New Jersey Governor Chris Christie joined Maryland candidate for governor Larry Hogan at the Honey Bee Diner in Glen Burnie. Video by Joshua McKerrow, Staff.
William Niner drove over an hour to the Honey Bee Diner in Glen Burnie Tuesday to show his support for Larry Hogan's bid to be Maryland's governor and to meet New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
He got there at 7 a.m., snagging a booth next to the entrance and ordered cream chipped beef. After he finished he waited for the Republican candidate's campaign bus, scheduled to arrive at 9:30 a.m.
"I think it's going to be close and it's going to come down to voter turnout," Niner said.
When they arrived, Hogan and Christie were rushed by dozens of supporters who asked them to sign everything from baseballs to magazines before entering the diner. Once inside, they walked from one end to the other, shaking hands and talking with the customers.
Bob Greco, said he voted for Hogan on an absentee ballot and was really excited to meet Christie, considered a potential Republican candidate for president in 2016.
His son, also a Christie fan, wasn't able to make it to the diner Tuesday so Greco held out his phone with his son on the line. Christie put it up to his ear and answered, "Hello Joe," Greco said.
Christie currently serves as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. It is his third time to Maryland to support Hogan in his campaign against Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.
He said Hogan has a good chance at beating Brown in the tight election. He plans to visit again Sunday to encourage voters to get to the polls on Nov. 4.
When talking outside the diner, a shout of "Christie for president" rang through the crowd. He redirected the attention back to Hogan's campaign.
Hogan is a real estate developer from Annapolis who served as the appointments secretary for Maryland's most recent Republican governor, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. He may be better known for Change Maryland, a nonprofit he set up to criticize Gov. Martin O' Malley. His father was a congressman, and Hogan himself ran an unsuccessful race for Congress in the 5th District.
Brown has served two terms with O'Malley, served with the Army Reserve in Iraq and was a delegate from Prince George's County. If elected he would be Maryland's first African-American Maryland governor.
Jack Reid of Pasadena said he supports Hogan because it's time for a change and said he sees jobs leaving Maryland.
"Brown he's just going to be riding another four years from O'Malley," he said.
Honey Bee owners Nick and Jimmy Filipidis are twins, but said they couldn't be farther apart on politics.
Wearing a white shirt and American flag tie, Nick said the visit really made business pick up in the morning.
Speaking outside the diner, Hogan declined to take a position on the differences between approaches to the Ebola virus taken by Christie and New Jersey and O'Malley in Maryland.
Christie has defended his decision to require a 21-day quarantine from any health care workers returning from volunteer work in the three West African countries were the virus has killed thousands of people. One nurse from Maine was quarantined in a tent for several days this week until being allowed to return home.
O'Malley on Monday said travelers returning from the countries to Maryland could be quarantined at home or barred from public transit, depending on their risk of exposure to the deadly virus.
But he stopped short of the 21-day quarantine Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo adopted.
"I don't want to second guess what the governor and lieutenant governor are doing," Hogan said.
He also urged voters to review their ballots before submitting because of reports that some voting machines around the state are defaulting to Democratic candidates. Two machines in Anne Arundel County have been removed from service.
Small business owner Ron Watkins of Severn said he plans to support Hogan and his running mate Boyd Rutherford. But he doesn't plan to vote the party line, and said he likes Democrat George Johnson for county executive.
"They're everyday people with everyday concerns," he said of Hogan and Rutherford. "They want to do the right thing."
After the campaign left, Niner walked out to head home to Carroll County carrying a newly autographed Time magazine with Christie's photo on the cover.
"It was pretty exciting," he said. "(Hogan) came to a small business and helped to support them."