A Conversation with Spy Columnist David Montgomery and 1st District Candidate Jesse Colvin

It is usually the case that the Spy uses editorial discretion in presenting candidates for public office. To serve our readers, and respect their limited time to consume this form of video interviews, we have long used the practice of editing the comments of those running for office down to digestible segments to quickly get to the core of their policy platforms and qualifications. While we still think that this is a useful approach, and will continue to use it, we nevertheless are always eager to explore different formats to objectively as possible present different points of view.

That is indeed the case with our experiment with the Avalon Foundation’s public access television station (MCTV), to present, unedited, a healthy and respectful conversation between conservative Spy columnist (and acclaimed economist) David Montgomery, and Democratic candidate Jesse Colvin for Maryland’s 1st Congressional District, for a one-to-one interview, from beginning to end, on some of the critical issues facing this country in the 2018 midterm election this November.

We plan to interview Rep. Andy Harris using the same format on October 16.

This video is approximately forty minutes in length.

 

District One in 2018: A Spy Goes to the Lower Shore with Salisbury Mayor Jake Day

This Election 2018 profile is the fourth of a six-part series on the intricate makeup and character of the 1st Congressional District of Maryland. Each month, the Spy will be interviewing different 1st District residents from the Western Shore to the Lower Shore, both Democrats and Republicans, to discuss their unique sub-region of one of the largest congressional districts in the country, and the issues and political climate of those communities.

It only takes a few minutes with Salisbury Mayor Jake Day to realize how terms like “Democrat” and “Republican” lose meaning as he discusses the political landscape of Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. While Day is clearly a Democrat with a capital “D,” his views on increasingly the military budget and his deficit hawk tendencies could easily fit in with the GOP’s conventional platform.

This becomes even more of a gray area when the mayor suggests that Congressman Andy Harris has been soft on supporting turbine wind power off of Ocean City; a form of alternative energy that finds Harris and many environmentalists on the same side of this issue. In Day’s mind, wind power could bring up to 500 jobs to Salisbury, and as the city’s mayor, his number one job is to create an economically vibrant community.

But, as Day told the Spy a few weeks ago, the 2018 midterm election will not be focused on the issues of the day as much on a referendum on the moral direction of the country. Those whose political “brand,” like the one Harris has, is now intertwined with Trumpism, and will pay a high cost in the 1st District. The question is whether that cost will defeat an incumbent in one of most reliable GOP  congressional districts in the nation.

This video is approximately eight minutes in length.

District One in 2018: A Spy Goes to Harford County to Meet Barry Glassman

This Election 2018 profile is the third of a six-part series on the intricate makeup and character of the 1st Congressional District of Maryland. Each month, the Spy will be interviewing different 1st District residents from the Western Shore to the Lower Shore, both Democrats and Republicans, to discuss their unique sub-region of one of the largest congressional districts in the country, and the issues and political climate of those communities.

When Barry Glassman was attending Washington College in the early 1980s, he mirrored a world that ranged from the unbridled optimism of Ronald Reagan on one end and the cultural acceptance of TV’s right wing teen idol, Alex P. Keaton, on the other. Not burdened with memories of Watergate or the violence of the 1960s, Glassman, and his contemporaries, eagerly welcomed the Reagan era’s full throttle patriotism and America’s new, and much more hip, form of political conservatism.

From those early beginnings in Chestertown, where he sought his first political office as the president of WC’s Student Government Association, Glassman made politics a career choice that has taken him to become a Maryland state delegate, senator, and now the County Executive of Harford County.

A few weeks ago, the Spy drove over to Bel Air to talk the County Executive Glassman about his native Harford County, its role in the 1st District, as well as the increasingly polarized nature of national politics and what it means to be a Reagan Republican in the era of Donald Trump.

This video is approximately seven minutes in length. 

Spy Time with Congressman Andy Harris

It is safe to say that Sunday afternoon did not turn out to be what Congressman Andy Harris had expected when he dutifully showed up the League of Women Voters forum.

Anticipating to share the stage with two GOP opponents in the Republican primary race on June 26, Dr. Harris instead learned that both Martin Elborn and Lamont Taylor were “no shows” which prompted the LWV to cancel the event to be in compliance with the League’s standing rule that a forum can not take place with only one candidate in attendance.

To Rep. Harris’ credit, he nonetheless stayed in the lobby for close to an hour to answer questions from constituents, many of whom were Democrats, which centered around the Congressman’s long-standing opposition to the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare).

He also took a few minutes with the Spy to answer our questions about the current Congress, his support and a few disappointments of President Donald Trump’s leadership and analyzing his chances to keep the 1st Congressional seat in the 2018 general election in November.

This video is approximately seven minutes in length.

District One in 2018: A Spy Goes to Carroll County to Meet Don West

This Election 2018 profile is the first of a six-part series on the intricate makeup and character of the 1st Congressional District of Maryland. Each month, the Spy will be interviewing different 1st District residents from Carroll County to the Lower Shore, both Democrats and Republicans, to discuss their unique sub-region of one of the largest congressional districts in the country, and the issues and political climate of those communities.

The Spy starts at the westernmost part of the 1st District, in the northern part of Carroll County and our chat with Don West, the owner of a local construction company for 30 years, and current chair of the Democratic Central Committee of Carroll County.

In his Spy interview, Don provides an objective overview of the ever-changing demographic characteristics of this part of Carroll, its political roots, and a snapshot analysis on how the midterm election is unfolding.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. 

 

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