CAMBRIDGE — Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan said the Eastern Shore would have “an open ear and a seat at the table” in Annapolis if he is elected this November. Hogan spoke Sunday, Sept. 28, to more than 1,500 supporters who paid $25 each to meet the candidate in Governors Hall at Sailwinds Park at a Harvesters for Hogan rally, where crabs and fried chicken topped the menu.

“In our administration,” Hogan said, “you would not have the problem like you have in the Little Choptank River,” referring to the Department of Natural Resources’ oyster restoration project, using chunks of granite and clay-covered fossil shell from Louisiana.

Referring to the unsuccessful suit brought against poultry farmers Alan and Kristin Hudson of Berlin, Hogan said, “and you won’t have a problem with someone suing a small family farm.”

For the past eight years in Annapolis, Hogan said, “There’s been a war on rural Maryland. There’s been a war on the Eastern Shore and there’s been a outright assault on watermen and farmers” and other small businesses.

“There’s a reason why a farmer and a waterman are on the state seal,” Hogan said. “I believe people in Annapolis have forgotten that ... You are an important part of our history and our heritage and our economy and the folks in Annapolis have not only forgotten that, they have been mistreating you.”

“We are not going to blame farmers and watermen and the rain that falls from your roof for the problems of the Chesapeake Bay.” Hogan said his administration would address the issues of the Susquehanna River and its Conowingo Dam, which he said contribute 43 percent of the sediment in Chesapeake Bay.

“The real problem is the O’Malley administration,” Hogan said, claiming it had removed $1.3 billion from state environmental trust funds for other purposes.

Because of “40 consecutive tax hikes” Hogan said, “$10 billion has been taken out of the pockets of Maryland taxpayers.”

During the O’Malley administration, Hogan said, “We’ve lost 8,000 small businesses and more than 100,000 people have lost their jobs.

If elected, Hogan said, “we’re going to get the government off our backs and out of our pockets.”

A small businessman who lives in Annapolis, Hogan served as appointments secretary for Gov. Robert Ehrlich from 2003 to 2007.

Hogan was endorsed last week by the Maryland Farm Bureau’s Political Action Committee.

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