How I’m Thinking About the Upcoming Election…and Decided to Support Colvin for Congress by Craig Fuller


I long ago lost count of how many friends ask, “what are we going to do?” when discussing the current political situation. It certainly is unlike anything we have ever witnessed. We live with a President who, whether you support him or not, increasingly separates himself from the truth, and with Congressional leaders of the same party who, unless they’ve announced their retirement, seldom check initiatives from the White House even when they run counter to the policy orientation embraced throughout their careers.

So, to my friends and others who ask what we can do, I say, go vote!

First, before you vote, ask yourself what kind of individual you want representing you. Then go on a search to determine with whom you are most aligned. It’s actually pretty easy today with the tools available on the internet to penetrate through the campaign rhetoric and examine the record.

For me, this year’s election is not only about sending strong people to Washington, but it is also about sending a strong and clear message regarding the kind of leadership we expect from Washington. To be sure, there are loud voices in the land. And, maybe those voices represent your thinking, but statistically, those loud voices are usually in the minority. So, the key for those who believe differently is to do one simple thing: vote on Tuesday, November 6th for candidates who understand your concerns; who can relate to the families in your community; who want to protect the nation against the threats that loom all around from opioids, to guns, to environmental issues and more.

Here in the 1st Congressional District of Maryland that includes my community of Easton, two factors launched me on a soul-searching voyage. Initially, as I sought views from Republican friends about incumbent Congressman Andy Harris, I discovered little enthusiasm and rather broad disappointment. When I looked more closely, I saw a Member of Congress that seemed to take his cues from the talking points of rather extreme groups.

Before long, people I respect who are Republicans, Democrats and Independents told me I should get to know a candidate running for Congress for the first time, Jesse Colvin. I found a former Army Ranger, intelligence officer, a bright and engaged leader who leaves a very strong and favorable impression. Jesse won the Democratic primary and is marching aggressively on a very uphill climb to the general election in November. He is being helped by a broad base of supporters; so, I decided to take a much closer look at the situation in my Congressional district.

First, is the question of alignment around values and leadership. I want to support an individual who would bring to the position of Congressman a life experience that teaches what the realities in the world really are not just what they hope they might be. Honestly, I want a leader who will stand up and question arguments that are not fact-based or put people at risk through faulty healthcare programs or a failure to lead when it comes to protecting the environment, especially when the district relies so extensively on the Chesapeake Bay. And, it is essential to have a leader who understands the importance of job growth and the destructive nature of trade wars.

In short order, I found the values, the leadership experience and the judgement Jesse Colvin would bring to public office something well deserving of support.

Of course, an election is about a choice. In this case, the incumbent is of the party I have been a member of for my entire adult life. I came to Washington, D.C. with President Reagan and served in public office for eight years. However, I would be among the first to suggest that past Republican party philosophy and policy preferences mean little in the debates being engaged in today. Whether one focuses on trade, immigration (and separating children from parents), Russia (and trusting an adversary above our own intelligence community) or even health care reform, I just don’t find much comfort in my chosen Party based upon utterances from its leadership, or from our incumbent Congressman.

When Congressman Harris suggested publicly that the outcry over President Trump’s statements standing next to Russian President Putin was the fault of the news media, I decided one must, to be fair, dig deeper for any redemption that might be found in the public record.

This did not help.

After nearly eight years, the voters in our Congressional District should ask why….

Why has no piece of legislation authored by the incumbent been signed into law by either a Democrat or Republican President?

Why has no piece of legislation authored by the incumbent ever even been voted out of the House of Representatives?

With so many issues concerning us today, why has the incumbent done so little to introduce meaningful legislation?

Why is current legislation to “serve” the district by renaming a post office in Salisbury sitting idle in a Committee with what experts say has about a 2% chance of passage?

Why, after these years in Congress, does the incumbent hold no Committee or Sub-Committee leadership position in the Congress?
And, why late last year, would the incumbent vote against legislation to aid our citizens impacted by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria along with those who experienced the devastation of wildfires in 2017…legislation that passed with strong bipartisan support?

Finally, although it was a few years back, why, as an elected official that should be a leader in protecting our citizens from gun violence (and, I say this as a gun owner), would you seek to raise $1,000 a person at a bring-your-own-gun political fundraiser?

The contrast to Jesse Colvin who has served our country as an Army Ranger, who has values shared by the citizens of this district and judgment forged in dealing with the world the way it really exists is as profound as it is compelling.

Beyond character and experience, Jesse Colvin has described his values and priorities clearly and directly….and if you are interested, I invite you to take a closer look.

I know that I probably will not agree with every vote Jesse Colvin makes as a Congressman, but I am as certain as I can be that I will be proud he is my representative every day he holds the office.

So, be clear about what you are seeking from your representative and then do your own research. 2018 is a time for Congress to become better aligned with those of us who vote regardless of party! If you, like me, believe we can do better then it’s up to you, like me, to go vote for a candidate that really reflects your hopes and desires for the future.

Craig Fuller served four years in the White House as assistant to President Reagan for Cabinet Affairs, followed by four years as chief of staff to Vice President George H.W. Bush. Having been engaged in five presidential campaigns and run public affairs firms and associations in Washington, D.C., he now resides on the Eastern Shore with his wife Karen.

Letters to Editor

  1. J T Smith Ii says

    Craig Fuller correctly identifies the importance of our votes in the 2018 election. Like Craig I served in Republican administrations ( Nixon and Ford) and like him I am deeply disappointed by the character of representation District 1 receives from our incumbent Congressman. I have met and admire Jesse Colvin. Like an increasing number of my Republican and Independent acquaintances, I am giving wholehearted support to Colvin. And like many I plan to “split”my ballot to vote for re election of a moderate Republican governor while enthusiastically voting for Colvin. Jesse, by character and outlook, brings to mind prior Congressmen who admirably represented the interests and values of Delmarva, including Wayne Gilchrest, who supports Jesse.
    Jesse and other young veterans who seek election this year offer hope for a new and fresh generation of leadership at a time of lamentable dysfunction and often clownish “leadership”in Washington.

  2. Carla Massoni says

    So pleased to see this in the Talbot Spy. Our neighbors in Talbot County are deeply committed to this part of heaven we call home. Please learn more about Jesse Colvin ( We need our Republican counterparts who share our love of the Eastern Shore to join us in electing Jesse! Split the vote if need be….I dare say Hogan has more in common with Jesse Colvin than Andy Harris.

  3. Robert B. Amdur says

    Elections matter, and this election matters greatly. Yes, Andy could do better explaining himself, spend more time with the citizens of his district, submit legislation, seek committee leadership, and take strong positions on environmental issues, etc. But those Republicans who don’t like president Trump and his supporters should slow down and give more thought to the consequences of a giving up the only Republican congressional seat in the state. While Mr.Colvin is an attractive candidate, his election will add another Democrat vote that could put Nancy Pelosi back in the Speakers office where she will control legislation and be third in line of succession. That should send shivers down Mr. Fuller’s spine. Robert B. Amdur, Bozman

    • JT Smith II says

      I am heartened by Mr. Amdur’s recogniton that Jesse Colvin is an attractive candidate and by his summary of the incumbent’s defaults. I am disheartened by his recourse to hackneyed concern about Congressional leadership consequences of potential Democratic control of the House. Republicans who persist in elevating “ party over country” do the country a disservice. Candidates like Jesse Colvin who put “ country over party” are what we need. Indeed, new Members of Jesse’s caliber will have an opportunity, if in the majority, to elect a Speaker and may choose a fresh face of leadership. No need here to debate the merits of Pelosi as Speaker except to say that she has a record of solid accomplishment when compared to the recent series of hapless Republican counterparts.

      • John OBrien says

        As a concerned and proud American, I fully agree with JT Smith and admire the heck out of ‘veteran Republican’ Craig Fuller for his dispassionate Country above Party analysis of the relative merits of newcomer Jesse Colvin and Andy Harris. We cannot become a great UNITED States again until we elect leaders who will relentlessly put America First over Party and self-serving interests. Harris has not done that…Fuller makes that very clear. Colvin has and will put USA interests above Party and above his own…just look at his remarkable self sacrifice for America so far.

  4. Here, here!

  5. John O’Brien says

    Wow…as I sit here frightened by the state of our bitterly divided country, a piece like Craig Fuller’s comes along to restore hope that we can become a great UNITED States again. A nation where we pull together to solve our serious problems and where our differences are the greatest source of strength we have. In order to do that , we need to have a fresh,new brand of politician…from both parties…who are dedicated to putting Country above Party and above self interests.
    Mr. Fuller , as a life long and experienced Republican leader, gives us this gift of a dispassionate analysis of the relative merits of our First District incumbent, Andy Harris and the fresh challenger, Jesse Colvin. As an Independent desperately searching for real Servant Leaders for Congress, I knew that Harris produced little in the way of helpful legislation for the Bay or for healthcare for our citizens.
    But I am shocked by what Mr. Fuller documents is Harris’s total dearth of leadership or initiative of any kind and zero efforts to partner with the other party to solve problems.
    I have been closely examining Jesse Colvin lately and ,by contrast to Harris,his entire career has been built upon leading by serving and self-sacrifice. That’s what Servant Leaders do and there are far too few of them in Washington! Servant Leaders “ run toward the problem” and put their careers/ lives on the line which is what Colvin did in spades during his four tours in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger. Now I know that candidate Colvin is brand new to this political business so we can’t know exactly how he will perform. But we need fresh,
    uncorrupted congressmen who will unite to solve problems. And we do know by his deep, moral character that he lead and seek justice for all.
    Go to Jesse Colvin’s website and check him out for yourself. And reread Mr. Fuller’s performance review on Harris to see the stark contrast between our two candidates.

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