Annual Meeting of Talbot County Democratic Forum

1st District Democratic Congressional Candidates Jesse Colvin, Allison Galbraith, Michael Pullen, and Steve Worton will speak at the annual meeting of the Talbot County Democratic Forum on Sunday, March 18 at Easton’s Avalon Theatre.

The social hour begins at 4 pm, accompanied by the Forum’s fabulous smorgasbord and Talbot County Democratic Women’s Club’s silent auction. Following a call to order from Forum President Rick Schiming at 5 pm and a brief business meeting, Talbot County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Scott Kane and the candidates will speak to our cause in the coming election.

Jesse Colvin, Allison Galbraith, Michael Pullen, Steve Worton

Marylander Jesse Colvin spent a semester in Egypt, lived in Syria, taught English to Iraqi students, and served four tours of duty as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan. He then became a consultant to business and government executives, and more recently, he has married and become an expectant father.

Allison Galbraith is a native Marylander, mom, and business owner specializing in federal contracting. Having dealt with the complexities of working with both veteran-owned small businesses and government agencies, she believes that a government of the people can and must work for the people.

Having served as Talbot County Attorney and worked with both Republican and Democratic county councils over the past 24 years, Michael Pullen is intimately aware of Eastern Shore issues. He founded the grassroots organization Talbot Rising, became a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and left his position as County Attorney to run for Congress.

Candidate Steve Worton worked 33 years for the Department of Defense, managing over 3,000 people at 23 sites around the world. He retired from Aberdeen Proving Ground in 2014. Having dealt with Senate and House committees, he wants to bring his experience in promoting sound management to Washington.

This event, free and open to the public, also provides an opportunity to join or renew membership in the Talbot County Democratic Forum. For more information visit or email

Republican Committee of Talbot County Commends Thomas Appointment

The Republican Central Committee of Talbot County (RCCTC) commends Wadella Chase Thomas of Easton on her appointment to serve on the Talbot County Board of Elections. Thomas was nominated by Governor Hogan and her appointment was affirmed with consent of the Maryland State Senate
RCCTC Chair Nick Panuzio said ”Wadella’s appointment is well deserved and reflects the very high regard she has earned through a lifetime of service in our community”.

That service includes 41 years as a teacher in Dorchester County Schools; following her graduation from Moton High School and Morgan State University. She also received a master’s degree at Salisbury University. Thomas currently serves as a member of the Core Leadership Team at Church of the King and as a Board member of the local Chapter of Lady Patriots. She has also served as an election judge and as legislative chair for the Mid Shore League of Republican Women.

Panuzio observed that Wadella’s background and experience will be a great asset in working with the professional staff at the local Board of Elections to execute their mission to provide all eligible citizens of the County convenient access to voter registration; to provide all registered voters accessible locations in which they may exercise their right to vote, to ensure uniformity of the election practices; to promote fair and equitable elections; and to maintain registration records, campaign fund reports, and other election-related data accurately and in a form that is accessible to the public.

In Congress, Only One Maryland Lawmaker gets NRA Money

As congressional gun talks ramp up, advocates for stronger safety laws have called for their representatives to stop accepting campaign finance donations from the National Rifle Association.

The gun rights advocacy group has given $263,818 to candidates in the first two months of 2018 – 98 percent of that going to Republican candidates, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics (, a non-partisan research group that tracks money in U.S. politics.

No Democratic lawmakers from Maryland have received any campaign contributions from gun rights or gun safety groups so far this year.

However, Rep. Andy Harris, R-Cockeysville, has received $1,975, bringing the total since his first campaign in 2008 to $25,447 in funding from the NRA. No other senator or House member from Maryland has received contributions from gun rights advocacy groups, records show.

Neither the NRA nor Harris’s office responded to media inquiries by phone or email about his campaign contributions.

On the other side of the gun debate, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, has received the most money among current senators from gun safety advocates between 1989 and 2016: $105,595, according to Open Secrets data. Almost all of that came during his 2016 Senate campaign.

“This issue shouldn’t be political – it should be about doing everything we can to prevent the loss of another child, another parent,” Van Hollen said in an email to Capital News Service. “With over 90 percent of Americans saying they want something done, the GOP leadership’s refusal to consider measures that are proven to save lives is gross negligence.”

Van Hollen last year urged the National Institutes of Health to renew funding that had lapsed for firearm violence research and introduced legislation with Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, which would have set aside $10 million each year from 2018 through 2023 for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct or support research on gun violence prevention and firearms safety.

Another Maryland representative, Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Upper Marlboro, introduced bipartisan legislation Tuesday that would raise the minimum age required to purchase a semi-automatic weapon from 18 to 21.

“This common-sense bipartisan bill is a critical first step that closes a dangerous loophole in our gun laws,” Brown said in a statement.

Brown has not received any contributions from gun control groups during his career. Neither have Democratic Reps. John Delaney of Potomac, Jamie Raskin of Kensington, Dutch Ruppersberger of Timonium and John Sarbanes of Towson.

Over the course of his political career, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, has received $2,000 in total contributions from gun control advocates; Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Baltimore, received $2,450, and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Mechanicsville, received $2,000, according to Open Secrets.

By Jarod Golub and Julia Karron

The 1st District: Introducing Candidate Allison Galbraith

Allison Galbraith has a straightforward answer when asked why she is running for the United States Congress from the 1st Congressional — it’s personal.

Not too long ago, Allison made arrangements to meet with Representative Andy Harris to discuss her own experience with, and advocacy for, the Affordable Care Act. She found herself rebuffed by the Congressman not only on policy but was stung by his comment during their exchange that he would have no problem with women paying more for health insurance than men.

That’s all it took forGalbraith to plunge yourself into the 1st district Democratic primary. And she has launched a campaign that addresses not only her grievances against Dr. Harris and his desire to repeal Obamacare but offers her unique perspective as a single mother struggling with keeping afloat while also having served as a caregiver for her mother.

The University of Maryland graduate, with a degree in philosophy, has spent most of her career working on federal government contracts which she believes will give her a unique advantage on how to save money in Washington. She also feels it could be one of the more striking differentials between her and her Democratic opponents as the candidates face the primary day election in June.

The Spy met up with Allison at the Bullitt House last Saturday for a quick introductory chat.

This video is approximately six minutes in length. For more information about Allison Galbraith’s campaign please go here

Meet Candidate Kevin Kamenetz

Kevin Kamenetz, a Democratic candidate for governor of Maryland, is looking forward to meeting and greeting Eastern Shore voters on Saturday, January 27, beginning at 3 pm at Talbot County Democratic headquarters, 26 W. Dover St., Easton.

A lifelong Maryland resident and graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Baltimore School of Law, Kevin Kamenetz began his career in public service as a prosecutor in Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. He later served four terms on the Baltimore County Council and was elected as County Executive of Baltimore County in 2012 and reelected in 2014.

Having also served as President of the Maryland Association of Counties and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, he is eager to share his perspectives on the challenges we face today.

Baltimore County attracted billions in economic investment and the unemployment rate was cut in half during his tenure as County Executive. The redevelopment of Sparrows Point brought jobs from companies like Under Armour and Fed Ex, and he was named 2016’s Most Distinguished Leader for Minority Businesses.

Baltimore County also made an historic investment in public education. Faced with students in trailers, 90 schools were either built or remodeled to get them back into classrooms. Supporting programs have contributed to raising the public school graduation rate to nearly 90 percent.

Kamenetz believes that a lack of vision and years of under-investment in public education and mass transportation projects have contributed to loss of major employers like Amazon’s HQ2 and Maryland’s continued drop in national education rankings.

Kamenetz is excited to share his record of results in Baltimore County and vision for the future of Maryland. He will be at 26 W. Dover St., Easton, at 3 p.m. this coming Saturday.

Board of Education Approves Calendar Changes

The Talbot County Board of Education held a special meeting this evening to approve changes to the 2017/2018 calendar.  As of January 17, 2018, the school system had used all four inclement weather days built into the calendar, as schools were closed on January 4, 5, 8, and 9. “It is extremely rare for TCPS to use all planned inclement weather days in the first semester of the school year, as historically most weather-related closings have occurred in February,” said Dr. Helga Einhorn, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.

The approved 2017-2018 calendar reflects the final day for students as June 13, the last tenured teacher day on June 18, and the last day for first year teachers on June 21.  This includes four snow days built in as required by Section 7-103 of the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.  With these four days already used, and in an effort to be proactive, the Board approved a conditional waiver request to be submitted to the Maryland State Board of Education which would allow schools to be open on Presidents’ Day, February 19, 2018.  The State Board of Education will make the final decision as to whether or not TCPS could use this day for school if needed at their January 30, 2018 meeting.  Schools would only open on Presidents’ Day if additional school closings are required prior to February 16.

In a further effort to ensure the ability to meet the requirements of COMAR, the Board approved amending the 2017-2018 approved calendar to change January 26 (Transition Day) from a day off for students and a work day for teachers to an early dismissal day for students.  This change will not require State Board of Education approval, so families should plan accordingly. “This would allow for an additional day and still allow teachers the required negotiated agreement time to complete grades,” explained Dr. Einhorn. “We are grateful for the flexibility and support of our students, staff and the community as we work through this challenging situation.”

Easton’s Naomi Hyman to Be Democratic Candidate for Talbot County Council

Naomi Hyman has announced that she will be Democratic candidate for Talbot County Council and will launch her campaign and outline her priorities at 2:00pm on Sunday, January 14, 2018 at the Democratic Headquarters at 26 West Dover Street in Easton.

Naomi has been a bridge-builder and collaborative problem-solver in settings ranging from the boardroom to the family room for over three decades. She worked as an adult education and community programming professional, in vocational training, professional development, interfaith education, stress reduction, and wellness. She has lived and worked in Easton for nearly twenty years.


The 1st District: Introducing Candidate Michael Pullen

According to Easton’s Michael Pullen, a powerful political transformation took place for him over the last few years which has turned this long-tenured public servant into a congressional candidate.

That’s the time it took for the former Talbot County Attorney to witness a time when the fundamental values he grew up with, and with which he conducted his professional life, seemed radically at odds with what can now be described as the Trump era.

In the Spy’s second installment of introducing the current candidates running for the 2018 Congressional seat for Maryland’s First District, Pullen outlines in detail the journey that led him to declare his candidacy and how his experience in the public arena has best prepared him to really “represent” the voters of the Eastern Shore.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about Pullen for the US Congress please go here

The 1st District: Introducing Candidate Jesse Colvin

It’s too bad that one of Jesse Colvin’s most compelling examples of his character is pretty much reserved for those who know something about college basketball.

A candidate in the Democratic primary for the Congressional 1st District seat now, and with four active tours of duty in Afghanistan as a U.S. Army Ranger behind him, Jesse still has a hint of horror in his voice when he recalled before our formal Spy interview of being a freshman reporter on Duke University’s student newspaper and asking the famed Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) why he had ‘screwed up’ after a critical match against the University of Maryland.

The crowded press room fell silent as Jesse’s basketball heroes started to awkwardly shuffle their feet as Duke’s only living god, who is referred to on the Duke campus as “GOAT,” as in “Greatest of All Time,” came down on the cub reporter in a rage of fury that would crush a typical nineteen years old. But that might be the point; Jesse Colvin is not your ordinary anything.

A gifted student with a bright future in the field of international relations, Colvin instead signed up to not only serve in the military but sought out and earned a position in the 75th Ranger Regiment, perhaps the most elite fighting force in the world.

With all that in mind, it doesn’t seem so shocking then to see someone of Jesse’s age, with no significant political background, decide that he has what it takes to win what is turning out to be a hotly contested Democratic primary contest in June of next year and then defeat Representative Andy Harris in November.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. We have included Jesse Colvin’s “Coach K” story after the credits. For more information the Jesse Colvin for Congress campaign please go here

Allison Galbraith Announces for Congress

Allison Galbraith is running for Congress.

Allison Galbraith

A small business owner and single mother from Harford County, Galbraith threw her hat into the ring on May 12 as a Democratic challenger for Rep. Andy Harris’s First District seat. Following the official campaign kickoff in Bel Air, she traveled to Chestertown and Salisbury to begin building a base of supporters on the Eastern Shore.

Galbraith’s Chestertown stop was at the Book Plate bookstore. About 20 attended, and the candidate, instead of giving a stump speech, engaged in a lively 40-minute question-and-answer session.

Tom Martin, owner of the store, opened the session by asking Galbraith about her background.

Galbraith said she is the daughter of two college professors. A University of Maryland graduate, she is “amicably separated” from her husband, a military veteran, and has a 9-year-old son and a stepson. She said her business specializes in program management and streamlining projects for the Department of Defense and in consulting with industries bidding on federal contracts involving medical technology that often ends up in civilian applications.

Asked why she is seeking the congressional seat, Galbraith said, “I think we need the perspective of the people in Congress.” The money it takes to run, and the sacrifices it takes to run are a deterrent to “everyday people” who might seek office, she said. “Right now, everything in our lives is under attack; we don’t know what’s going to be taken from us.”

She said her business was made possible by her ability to purchase private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Gender-based criteria such as having had a C-section were considered pre-existing conditions, making the rates unaffordable for her before the ACA. “If they’re going to take my health insurance and they’re going to take my business, I’m going down fighting,” she said. “And it’s not just for me, it’s for every one of us who isn’t adequately represented in Congress. Our voices are not heard, especially with Andy Harris,” who she said votes for the interests of his financial supporters “on the backs of working Americans.”

“I’m one of the working Americans,” Galbraith said. “Aren’t you sick of being trampled on by the  Republicans in government?”

Galbraith said she had spent considerable time traveling throughout the First District even before launching her campaign, “and I don’t intend to stop.” She said candidates from both parts of the district, the Eastern Shore and the Western Shore, tend to neglect the other half of the district, “and it’s not doing any of us any good.” She said she planned to visit each county “at least quarterly,” and that she would be available through social media and texting. “I have a lot of energy, I can run around the district and put 20,000 miles on my car. We deserve that from our reps, right?”

In terms of strategy, she said the Democrats need to flip about 45,000 votes to take back the district. To do so, she said she would probably fight for progressive values using “more conservative framing” of the issues. “If there were a party of critical thinking, that’s what I’d run as,” she said, but she places great importance of issues of personal rights and individual freedoms.

Other questions went into specifics including gun control (“responsible gun ownership is not a threat”), health care (“the health care system will never work out for us as long as they’re profiting by denying us care”), infrastructure (“we’re one of the richest states in the country, and there are parts of this district that don’t even have reliable internet access”), and public education (“if we care about the future, we need to care about education and preparing people for their future.”) Her answers were detailed and energetic, often drawing on personal experience.

A telling moment came when an audience member challenged her to respond to what he said would be the Republican characterization of her as “a tax-and-spend liberal” who doesn’t care about fiscal responsibility. “I have a proven record of saving millions of dollars a year for the federal government,” she said. “In terms of fiscal responsibility, I have a one-up on (Harris) because I actually save the government money.”

At the end of the visit, Galbraith’s campaign manager said her website,  gives her positions on a range of issues. Also, anyone interested can sign up on the site for notifications of events near them, he said. He said she plans to have a serallison@allisonforcongress.comies of small, informal meetings to allow people to meet her and discuss issues with her in a living-room type setting. If her appearance at the Book Plate is any sample, they would appear to be well worth attending.


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