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Hagel Boosts His Fellow War Skeptic Gilchrest

After hosting a smaller gathering for moderate Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R) in the 2006 cycle, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) — who, like Gilchrest, is a leading anti-war voice among Congressional Republicans — will headline Gilchrest’s annual bull roast fundraiser on the Eastern Shore on Saturday.

A spokesman for Hagel said the two lawmakers have been “good friends for a long time,” and Gilchrest’s chief of staff, Tony Caligiuri, said the men often talk with each other on legislative issues that come across their desks.

“They’ve kept in touch on policy issues on Iraq and some of the international relations issues that have come up, and they’ve periodically talked in dealing with some of the votes before Congress in the last year or so,” Caligiuri said.

Gilchrest has fended off a string of conservative primary challengers in recent years for his 1st district seat, and in 2008 he’s already facing Baltimore County state Sen. Andrew Harris (R) and Joseph Arminio (R), the co-founder of the advocacy group the National Coalition for Defense.

Former Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) is aiding Harris’ campaign effort, and though he has stopped short of endorsing Harris outright, Ehrlich announced last week that he’ll be hosting a fundraiser for the state lawmaker in mid-October.

— John McArdle

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