While the rest of the country watches what’s going on at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland with some combination of awe, shock, disgust, and excitement (depending on personal political beliefs), some of Maryland’s top Republican officials declined to attend in person. Instead, Governor Larry Hogan and others are thousands of miles away, enjoying seafood in their backyard.
According to WBAL, the 40th annual J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake took place today (7/20) in Crisfield and Gov. Hogan and House Minority Whip and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Szleiga were two of the most high-profile individuals in attendance.
“I have probably met all of the Marylanders I needed to meet who are in Cleveland.” Szleiga told members of the media when asked why she decided to skip one of her party’s biggest weekends.
Hogan justified his absence from the Republican Convention — in which controversial billionaire Donald Trump became the official nominee of the party yesterday after a roll call vote — by saying he had wanted to come to the Crisfield crab and seafood event last year, but was undergoing cancer treatment at the time. Granted, he wasn’t one of the some 129.8 million people who visit an emergency room every year, as estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but a genuine reason not to attend nonetheless.
As locals know, the annual Crisfield event is a tradition that benefits the local chamber of commerce and is always a good opportunity for local politicians to make face-time with their constituents. The event, which is being held at Somers Cove Marina, is named after J. Millard Tawes, a Crisfield native and Maryland’s governor from 1959-1967.
The fact that Hogan and other politicians elected to stay home during their party’s nomination convention highlights the notion many in the GOP have been worried about when it comes to party unity ahead of November’s presidential election. Hogan, who’s voiced his displeasure in Trump being the nominee vocally in the past, went so far as to say he won’t even be watching the convention on television this year.
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