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Harris Launches TV Blitz in Race Against Gilchrest

Just days after yet another Republican challenger entered the primary race against moderate 1st district Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R), state Sen. Andy Harris launched the first television ad of his campaign on Wednesday.

According to a news release from Harris’ campaign manager Chris Meekings, the ad contrasts the state Senator’s “record of fiscal responsibility, opposition to illegal immigration, and his commitment to winning the War on Terror with Gilchrest’s support for higher taxes and amnesty for illegal immigration.”

Harris raised about $350,000 in the third quarter of the year, which greatly outpaced Gilchrest, who does not accept money from political action committees. As of Sept. 30, both Harris and Gilchrest had about $400,000 in cash on hand.

New to the race is Robert Joseph (R), a businessman and former appointee of then-Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) to the state Department of Transportation and Baltimore’s Orphans’ Court. Joseph’s entry into the race could put Ehrlich in an interesting position as he already has helped Harris at fundraising events, but has stopped short of outright endorsing him in the race against Gilchrest.

As far as endorsements go, Gilchrest appears to have the backing of the National Republican Congressional Committee — in spirit if not in campaign funding.

NRCC Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.), who has said the campaign committee would not get involved in primary races this cycle, said in a press briefing Wednesday that he is personally partial to Gilchrest in the looming primary battle.

— John McArdle

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