By David Noss
Maryland State Senator Roy Dyson (D) kicked off his re-election campaign today at his headquarters just off of Route 5 in Great Mills. Senator Dyson is currently the senator for District 29 which covers St. Mary's County, eastern Charles County, and southern Calvert County. Mr. Dyson's campaign headquarters occupies what was once the homebuilt by his parentswhere he was born and raised. The building is located adjacent to the hardware store and building center that is still owned by his family. Many family members, including his mother, attended the event. Father Joe from the Holy Face Catholic Church, located nearby, performed a blessing of the headquarters.
The kick-off was attended by a host of dignitaries including Maryland Delegate John L. Bohanan Jr. and the President of the Maryland Senate Mike Miller. Other elected officials who attended include St. Mary's County Commissioners Kenny Dement and Dan Raley, former state senator J. Frank Raley, Judge Russ Cullins of the Orphan's Court, and Dr. Salvatore L. Raspa of the St. Mary's County Board of Education. Candidates in attendance included Merl Evans and Jack Russell who are both competing for County Commission President. The incumbent Commission President, Thomas F. McKay (R), is opposing Senator Dyson in his bid for re-election. George Sparling, candidate for Judge of the Circuit Court, was also present.
Delegate Bohanan began the presentation by introducing the officials and candidates in the audience. He then gave the stage to Commissioner Dan Raley who made a few brief remarks. Bohanan then continued with some additional remarks, including expressing regrets from U.S. Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) who was unable to attend. He then yielded the stage to the featured speaker, Senate President Mike Miller.
Mr. Miller soon made evident his ability to deliver a powerful speech. Miller praised Dyson for his leadership in funding teacher pensions; avoiding tuition increases for state colleges; reforming the election laws; and the so called Wal-Mart Health Care issue that requires large corporations in Maryland to spend a certain percentage of their revenues on health care for their employees.
Mr. Miller illustrated the importance of this year's elections for the Democratic Party. He postulated that, this is going to be one the biggest elections in Maryland. In reference to Dyson's opponent, Thomas McKay, Miller stated that Governor Ehrlich personally recruited the fellow running against Roy. Miller stated that since Ehrlich has $20M for his campaign funding and is running unopposed in the primary election, much of that money would be put to work out in the districts. Miller speculated that the Ehrlich campaign was prepared to spend $300-400K to help McKay defeat Dyson. Miller finished by saying that Dyson would win because of People Power.
After Mr. Miller left the stage, Roy Dyson stepped up to speak. After some levity, Dyson stressed the importance of his strong family and community ties. He went on to ask for the support of the community in his bid for re-election. Dyson also took a few moments to make note of several of his staff members and noted the importance of constituent services. He finished by thanking the crowd and exclaimed, on to November!
After the presentation, Mr. Miller theorized that, its going to be a mean-spirited campaign. He continued to say in reference to Dyson, He's not going to see a campaign this mean since he ran for Congress. Miller suggested that Dyson's best strategy was to get people talking to one another and to stress the importance of turning out on election day.
Mr. Miller also stressed how significant this election would be for Maryland since this is the first time that early voting has been implemented. The important aspect of early voting is that working men and women can actually vote on Saturday, Miller said. They don't have to take off work on Tuesday to vote.
Governor Ehrlich has recently attempted to demonize early voting. In a letter sent out this week by Marylanders for Fair Elections and signed by Ehrlich, he made the claim that, Maryland's Liberals are trying to stack-the-deck in their quest to regain the Governor's office and insulate their positions of power in the State Legislature. He also states that early voting is, a situation ripe for fraud. When questioned about the letter, Mr Miller stated, There's not going to be any fraud involved. He noted that Maryland is now one of thirty states that has early voting.
PHOTO: Maryland Senator Roy Dyson and Senate President Mike Miller converse at the opening of Dyson's Election Campaign Headquarters in Great Mills, MD.
Senate President Mike Miller Speaks
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