We need a strong, reliable champion for the Eastern Shore in Congress. Whether it be a Republican, Democrat, or Independent, our district simply cannot afford an empty suit in Washington anymore. With Andy Harris, however, an empty suit is all we’ve gotten.
The last Republican to represent us, Congressman Wayne Gilchrest, introduced 75 bills and passed 9 laws as our congressman. Andy Harris, on the other hand, only introduced three bills to Congress last year, none of which passed, and has only introduced one bill this year. In fact, throughout his entire tenure as our representative, he’s never had a bill he introduced pass through Congress successfully.
Wayne Gilchrest, on the other hand, oversaw the passage of laws that fought the Nutria invasion that threatened the Bay’s marsh grasses which contributed to the ‘dead zones’ of the Chesapeake, supported the conservation of marine turtles, and expanded the beloved Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. He saw problems with the Chesapeake Bay and ran towards the problem: founding and co-chairing the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force. I may not have agreed with every single policy he supported or stood for but we needed a leader and, in Wayne Gilchrest, at least we had someone who was active in Congress.
Andy Harris sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee – the committee that decides the disbursement of federal money. Despite this powerful position in Congress, Andy seems unwilling or unable to step in and save the Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge on the beautiful Chester River. Come October 1, unless funding is provided, a closing of the tourist attraction that brings tens of thousands to the Shore each year may be unavoidable. A strong representative would work with other members of the Committee to preserve this beloved part of the Eastern Shore. Instead, Harris says his hands are tied and there’s nothing he can do. An effective representative doesn’t make excuses for his or her inaction; they run towards the problem and fight to fix it until the job is done.
Jesse Colvin is a fighter – literally. This former Army Ranger, first-time father, husband to a D.C. police officer is running towards the problems we’re facing in Congress. He’ll fight for rural broadband and 21st century infrastructure to bring our students on the shore online. He’ll fight for a cleaner Bay, hold our fellow Chesapeake Bay watershed states accountable for their pollution, and protect our watermen. He’ll fight for investments in prevention, treatment, and recovery systems for the opioid epidemic. Simply put, he’ll fight for you and me.
We had great leadership in Representatives Gilchrest and Kratovil. We deserve a great leader again – that’s why I’m voting for Jesse Colvin to be the next Representative to Congress from Maryland’s First District.
Patrick Firth is a member of the Talbot County Democratic Central Committee