Chairman of Maryland GOP upbeat about future

Cites ‘10 races, recent successes

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“The one thing I learned is we definitely have to have a better system for the early-voting and absentee-voting programs,” Mr. Mooney said.

While Maryland Republicans have largely opposed early voting, Mr. Mooney said it’s time the GOP comes to terms with its existence in Maryland and encourage Republican voters to participate.

“We are leaving some votes on the table,” he said.

Another development Mr. Mooney views as positive for the party is the establishment of new conservative groups. As an example, he mentioned a group called Change Maryland, which was established by Larry Hogan, a Cabinet member in former Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.’s administration. The group’s website says it’s “fighting to bring fiscal restraint and common sense to Annapolis.”

Mr. Mooney said he doesn’t believe the party’s image will be hurt by the indictments this month of two Ehrlich political operatives, Paul Schurick and Julius Henson, for allegedly using robocalls to try to suppress voter turnout in two large black jurisdictions.

Financially, Mr. Mooney said the party is paying its bills but it hasn’t been easy in a non-election year.

“I think there is some fatigue from the last year, too,” he said. “People gave a lot last year, so it’s been tough. It’s been tougher than I expected, frankly, but we’re holding on.”

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