Montgomery County Republicans hear from lieutenant governor candidate -- Gazette.Net


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Taking a hard look at Maryland’s taxes and government agencies will be a key part of David Craig’s administration if he’s elected governor in 2014, his running mate told a group of Montgomery County Republicans Tuesday.

Del. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio (R-Dist. 37B) of Newcomb, the lieutenant governor candidate with Harford County Executive Craig (R), spoke Tuesday to the Republican Club of Montgomery County at Savannah’s American Grill in Kensington.

Haddaway-Riccio is using only her maiden name, Haddaway, for the campaign.

The gathering of 10 to 15 people was a chance for Montgomery Republicans to get to know the delegate from the Eastern Shore, who Craig chose in July as his running mate, said Mark Uncapher, chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee.

A Craig administration would be centered around getting the state’s fiscal house in order by stopping the growth of a state budget that’s increased every year in recent memory, cutting taxes and aggressively fighting waste, Haddaway-Riccio told the members of the Republican Club.

She praised Craig as a candidate with proven executive experience, who has lowered taxes and balanced the budget in Harford County.

According to Harford County government spokeswoman Sherrie Johnson, the county is required to submit a balanced budget every year.

Everywhere the candidates go in Maryland, they hear from people concerned about taxes, Haddaway-Riccio said, and there’s no tax a Craig administration wouldn’t review, reduce or repeal.

Every state agency can be looked at and pared down, Haddaway-Riccio said.

She also called for budgetary consequences for agencies that don’t correct problems and issues turned up by state audits.

Haddaway-Riccio said the campaign plans to keep a steady presence in Montgomery County, where registered Democrats outnumber the 125,000 registered Republicans by a nearly three-to-one margin.

Their message seems to resonate in Montgomery when they talk to business owners about taxes and other issues, she said.

Good turnout statewide will be necessary to win in the general election, and they won’t discount any county in the state, she said.

Craig and Haddaway-Riccio will spend a lot of time in Montgomery because the sheer numbers dictate it, said campaign manager Paul Ellington.

With 125,000 registered Republicans in the county, they’re hoping to get at least a 65 percent turnout, he said.

Haddaway-Riccio said it was too soon to tell what the effect would be of Charles County businessman Charles Lollar’s recent entry into the GOP gubernatorial primary, joining Craig and Del. Ronald A. George (R-Dist. 30) of Arnold.

Last month, Frederick County Board of Commissioners President Blaine R. Young ended his pursuit of the Republican nomination and said he’d endorse Lollar.

Lollar officially kicked off his campaign Tuesday with several events.

When asked about Lollar’s impact, Ellington played up Craig’s executive experience in Harford County, as well as his experience in the state Senate and House of Delegates, which Ellington said would allow him to hit the ground running in Annapolis.

“Governor is not an entry-level position,” Ellington said.

rmarshall@gazette.net