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SMCM Students Assist Candidate in Midterm Elections

The 2018 Midterm Elections took place on Tuesday, Nov. 6, ushering in sweeping changes of the country’s political landscape. On the federal level, Democrats took a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives, now holding 225 of 435 seats with votes still being counted in several districts. Republicans have maintained control of the Senate, with an expected 53 of 100 seats in Congress’ upper house.

In Maryland, the Democrats are set to maintain their supermajority in the state legislature, albeit with a Republican Governor, Larry Hogan, who beat Democrat Ben Jealous with 56.2% of the vote, over Jealous’ 42.8%. Members of the College Democrats club assisted Brian Crosby, Democratic delegate-elect, in his campaign to unseat incumbent delegate Deb Rey, a Republican who was first elected to represent southern St. Mary’s County in 2014.

“We honestly did the whole nine yards, we canvassed, or tried to canvass every single Sunday afternoon from 2pm-4pm, if we weren’t canvassing that day that meant we had another event,” Marie Lewis, President of the College Democrats told TPN. The club also met with Brian and his campaign several times, and got invited to a party on behalf of Brian Crosby, where members of the club met Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Rep. Steny Hoyer.

Crosby resonated with the club, as his opponent, Rey, “was very far right, and was also very pro-gun, which was something we were not interested in as college students who are living in an actual nightmare,” Lewis explained. “Brian was, I would qualify as center-left, he was very primarily concerned with education, which we loved,” Lewis noted, adding that Crosby also recognized that “in St. Mary’s County there isn’t very much to do,” which leads young people into trouble. Lewis also noted that Crosby’s campaign was helped in right-leaning St. Mary’s county because “Brian was running on very bipartisan issues such as infrastructure in this county, which is something everyone can agree on.”

Rey was endorsed by conservative groups such as the National Rifle Association and Maryland Right to Life, and scored an 85% from the American Conservative Union. Crosby received a “0%” from the National Rifle Association, and was endorsed by the Maryland State American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), as well as American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Maryland Council 3. Although St. Mary’s County tends to lean right, House of Delegates District 29B, where Crosby won, was occupied by Democrat John Bohanan before Rey won in 2014. “St. Mary’s County is very purple, is what I would say, it’s only slightly Republican,” Lewis explained.

Regarding the gubernatorial race, Lewis stated that Hogan’s “popularity among even Democrats honestly was very similar to Brian’s campaign, very bipartisan issues, and I think that may be a key factor in winning in Maryland.” Hogan received a “C” ranking from the National Rifle Association this year, and a 50% rating from the Center for Education reform in 2016. Hogan’s approval ratings as Governor have remained high, despite the state’s Democratic-leaning legislature, garnering approval from 65% of Democrats, 64% of independents, and 81% of Republicans in a Goucher poll released in April.

For more information on the midterm election, see Kimberly Boenig’s article in World.

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