Democrat Heather R. Mizeur picked off the endorsement of a maverick former Republican congressman to go with the support of five other Eastern Shore leaders as she continued to show her appeal outside her home county of Montgomery.
Former U.S. Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, who represented the Shore as a Republican for 18 years until his primary defeat in 2008, released a statement expressing his support for the two-term delegate.
“No one will fight harder to protect the Chesapeake Bay than Heather. No one else will bring Maryland together, regardless of what differences we may face, to take on our toughest challenges," Gilchrest said in a statement released by the Mizeur campaign.
Also endorsing Mizeur were Chestertown Mayor Margo Bailey, Salisbury City Councilwoman Laura Mitchell, Chesapeake City Councilman Harry Sampson, Easton Town Councilwoman Megan Cook, and former Queen Anne’s County Commissioner Carol Fordonski.
Gilchrest's support for Mizeur, a long-shot competitor to Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, is a breed of Republican that is all but extinct in elected office today -- a moderate with a passion for environmental causes. Since his defeat in the 2008 Republican primary by now-U.S. Rep. Andrew P. Harris, Gilchrest has crossed party lines to support Democratic opponents of the conservative congressman.
Mizeur is the General Assembly's most outspoken opponent of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a method of extracting natural gas from deep wells that many environmentalists oppose. She has also received high marks from environmentalists for her work on other issues.
No stranger to the Shore, Mizeur's second home is an herb farm that she owns in Kent County with her wife, Deborah.
While Mizeur can't match Brown's list of high-powered endorsements, she has been broadening her support beyond her Takoma Park base. She earlier claimed the support of Baltimore City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, prominent Prince George's County pastor Delman Coates and 22 current and former municipal officials from Montgomery and Prince George’s.