I have been pondering for some time various letters in support of Jesse Colvin. The first point that I continue to contemplate, given the events of the past several weeks, is “putting country before party.”

I have one question: Have you ever seen a maverick Democrat freshman congressman, one who goes against leadership to vote anything other than a straight party line? There are pesky Republican freshman congressmen who try the patience of leadership by voting in opposition to the speaker, but I certainly cannot recall the same kind of dissension on the Democrat side of the aisle. Thus, I am left with the conclusion that a vote for Colvin is a vote for the far-left agenda of the Democrat leadership.

While I do not always agree with Andy Harris, there are a couple of corrections to some of the comments made about his leadership or lack thereof in Congress. He was named a subcommittee chairman on the science committee his freshman year, an acknowledgement of his medical background and the ability to work in a collegial manner with members from both parties. In his second term, he was appointed to the appropriations committee, a powerful committee assignment.

Congressman Harris has been a strong proponent of temporary work visas, which are essential to the Eastern Shore. His effectiveness as a member of the appropriations committee for agriculture and small business has earned him the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Although the perception seems to be that Congressman Harris is not accessible, the reality is that he has held more than 69 live town halls since he was elected. I checked with his office because I could not remember, but knew I had been to a number of town halls. Only the town hall last fall at Chesapeake College is emblazoned on my memory because the Democrats who attended created so much disturbance that Harris could not speak. It was ugly, and it was dysfunctional, so if there is now an emphasis on tele-town halls, there is a reason. At least he can get his point across.

We certainly need to look closely at the candidates running for office, but I think we must check our facts and acknowledge that no matter how decent a person Jesse Colvin is, and I do not doubt that he is, the reality of Capitol Hill means that he will vote the party line or be marginalized. That is the sad reality of Washington politics now. Those of us who spent our careers in Washington can recall when it was otherwise, but that was another world, a different reality.

I plan to vote for Andy Harris. I also plan to tell him when I disagree; that is my responsibility as a voter, to let any elected official know, preferably before a vote on important legislation, what my thinking is. If the electorate does not speak up, the elected officials cannot represent us. Nor do we then have the right to complain.

Andy Harris and Jesse Colvin are scheduled to be at a League of Women Voters forum at 2 p.m Sunday, Oct. 21, at the Easton library. I encourage people to show up, ask questions respectfully and listen to answers.

Carolyn Ewing writes from Easton.

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