Labor Day recognizes the contributions workers have made to America’s strength, prosperity and well-being. State and local Democratic candidates kicked off the weekend’s festivities with a campaign rally at Idlewild Park. Following an introduction by Talbot County Democratic Party Central Committee Chair, Patrick Firth, candidate for State’s Attorney, Ellen Barry Grunden on keyboard led approximately 100 attendees in God Bless America and the Star Spangled Banner. Candidate for Talbot County Council Keasha Haythe then followed with a prayer expressing hope that “unity will prevail.”
Judy Wixted, Field Director for the local Democratic Party, followed by declaring, “We can win. We must assume what Representative Raskin calls ‘that highest office of a democracy, that of citizen.’ We the people must be engaged because the power of citizens can beat the paranoia and lies that are a direct threat to our democracy.”
She reminded us of John Dewey’s assertion, “’The solution to democracy is more democracy,’ and that can feel frustratingly slow. Fascism is fast. Democracy is slow. But recall that four years ago we had no representation on the Talbot County Council, and until 2020 Talbot County hadn’t voted for a Democratic president since 1964.”
Talbot County Council Vice President and current candidate Pete Lesher was introduced, as were fellow council candidates Michele Dappert, Phil Jackson, and Scott Kane. Candidate for judge of Talbot County Orphan’s Court, Phil Foster; and candidates for Board of Education, Amy Dodson, Emily Jackson, Jay Hudson and Jymil Thompson were also introduced.
Nicole Caudell, candidate for Talbot County Clerk of Court, shared that she is a graduate of Vermont Law School with 14 years experience as a criminal clerk whose mother appreciates this opportunity to hear her speak this evening. She looks forward to serving in Talbot County,
Susan Delean-Botkin, candidate for Maryland House of Delegates for District 37B (Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot and Wicomico counties), also a family nurse-practitioner in Talbot County for over 25 years and more recently president of the Talbot County Board of Education and member of the county’s pandemic committee, is looking forward to using her years of experience in the areas of health care, education, and the environment to benefit our citizens.
She also reminded us, “37B is the largest land mass district on the Eastern Shore, with 1,000 miles of shoreline. If we want controlled growth and affordable housing, an ability to make decisions concerning reproductive rights, and someone committed to protecting and defending our Constitution, I am that candidate.”
Naomi Hyman, candidate for Maryland State Senate for District 37B with over 20 years’ experience with local organizations and Democratic initiatives, reminded us of candidate Johnny Mautz’s positions against abortion rights and efforts to protect our environment, address climate change, and provide sensible gun regulation. She has the endorsement of the Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, and Mom’s Demand Action.
Patrick Firth then introduced Terry Lierman, father of Brooke Lierman, candidate for Maryland Comptroller. Brooke had other obligations today, but Mr. Lierman reminded us of her experience and qualifications, as well as the importance of the position of comptroller, “with a vote equal to the governor’s in making policy.”
Heather Mizeur, the candidate taking on Andy Harris to represent Congressional District 1, brought the crowd to its feet. “I’m Heather Mizeur, the woman who’s going to beat Andy Harris.” She explained, “I got drawn into this when he voted 100% against certifying the presidential election. He got into a fist fight with that line-backer, too; and then tried to smuggle a gun onto the House floor.”
“On January 7, I said, ‘Andy Harris, if you don’t retire, I’m going to have to consider retiring you in 2022. I’m now running against Andy Harris because he wants a national ban upon abortion, he’s one of 12 who voted against awarding gold medals to the Capitol police, and the January 6 Committee has found him to be one of the conspirators in the White House plotting this insurrection.”
“The only bill he has passed renamed a firehouse. We are running to maintain a level of connection and get things done.”
Aruna Miller, candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, declared, “This election is not about where we came from, but where we are headed; and it’s a choice between a future based upon either hope and optimism or fear and conspiracy theories. We will fight for all our rights, and our mission is to leave no one behind.”
Attendees were invited to assist in this mission, and many stayed on to take advantage of this opportunity to volunteer and speak to candidates.