In 2008, incumbent moderate Republican Congressman Wayne Gilchrest lost in the primary to conservative State Senator Andy Harris. Gilchrest had been serving in Congress since 1991 and was one of 2 remaining Republican Congressmen from Maryland.
This upset was apparently too much for Gilchrest to handle. Instead of gracefully losing and endorsing the Republican or just staying out of the election – Gilchrest endorsed the Democratic candidate Frank Kratovil. In fact, he was in campaign advertisements for Kratovil actively camapigning against the very Republican establishment which had supported him for nearly 2 decades.
Why did Gilchrest endorse Kratovil? Ideologically and politically he was more in line with Harris. The real reason? Sour grapes.
He could not bear to endorse the very person who had cost him his House seat, so instead he rallied against Harris. Even if this meant going against the very party that had supported him and making Harris’ point – that Gilchrest was too liberal for this district. Scozzafava did the same thing.
In this election, Dede Scozzafava was attacked on the right by Doug Hoffman. Hoffman ran a strong campaign with bigtime fundraising from national conservative supporters, much like Harris. Scozzafava was the crowned, GOP candidate in the race just as incumbent Gilchrest was in MD-01. Hoffman and Harris were both the Club for Growth preferred conservative candidate. Each had national movement conservative support. Each forced out the selected Republican candidate and in each case, this Republican candidate proved that movement conservatives were right – they were too liberal for the district and endorsed the Democratic nominee.
Scozzafava falls into a long line of self-serving, self-proclaimed Republican “moderates” who care not about party, care not about principle – care only about themselves and about getting even.
Cross posted at Old Line Elephant