president Ric Metzgar pointed out at last week’s club meeting, that could mean change in 2014.
    “I told my wife about seven years ago that Dundalk was about two to three generations away from electing a Republican because of the strong unions of General Motors and Bethlehem Steel,” Metzgar said. “Unfortunately, those places are gone — and many people down there are turning Republican.”
    Metzgar unsuccessfully ran for the House of Delegates the previous two election cycles.
    He only recieved 10.9 percent of the vote in 2006 and was nearly doubled up by the Democratic incumbents, but he and fellow Republican Bob Long came close to winning seats in 2010. Metzgar had 15.51 percent and Long had 16.15 percent while Del. Joseph “Sonny” Minnick held on to the third seat with 17.9 percent. Minnick only beat Long by less than 1,500 votes and Metzgar by less than 2,000 votes.
    With the close results from 2010 and the expectation that one or more incumbents might not seek re-election two years from now, Metzgar plans to run for the office again.
    “I am the one (Republican) that can get it done,” Metzgar said. “I think people are tired of voting Democrat and not having their voices heard.”
    Long, an Annadale Road resident, has remained visible with his participation in the Dundalk Independence Day parade, carrying his “Bob Long for State Delegate for the Sixth District” signs.   
    While that might appear to be a clear indicator that he plans to run for the delegate seat again in 2014, Long said he hasn’t made a decision, at least about which office to seek.
    “I’m going to run for any office where I feel I can do well and what is best for the community,” Long said.
    A member of the East Baltimore County Republican Club said members of the local party hope Long will try to seek the 7th Councilmanic District seat currently held by Democrat John Olszewski Sr.
    After Long’s grassroots effort in 2010, from his filing for office as an unknown in mid-June to his strong finish in the November election, Republicans feel that Long would be the ideal candidate to take on the four-term councilman.
    Long acknowledged that he was asked to run for the council seat, but said he has not made a decision and will do the research to see what is his best option.
    “Again, I’m going to run wherever I can be competitive,” Long added.
    Carlton Clendaniel was the third member of the Republican House ticket and placed sixth with 11.94 percent in the 2010 House of Delegates race. Clendaniel is still active as a member of the East Baltimore County Republican Club, but will probably sit out the 2014 race as he believes the party wants someone younger.
    “I haven’t thought about it. I probably won’t run,” Clendaniel said.
    Bruce Kahl, who lost as a Republican to state Sen. Norman Stone 57.8 to 42.2 percent in 2010, told The Eagle in an e-mail that he has plans to run for office in the 2014 election, but hasn’t decided between a bid for state Senate, House of Delegates or County Council.
    Republicans Steve Dishon and Paul Blitz ran on the ticket with Metzgar in 2006, but didn’t run for office in 2010.
    Both men told The Eagle they also have no intentions of running again in 2014.