- The Washington Times - Friday, November 9, 2012

The article “Maryland: A lonely state for Republicans” (Web, Thursday) gives a distorted picture that reminds me of the Mark Twain quote “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” There is no question that the electoral results did not turn out in our favor, as we lost my race for the U.S. Senate and a hotly contested race in Congressional District 6. To argue over this would be foolhardy. Context matters, however, and the article leaves out vital information regarding my race in which Maryland Republicans can take solace.

We did garner 27 percent of the vote, but our contest was a three-way race in which we were outspent nearly 10-1 in media purchases. In addition, I was the only candidate forced to defend my positions from two sides of the political battlefront, which is a rare post-primary phenomenon. The independent candidate spent millions of dollars disingenuously attacking me from the right as I simultaneously battled Democratic Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, a skilled incumbent, on his left-of-center ideological positions. I am proud that we managed to hold onto nearly 30 percent of the electorate under this multidirectional, well-funded political assault.

Comparing apples to apples, Maine’s 2012 Senate race had a similar three-way dynamic in which the Democratic nominee, Cynthia Dill, received less than 14 percent of the vote despite Maine being consistently ranked as one of the least conservative states in the country. Yet to date, no one is writing the obituary for Maine’s Democratic Party.

I built my campaign infrastructure from the ground up over nearly a two-year period. Having been a Secret Service agent, not a politician, I faced the formidable task of recruiting both a massive volunteer and donor database from scratch. We succeeded in that task, managing to recruit more than 3,000 enthusiastic, dedicated volunteers along with 15,000 individual donors.

As evidenced by these numbers, the Maryland Republican Party may be down, but it most certainly is not “lonely.” Ideological battles are perpetual ones that have no finish line, and the fight has just begun.

DAN BONGINO

2012 Maryland Republican Senate nominee

Severna Park, Md.