Lollar and Hoyer Go Head to Head as Election Nears - Southern Maryland Headline News

Lollar and Hoyer Go Head to Head as Election Nears


Hoyer to Lollar: "I'm coming after you," according to Lollar's Campaign. Hoyer spokesperson denies comment was made.

By David Noss

CALIFORNIA, Md. (October 18, 2010)—Democrat Steny Hoyer and Republican challenger Charles Lollar went head to head last Wednesday in Waldorf during the Charles County Chamber of Commerce candidate's forum. This was their first public face off since the primary election in September. Lollar is seeking incumbent Hoyer's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 5th Congressional District of Maryland — which encompasses the whole of southern Maryland.

Hoyer's seat was recently classified as winnable by political author and commentator Dick Morris, who also served as political adviser to former governor and president Bill Clinton. In a September 29 article published on realclearpolitics.com, Morris wrote: "Now the field of battle will increasingly shift. The marginal Democrats — the freshmen and sophomores — are mostly gone. The seats of Southern conservative Democrats largely already lost. Now the combat shifts to the previously safe seats occupied by many in the House leadership, including, perhaps, the seats of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.) and Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (Mass.)."

Morris was heard to repeat his assertion later that day on Sean Hannity's radio show.

"While I'm excited that Dick Morris believes our current congressman is beatable, we here in the 5th Congressional District have known it for some time," Lollar told somd.com. "We intend to help Mr. Morris come out smelling like a rose by winning this race for the 5th District, the state of Maryland, and the nation."

Candidate Hoyer's spokesperson Maureen Beach countered Morris' assertions by saying there were plenty of polls from reputable sources, such as the New York times and the Washington Post, which indicate that the seat is safely in the hands of the Democrats.

Last week's forum in Waldorf became tense at the end, demonstrating the "heat" of the campaign. After a question from the moderator concerning controlling the budget and expenditures, Lollar challenged Hoyer's answer, noting that congress recently adjourned without passing the FY-2011 (which began on October 1) budget.

"Congress holds the purse string, they're responsible for appropriations. In fact, my Congressman Mr. Hoyer refused to even pass a budget for this year for the first time in several years, which is completely irresponsible," said Lollar according to a transcript released by the Lollar campaign this morning.

Immediately after the exchange, Hoyer turned to Lollar and said, "I'm coming after you," according to a press release issued by the Lollar campaign this morning. "When Lollar brushed aside the challenge with a smile, Hoyer then repeated it." Lollar spokesperson Patt Parker told somd.com that Hoyer made this comment after the microphones had been turned off.

Beach, who said she saw Lollar's press release, told somd.com that Hoyer never made the comment.

Lollar's campaign has called a press conference for Tuesday in 2:30 p.m. in Bowie where they say they will "make some brief comments regarding the exchange and the campaign's plan to respond to it; and lay out details of his 'New Day' agenda." They also promised to release a video of the exchange.

In response to Lollar's promise to release the video on Tuesday, Beach said she would comment after seeing the video only if it proved her wrong.  Otherwise, she was not going to comment on allegations.

There are currently four more public forums scheduled where both candidates will have the opportunity to face off.

The Civil Forum has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 20, at Jaycees Hall in Waldorf from 7 until 9 p.m. Pastor David Huffman, of the South Potomac Church in White Plains, is the coordinator for the event. According to Pastor Huffman, the theme is "issues of faith and justice."

Ten questions were prepared from pastors around the region — with 90% of those coming from Charles County. The questions were pre-released to the candidates this morning. Pastor Huffman noted that the organizers wanted the forum to be spirited, but not present a gotcha environment for the candidates.

Candidates Charles Lollar and Gavin Shickle (Libertarian) have been confirmed, according to Pastor Huffman.  Beach confirmed  today that Mr. Hoyer would not be attending the forum in person, as he was just in Waldorf last week for the Chamber of Commerce forum. Beach said a surrogate would be sent in Mr. Hoyer's place, however she did not know who that person would be.

There are two public events scheduled for Thursday, October 21.

The Prince George's Chamber of Commerce is hosting the Political Impact Luncheon with Charles Lollar and Steny Hoyer from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm at the Old Bowie Town Grill, 8604 Chestnut Ave. in Bowie. Interested guests must call 301-731-5000 to register as seating is limited. Both campaigns have confirmed the attendance of their candidates.

Later that evening, the Calvert County League of Women Voters is hosting the General Election Forum with Charles Lollar and Steny Hoyer and other candidates at Huntingtown High School from 5:00 pm until 9:30 pm. The question and answer session starts at 7:00 p.m. The event is open to the public. The Hoyer and Lollar campaigns have both confirmed the attendance of their candidates.

The final forum is set for Friday, October 29, at 6:30 pm in the Auerbach Auditorium, St. Mary's Hall on the campus of St. Mary's College of Maryland (SMCM) in St. Mary's City. Professor Todd Eberly, acting director for the Center for the Study of Democracy, today confirmed that all three candidates — Hoyer, Lollar, and Shickle — have confirmed their attendance. The event is open to the public.

The 90-minute forum will begin and end with statements from the three candidates, and then they will answer questions. The public can send questions ahead of the event to: arlyons(at)smcm.edu; there will also be a way to turn in questions during the forum. The session will be moderated by Professor Eberly and Wayne Scriber, president of the St. Mary's County branch of the NAACP.

Updated 10/18/2010 @ 19:20 to incorporate comments from Candidate Hoyer's spokesperson Maureen Beach.

RELATED INFORMATION:

Candidate Steny Hoyer's Web Site (Democrat)
http://www.hoyerforcongress.com/ 

Candidate Charles Lollar's Web site (Republican)
http://lollarforcongress.com/ 

Candidate Gavin Shickle's Web site (Libertarian)
http://www.hgavinshickle.com/ 

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