Volume 14, Issue 46 ~ November 16 - November 22, 2006


What John Leopold’s Got to Live up to

Of all the surprises of this election, none was more remarkable than Republican John Leopold’s victory in the race for Anne Arundel County executive. In tribute, Frank Sinatra’s My Way should be played at his swearing in Dec. 3.

Party insiders and just about anyone else who purports to understand politics gave odds against Leopold in both the GOP primary and the general election.

But Leopold persevered with tireless shoe-leather campaigning and an appeal to people who’ve had it with business as usual.

Indeed, the message in Maryland and across the country last week was don’t throw away our money and lives on a dubious war. Don’t be corrupt, petty or arrogant. Be accountable and be conservative when it comes to preserving Chesapeake Bay and conserving our remaining rural lands.

In Anne Arundel County, with incomplete results, all the real left-leaning candidates apparently lost while several conservatives won.

Calvert County elected a quite moderate board of county commissioners and a Democratic delegate, Sue Kullen, preferred by the National Rifle Association.

Voters everywhere were angry at Republican screw-ups. But the message they sent last week was not about ideology or about liberals and conservatives.

Leopold’s election showed us that in our part of the world, people feel confident about making up their own minds without listening to endorsements.

Nor did the television ads and emailing make much difference.

People were simply in the market for somebody different. John Leopold filled the bill (too much so according to his detractors). George Johnson, likeable and competent as he may be, came off as Mr. Establishment with all those endorsements.

For Leopold, the challenge now will be surrounding himself with the knowledgeble and unbeholden people willing and able to control growth and add quality to our communities.

For all our sakes, we wish him luck.

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