In case you missed it, former Governor Sarah Palin endorsed Brian Murphy, a lesser known Republican candidate for Governor who's primarying Bob Ehrlich. I've met Murphy - he's an impressive executive with adequate real world experience and a solid, conservative platform. His platform is right in line with my views on all the issues and I want to support Brian Murphy for Governor, but so far I can't.
First, Brian Murphy is being backed by former MD GOP Chairman Dr. James Pelura. This backing appears problematic - mostly because Pelura was chased out of his former position for the way he handled things. This leads to questions about why Pelura is backing Murphy, mostly. Then again - just because someone I disagree with supports someone should not discredit a candidate. Just because white supremacists support Ron Paul, doesn't make him a white supremacist.
I want to take Palin's endorsement of Murphy at face value - her supporting a conservative in the race. Murphy is more conservative than Ehrlich all around. Then I read an article about the John Coale - Sarah Palin - Martin O'Malley connections at Red Maryland and it brings the endorsement into question. It does not mean that Palin endorsed because of Coale or to support O'Malley, but it raises a red flag that makes you question the endorsement. Again - this could be a red herring and Murphy's endorsement could be all about his conservative values, but it's questionable.
Next - there's no proof that Murphy would be competitive in the general election. Ehrlich, who I like despite him being a squish at times on the issues, can win. Polling shows it constantly tied with Ehrlich. There is one set of polling data including Murphy - by Murphy's campaign - showing him with 25% of the vote to O'Malley's 44%. But, that same poll shows that O'Malley isn't at 50% support and that a number of people are undecided and interested in learning more about Murphy.
Murphy's still got great ideas and this video shows a great handling of national press. Again - I like Brian Murphy, but I'm not convinced he can win. I'm not convinced that Ehrlich isn't worth supporting for Governor. I'm not convinced that Murphy's the best choice for the Republican Party this year. Murphy needs to prove himself to Republicans statewide that he can beat O'Malley. Barring that - I hope Murphy doesn't fade away. I like his ideas and I would love to see him run for office in the future. The best the Republicans in Montgomery County could do in 2010 is Daniel Vovak, Ghostwriter and perennial candidate, for County Executive. A run by Murphy would be a huge step up.
Cross-posted from Old Line Elephant.