District 30 Maryland Senate candidates gauge enthusiasm in last weekend before general election

Selene San Felice
Contact Reporterssanfelice@capgaznews.com

Elections aren’t won on a Tuesday in November. It all comes down to what happens on Saturdays.

That was District 30 state Senate candidate Sarah Elfreth’s message at an Annapolis rally over the weekend, but it was the same sentiment for her Republican opponent, Ron George.

Elfreth was at the center of the rallying cry of about 200 volunteers and other Democratic candidates gathered at the Mt. Olive Community Life Center, before spending the day knocking on doors and making phone calls.

For George, the Slaughter Across the Water tug of war downtown was a chance to pull in voters.

The race is one of two for open Senate seats in Anne Arundel County, both of which are crucial to Republican hopes to break the veto-proof Democratic majority in the General Assembly.

Saturdays also come down to the people you get to stand next to you.

George anticipated sharing a moment with Gov. Larry Hogan, who also made appearances on the Eastport and City Dock sides of the tug of war, but the two only exchanged waves as the governor drove by.

“I didn’t tug, but I’ve been pressing the flesh,” George said between chatting with residents at the City Dock celebration. “I didn’t expect so many people coming up to me, but it makes me feel good. I have people coming in the store or calling to ask what they can do.”

George mingled with voters and other candidates like Republican Bob O’Shea, running for delegate in District 30A, along with a few supporters wearing Ron George T-shirts. One of those supporters, Sam Schlaich, said he worked on Democratic campaigns for five years before switching sides for George, who he believes is more bipartisan.

George will finish the weekend Sunday with one last round of door-knocking and a speech at the Fish for the Cure event benefiting the Anne Arundel Medical Center cancer center.

Elfreth got the moment she anticipated with the woman she called her hero, retired U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, backing her at the lunchtime rally.

After speeches from county executive candidate Steuart Pittman, District 30A House of Delegates candidate Alice Cain, and U.S. Reps. John Sarbanes and Anthony Brown, Mikulski added to the excitement for Elfreth.

“In the county that’s been through so much this year, I can feel the rising blue tide. … You have the right candidates, you have the right organization and we’re going to have the right outcome,” Mikulski said.

“We have to make sure this Senate, the Maryland Senate, is a veto-proof Senate and we want this new generation of leadership who will carry the banner and carry the torch,” the Maryland political icon said. “We want Sarah right there taking the lead.”

After the rally, Mikulski said she believes in Elfreth because of her stance on issues like education and the environment.

“I like ... her innovation linking the environment with the jobs of the future — particularly clean energy — and practical, affordable solution,” she said.

“More oysters and more trees will clean up the (Chesapeake) Bay and at the same time that will help us from everything from waterman’s jobs to others. Again, the bay is about lives and livelihoods.”

Speaker of the House Michael E. Busch also spoke, rallying support for Elfreth to become the youngest woman to serve in the Maryland Senate.

Busch, who is recovering from heart bypass surgery, poked fun at his health but made sure people knew he’s still fighting for his seat.

“It’s a pleasure for me to be here. Right now it’s a pleasure for me to be anywhere. Had a bit of a tough year ...” he laughed. “We need to make sure that not only Alice (Cain) and I get elected, but Sarah Elfreth.”

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