Ever since the eight-way primary he won on his way to Congress in 1990, Wayne Gilchrest has had to duke it out with fellow members of the GOP. The pro-environment, pro-choice, social libertarian isn't every Republican's cup of tea, so more conservative candidates have tried to pick him off in the primary.
That changed last year, his first without a primary challenger. Does this mean that 1st District Republicans have finally accepted Gilchrest as one of their own?
Andy Harris apparently hopes not. I hear the state senator is telling people he plans to run against Gilchrest. (Harris did not return calls seeking comment.)
Gilchrest's chief of staff, Tony Caligiuri, characterized past and potential challenges as backhanded compliments.
"For Wayne, there's always been a small faction of the party that would like someone much more partisan and much more extremist, and he's never satisfied that desire," Caligiuri said. "It's just a fact of life for a moderate in any party."
By the most remarkable coincidence ...
At the bottom of the invitation to next month's Rudy Giuliani fundraiser at Washington's Hard Rock Cafe, it says, "Solicitor: Scholtes." As in J.P. Scholtes, former counsel to Bob Ehrlich, who works with the ex-gov these days at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice.
Does this mean Team Ehrlich is doing double duty as Team Giuliani? (Ehrlich is Mid-Atlantic chairman for the Giuliani campaign, but presumably that work has nothing to do with the law firm.)
"I'm really doing it on my own," Scholtes said. "I just signed up on my own as someone who would be willing to help with the event."
For anyone else inspired by Giuliani or Ehrlich or both: Tickets for the June 7 event start at $100. Co-chairs who raise $25,000 get a "private reception with special recognition."
Not during trial, and not afterward, either
While former UMBC student John Gaumer was on trial for murder, TV stations tried to get copies of his videotaped confession. Prosecutor S. Ann Brobst and public defender Donald Zaremba argued - successfully - that the stations shouldn't get the video because the trial was under way. (It had been shown to the jury, but extra publicity might taint jurors, the argument went.)
So after Gaumer was sentenced to life Wednesday, Circuit Judge Mickey Norman took up the matter again. But the lawyer for the stations wasn't in the courtroom, my spies tell me.
Who stepped up to go toe-to-toe with the county's toughest prosecutor and its deputy public defender? Fox 45's Kathleen Cairns and WJZ's Mike Schuh.
"With all due respect," Cairns began. But Norman cut her off, saying he'd let the bona fide lawyers go first.
This time, Brobst argued that TV shouldn't have the footage because the trial was over, and the video was being packed up and sent back to police with other physical evidence. Brobst said the stations' request would have carried more weight if the trial were still pending.
When her turn came, Cairns pointed out that the request had been made days earlier. But the real lawyers won anyway.
Connect the dots
The biggest balloon at the Preakness Balloon Fest has a female pilot, Glo Kehoe, and a female crew chief, Sue Dietze. The reason? The biggest balloon also happens to be hot Energizer Bunny pink. The long-eared inflatable isn't promoting battery power so much as girl power - the flipside to the old macho-man, dare-you-to-knock-it-off approach to galvanic cell sales. "Women call the Energizer Bunny's shots," reads a press release trumpeting the world's "only all female corporate shape balloon team." ... You really can wear that bridesmaid's dress again - at Bridesmaids' BINGO. "Participants rummage their closets to wear old bridesmaids' dresses with a prize being awarded for 'best' dress," says the press release for Wednesday's event, a fundraiser for My Sister's Place, a shelter for women, children and, one hopes, people who forced their best friends into lime-green dotted swiss. ... Jeff Arricale, a T. Rowe Price portfolio manager, has the inside track on China. He and two colleagues, Liz Schlicher and Alex Frey, are running the Great Wall Marathon tomorrow. They're doing the race - said to be one of the toughest, considering the wall's 3,700 steps - as a fundraiser. Arricale is trying to establish a lectureship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, to bring in researchers to speak about pediatric lung disease. His 5-year-old son, Jake, suffers from the disease.