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The Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, has announced that he is planning to skip the Republican National Convention, preferring to chow down at the all-you-can-eat seafood fest in the tiny town of Crisfield.
Last year, Hogan’s lieutenant governor, Boyd Rutherford was in attendance, accompanied by various U.S. Senate candidates and Maryland State Delegates.
“We love the Shore and this event gives you a chance to talk to people you know and don’t know and lets you show people how strong your campaign is,” Rutherford told The Daily Times last year.
This year, the popular seafood fest is scheduled right in the middle of the Republican National Convention, which will take place between July 18 and 21 in Cleveland, OH. While one might like to think that the fresh crab legs are drawing the high-profile political crowd, this may not be the case.
Since the event’s first occurrence in 1976, local legislators have come out to promote their campaigns and connect with residents.
Hogan has already announced that he will not be voting for Donald Trump in the presidential election, nor does he intend to rub elbows with him at the convention. In an earlier interview, the Maryland governor said that he was “completely disgusted with national politics in both parties.”
Rather, Hogan has said that he plans to focus his efforts on the state of Maryland. The seafood fest, as public officials from across the state know, is a great place to do just that. In fact, the J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake was named after the Crisfield native who went on to serve as Maryland’s governor from 1959 to 1967.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Szeliga has also announced her planned attendance at the event. In an email, her spokesperson, Leslie Shedd, wrote that the crab and clam bake is one of Szeliga’s favorite events and that, “Unfortunately because of Tawes and a few other events she will not be able to make the convention this year.”
Recently, the event has brought more than 5,500 people to Crisfield, which had a population of only 2,600 in 2012. Profits go towards funding projects that benefit the community and politicians use the event as an opportunity to connect with local residents.
Admission to the event is $45 per person. A VIP section called the “Crab Trap,” however, includes tent seating, a beer wagon, a DJ, and a port-o-potty, all costing $60 per person.
With recent temperatures in the 90s, one can only hope for a cool summer day in Crisfield on July 20. No matter how delicious the food, once those two to four million sweat glands have them drenched in the scorching heat, those politicians might reconsider their decision to dump Trump (and the air conditioned convention) in favor of a salty picnic in Maryland.