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Harford Young Republican chapter dissolved after anti-Semitic email; co-chairs appointed to create new group

The Harford County chapter of the Maryland Young Republicans was dissolved late Thursday night after chapter leadership allegedly distributed an anti-Semitic email to its listserve.

The email was a violation of the Maryland Young Republicans Bylaws, which prohibits any type of discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin or religious belief, according to a Facebook post by the Maryland Young Republicans, an organization made up of young professionals ages 18-40 looking to get involved in the Republican Party.

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“More importantly, such rhetoric and hatefulness have no place in our organization, and their actions are not reflective of our Republican values,” the state group posted.

The email shared a link to a New York Post article about a public school principal in New York City asking parents to reflect on their whiteness. The email claims that an “illegitimate jewish system” is “waging war” on white people. “This anti-White propaganda will lead to violence,” it states.

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The email came from the organization’s main address without any indication who had authored it.

Reached Friday, former president of the Harford County Young Republicans Luke Kaczmarek said he was not involved in sending the email and that the organization was defunct before hanging up the phone.

The Harford County Young Republicans Facebook page and the organization’s website were no longer active by Friday morning. It’s unclear how long that had been the case.

A new Harford County chapter will be established, the Maryland Young Republicans announced. Anna Dove and Lindsey Reynolds will be the acting co-chairs of that group.

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“We are confident that their leadership will charter a new, inclusive, and successful path for the Harford County Young Republicans,” the state group said.

Dove, who is Del. Mike Griffith’s chief of staff, said Friday that she wanted to foster inclusive conservatism in the county — principles and tenants welcoming to all, regardless of their ethnicity, gender or race. Moving forward, she hopes to make the organization more active than it has been in the past months, during which it hosted few, if any, events.

She was not a member of the Harford County Young Republicans, but was on the organization’s listserve and received the email directly. The only time she participated in anything related to group was a July Zoom call. She left after an hour because the 10 or 15 people there were not really doing anything. She was considering running for a leadership position within the organization to make it a more active outfit, Dove said, before the events of Thursday.

Dove posted a video response to the email on her Facebook page Thursday night, condemning the email and its “incredibly disturbing, anti-semitic, racist content,” and calling for leadership and anyone involved in drafting and distributing the email to resign.

“It is despicable that the leadership of the Harford County Young Republicans allowed such a disgusting email to circulate, espousing ideas that the members of its club do not ascribe to,” Dove said in the video. “We do not believe in anti Semitism. We do not believe in violence. We do not believe in racism. We do not believe in discrimination. We do not believe in incivility. If you believe in any of those things, you do not have a place within our club.”

Reynolds shared Dove’s video and posted on her Facebook page “This kind of dialogue has no place in our party. ... We need an organization we can trust to promote the true ideals of the Republican Party in an eloquent and respectful manner.”

A few hours later, after the Maryland Young Republicans named them the co-chairs of the new Harford County chapter, Dove posted that she was grateful and thanked the state group for the opportunity.

“I believe deeply in true conservatism — individual rights and responsibility, intrinsic and legal equality, fiscal balance, and the value of the Constitution,” Dove wrote. “Together we will work for Harford County to encourage, educate, and activate our young people.”

Griffith on Friday commended the state organization for addressing the hateful email so quickly. He said rejection of the speech transcends politics and that he will denounce anti-Semitic rhetoric wherever he sees it. There is no room for it in society, he said.

“It is an absolutely disgusting message, and it is important that we stand against it,” Griffith said.

Fallston resident Jonathan Acker found out about the email when he saw Griffith’s denunciation of it posted to Facebook. Acker is Jewish and began talking with others in Harford’s tight-knit Jewish community about the message.

Acker, who said he’s not affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic parties, said the issue is not about politics, but rather the views of the organization’s leadership.

“This is about a couple of racist people who said a disgusting thing,” he said.

Aegis editor S. Wayne Carter Jr. contributed to this article.

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