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Corrogan R. Vaughn, frequent Republican candidate for office

Corrogan R. Vaughn, frequent Republican candidate for office
Corrogan R. Vaughn, a Republican who challenged Rep. Elijah E. Cummings in two campaigns, died Aug. 17. (HANDOUT)

Corrogan R. Vaughn, a frequent Republican candidate who challenged Rep. Elijah E. Cummings in two campaigns, died Aug. 17 of a heart attack at his Pikesville home. He was 51.

"I was deeply saddened to learn of Corrogan Vaughn's passing from this life," Mr. Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat, said in a statement.

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"As a lifelong Republican, Mr. Vaughn stepped forward to run against me in two successive congressional elections," he said. "Although he and I disagreed on many of the central public policy issues of our time, Mr. Vaughn was a vigorous advocate for core values of our society that he, I and all Americans share."

"Corrogan was a good friend and had a great feel for Baltimore and what Republicans were doing in the city," said former Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele.

"He was the quintessential candidate who believed in public service, and if he had the opportunity to serve, he'd say, 'I'll do it,' " Mr. Steele said. "He believed in what we stood for and felt that it was an honor to serve."

Corrogan Robwood Vaughn, the son of the Rev. Dr. Alfred C.D. Vaughn, pastor of Sharon Baptist Church, and Lillian Purnell Bowser Vaughn, a retired educator, was born in Lynchburg, Va..

He moved with his family to Ashburton when his father was called to Grace Memorial Baptist Church in 1968, where he served for 18 years before being named pastor of Sharon Baptist Church in 1986.

Mr. Vaughn was a 1984 graduate of Northwestern High School and earned a bachelor's degree in political science and government in 1988 from Virginia Union University in Richmond. He also did further studies at Virginia Union, Drexel University in Philadelphia, and Liberty University in Lynchburg.

Mr. Vaughn was something of a political newcomer when he ran for Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes' seat in 2000 and four years later challenged first-term state Sen. E.J. Pipkin for the Republican nod to run against Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski.

"We haven't heard what makes Pipkin a great candidate other than he has seven figures," Mr. Vaughn told The Baltimore Sun at the time. "I'm in it to win it. I'm not a perennial candidate. I'm not a kook."

Mr. Vaughn's platform supported expanding health care coverage, grow the state's economy and sponsor legislation to lessen American dependency on fossil fuels.He also said he wanted the voters — not the state GOP leadership — to select the best candidate.

"Positive change comes through choice," Mr. Vaughn told the newspaper.

Mr. Pipkin, who won the nomination, ran unsuccessfully that fall against Senator Mikulski.

In the early 2000s, Mr. Vaughn and Mr. Steele were hosts of a noontime radio show, "Lunchtime with the Maryland GOP," which aired over WOLB-AM.

"It was a lot of fun," Mr. Steele recalled. "And after the first show, it was clear that Corrogan was the kind of guy who made politics fun."

Mr. Vaughn was a Republican candidate for president in 2008 and ran for a state Senate seat in 2012, losing the primary to Dan Bongino.

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In 2010, Mr. Vaughn captured 179 votes in his write-in campaign for governor and came in eighth in the GOP Senate primary in 2012.

He ran unsuccessfully against Mr. Cummings in 2014 and again two years later.

"Even in the midst of those hard-fought political campaign, Corrogan Vaughn remained a gentleman, never personalizing his advocacy," Mr. Cummings said in his statement.

"I respected him and was proud to consider him a friend. Although Corrogan did not succeed in gaining elective office, our shared respect and friendship are all at the core of a more lasting legacy," he said.

"At the heart of our American political experience is the lesson that, above all else, we remain countrymen and women," he said. "Even though we may be political opponents, we must never become enemies. Corrogan Vaughn's political life exemplified this lesson. For that, he will be remembered and missed."

"When I was chair of the Maryland Republican Party and later national chair, he supported our efforts and moving the agenda forward. For him, that was paramount," Mr. Steele said.

"Corrogan was a brain tumor survivor which he had 20 years ago," his father said. "He had recently been to Hopkins and was still clean."

"He recovered from that and didn't want that to be his story," Mr. Steele said. "He wanted to stay in the game and he's going to be missed. He wasn't a guy who just ran for office, he ran grass-roots campaigns. He worked really hard."

Mr. Vaughn, who worked in various managerial positions for 16 years until 2002 for US Airways, later owned a limousine company and was working as a funeral home attendant for Carlton C. Douglas Funeral Services at his death.

Services for Mr. Vaughn will begin with a family hour at 10:30 a.m. Monday, followed by funeral services at 11 a.m.at Sharon Baptist Church, 1375 N. Stricker St.

In addition to his parents, who live in Pikesville, he is survived by two sisters, Cassandra Vaughn-Fox of Woodlawn and the Rev. Dr. Lynette Vaughn of Pikesville.

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