Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Maryland District 1 Congressional Race

Candidate Jim Corwin, M.D.

As of today, there is one Democrat registered to run against Wayne Gilchrest in Maryland's 1st Congressional District. Dr. Jim Corwin is an Anne Arundel County physician who will be campaigning full time between now and November, and he is putting his health care experience front and center in his campaign.

His bio on his campaign website sets a number of good themes, emphasizing his ability to manage (i.e. govern), and his experience with our broken healthcare system:
As it is written in Proverbs, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” These words might serve to summarize the life of Dr. Jim Corwin, a family physician from Severna Park and medical director of two Baltimore community health centers, who is now running a campaign for Representative in Congress in Maryland’s First District.

Named Clinical Director of the Year by the Mid-Atlantic Association of Community Health Centers, and nominated for Maryland Family Physician of the Year, Dr. Jim Corwin has spent nearly 20 years leading hundreds of physicians and support staff, and compelling community leaders in the private sector to work with local, state, and federal government officials, all with the singular purpose of providing the highest quality health care, with a constant emphasis on disease prevention and improved wellness, to an ever increasing number of the medically indigent.

About District 1

District 1 comprises Maryland's Eastern Shore (including Cecil County at the top of the Bay)and pieces of Baltimore, Harford, and Anne Arundel Counties. Click the map below for a better view of District 1, in dark blue:

Dr. Corwin has his work cut out for him. Gilchrest has been in Congress since 1990, and was reelected twice in the present district (since the last redistricting) by large margins:

Election Results, District 1
Total VoteGilchrist (R)Challenger (D)% Dem.
Source: St. Bd. of Elections, 2004 Results, 2002 Results.

Gilchrest has received substantial support from Democrats in holding his seat, as the election turnout figures show, when compared with Gilchrest's vote totals:

Election Turnout, District 1
TotalDem.(%)Rep. (%)Other/None (%)
2004343,735 (80.03)148,790 (79.26)152,444(84.2)42,359 (69.9)
2002260,538 (66.5)118,441 (66.4) 117,682 (72.3) 24,415 (49.6)
Source: St. Bd. of Elections, 2004 Data, 2002 Data

Democrats outnumber Republicans in District 1, but the party has not been growing the way it needs to, with so many crossover votes. Note that more independents/members of other parties registered than Democrats between 2002 and 2004:

Voter Registration Data, District 1
TotalDem.(%)Rep. (%)Other/None (%)
2004430,723187,991 (43.6)181,459 (42.2)61,273 (14.2)
2002391,041178,230 (45.6)162,433 (41.5)50,378 (12.9)
Source: St. Bd. of Elections, 2004 Data, 2002 Data.

Finally, despite its majority-Democrat registration, this is a conservative district, at least for Maryland. About 55% of the voters reside in Maryland’s Eastern Shore Counties. The votes in these counties went roughly 55% for Bush in 2000, 57% for Ehrlich in 2002, and 60% for Bush in 2004. (This same data is not available for the Harford, Baltimore and Anne Arundel County portions of District 1, but the results are likely to be similar, given the way Maryland's Democratic legislature balkanized the Congressional districts in the 2002 redistricting).

Gilchrest is purportedly a "moderate" Republican, but "moderate Republican" is better stated as "enabler" - he's been there to put Tom Delay in power and prop him up year after year (16 of them now, for Gilchrest). Here is one critique of Gilchrest's voting record, good and bad. Here is one that is even more thorough.

What to Do

I am sure Dr. Corwin could use some help, especially for those on Maryland's Eastern Shore. You can Volunteer here.

This is a race in which your donation could go a long way. As of March 31, 2006, Gilchrest had raised $203,866 and had $250,950 on hand. Dr. Corwin has not yet reported. At worst, giving him some money to spend can tie up Republican funds and prevent them from being spent elswhere. At best? The sky's the limit. You can Contribute here.

And if you have any suggestions or thoughts on this race, put them up below. For what it's worth, I have no affiliation with this or any other campaign.


Blogger OnBackground said...

Wow, this is thorough -- thanks for doing it. So, do you think he can win?

And are you going to do something similar for the contested primary in the 4th and 3rd?

6/13/2006 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger ChesapeakeBlue said...

1) Sure looks like a long shot, but I really want our congressional districts to be more competitive - I am not a fan of Gerrymandering even when it favors the Dems.

2) I want to work my way around the districts, but it could take a while.

6/13/2006 12:55:00 PM  

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