Metzgar in Essex

Last night, I had the opportunity to attend the announcement of Ric Metzgar for House of Delegates. Metzgar was a candidate in 2006 who lost to incumbents Olszewski, Minnick, and Weir in a strongly Democratic year. 2006 saw a tidal wave bringing Democrats in charge of Congress and retaking the Governor’s mansion in Maryland. Metzgar is a 57 year old auto dealership owner. He’s been a small business owner and has organized a number of community events. I was very interested in attending this event to see what the candidate in my Legislative district had to offer.

There were about 25 people in attendance at the ribbon cutting / opening of Metzgar’s official campaign office. In addition to some grass roots supporters, amongst the crowd were House of Delegates candidate Norma Secoura (R-District 8), Delegate John Cluster (R-District 8), and Baltimore County Council candidate Buzz Beeler (D-District 7). Check out my interview with Beeler here.

The event began with master of ceremonies Paul M. Blitz. Mr. Blitz was a two time candidate for House of Delegates, running in 2002 and 2006. I immediately noticed that Blitz is a great public speaker. He had command of the microphone and was very impressive. Honestly, I hope he considers a political comeback in the future.

What was interesting and refreshing was that the event began with an opening prayer from Bishop McIntyre. Following the opening prayer, Metzgar’s neice led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. This was immediately followed by a wonderful rendition of the national anthem as sung by a local vocalist. It was a great beginning to open this campaign event.

Blitz then introduced the crowd to Metzgar who gave a speech officially announcing his campaign and outlining some of the important platform items he wanted to address. Metzgar’s a lifelong resident of the area who said that he’s become sick of those in charge who are talking and never acting. Four years ago, his campaign slogan was that we needed change. Metzgar said, “…[H]ere we are four years later and what do we still need? Real change.” He’s right. After years of intrenched incumbents, the people of Maryland need change in the right direction. As Metzgar said during his speech, “Maryland voters deserve better [and] Maryland voters desire better.” I certainly hope he’s right.

On the issues, Metzgar is a traditional Republican in many senses of the word. He believes in the traditional definition of marriage as currently defined by Maryland state law. He believes in a lean, fiscally responsible government and signed a no-tax pledge. But, he also supports strenghthening our domestic violence laws to protect victims of such attacks. He supports actively seeking out to stop senior citizen abuse. He also mentioned that he supported a tax break for small businesses until “…they get on their feet.” I’d love to hear more specifics about that proposal.

All around, Metzgar came across as down to earth. He wasn’t some slick shooting career politician reciting his vague talking points. He was a local, concerned citizen who had enough of Annapolis. He’s a Christian and unashamed of his faith, actually saying first and foremost that he needed our prayers above even his need for financial support. Metzgar says that he will be keeping his campaign office doors open every single day and if elected, would have a similar open door policy. He’ll have office hours and provide residents with a direct line not to his office, but to him. Metzgar said, he wants to be “…[E]lected to serve, not serve to be elected.”

Talking with Metzgar afterwards, he was as down to earth as he came across in his speech. It was a great opportinity to meet the candidate and I encourge any resident of the 6th Legislative District to check him out. His official website is here. I’ll be interested to hear more from him as the campaign progresses and I hope he can defeat the incumbents. In a district which went to McCain in 2008 and Ehrlich in 2006, I question how it’s represented by Democrats at all, let alone a liberal like Olszewski.

Cross-posted to Old Line Elephant