Sailwinds ‘People’s Celebration’ brings Hogan Inauguration to Cambridge

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Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper Newly inaugurated Governor Larry Hogan and Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford greet the crowd that gathered for the People’s Celebration at Governor’s Hall in Cambridge Saturday, Jan. 24.

CAMBRIDGE—Newly inaugurated Governor Larry Hogan and Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford brought their inauguration party to Cambridge Saturday night, with a party at Sailwinds park. Called the “People’s Celebration,” the announcement of the event was a welcome surprise to Eastern Shore residents, and well attended.

The $25 per person Sailwinds event must have been a stark contrast to the $100 a seat Inauguration Ball, held at the Baltimore Convention Center on the Wednesday before. In Baltimore, guests sported formal attire and were entertained by a big band while sipping cocktails in the lavishly decorated hall. In Cambridge it was beer, hot sandwiches and oysters and a pair of bands playing rock & roll favorites.

“I think this is just symbolic of the campaign he ran,” said new Senate Delegate Johnny Mautz, “I’m not aware of any other governor who held an inaugural party out with the people! They have the high-roller balls in the big cities, but this is bringing it back to the people who got him elected—bringing thanks, praise, showing his respect to the people who put him there. This is what politics should be about, and I think it’s very refreshing. If you’ve been elected to serve the people, this is how you stay in touch with the people—you don’t stay in the ivory tower, you get out with the people.”

Governor Hogan arrived shortly after 6 p.m., and met backstage with a group of local supporters for 30 minutes or so as Governors Hall filled with well-wishers. Governor Hogan was joined by his wife, Yumi Hogan, their three adult daughters and a 2-year-old granddaughter, Daniella Valez.
Mr. Hogan’s stepdaughter, Jaymi, an assistant prosecutor in St. Mary’s and star of a campaign television commercial defending her father’s stand on women’s rights, stayed toward the front of the room and greeted friends, while we asked her how the Governor chose Cambridge for his only other celebration.

“Why Cambridge? You’d have to ask my dad that one!” said Jaymi Sterling. “To be honest, they had that big crab feast in the summertime with all the watermen and fishermen, it was a great reception for my dad, and he wanted to come back and thank all those supporters who were with him from the beginning.”

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Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper Former Senator Richard Colburn, Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley, Governor Larry Hogan and Cambridge City Councilman Gage Thomas gather for a group photo at the People’s Celebration in Cambridge.

Mr. Hogan won the election by a decisive margin in the state, carrying 20 counties in what was previously known as a strong Democratic state. His campaign notched victories in all of the Eastern Shore counties, with an average margin of over 70 percent of the vote. His return to Cambridge was appreciated by everyone in attendance.

Ricky Travers, Dorchester County Council President said, “I think it’s awesome, to have our new governor in town, and he’s chosen Dorchester County and Cambridge to have one of his inaugural balls on the Eastern Shore. I think it’s absolutely awesome, and I think it makes the Shore feel more a part of the win. And I think Mr. Hogan knows he’s welcome here!”

“I think it’s wonderful that the governor would come down to the shore and celebrate his win with all us down here. I think it’s a great thing,” said Hurlock Police Chief Les Hutton.

“What an exciting opportunity to have the peoples inaugural party right here in Cambridge, it’s wonderful!” declared Senator Addie Eckardt.

In his brief speech, Governor Hogan said, “I’m so proud of the fact that Marylanders came together, they put aside partisanship and party politics and overwhelmingly…in 20 out of 23 counties, voted to change Maryland for the better. We couldn’t have done it without the people in this room, I want you to know that the Lieutenant Governor and I are never going to forget it. You’re going to find that things are going to completely change in Annapolis. Here’s two of them: 24 hours after we took the oath of office, we submitted a structurally sound budget for the first time in more than a decade. We took the oath of office at noon on Wednesday; as soon as we left the stage, I went up to my new office on the second floor of the statehouse and signed a few things, including putting a halt to the PMT regulations that would have destroyed farming on the Eastern Shore.

“What you’re going to find is a friend in Annapolis. You’re going to find a sympathetic ear, you’re going to have a seat at the table, you’re going to have advocates fighting on your behalf each and every day. We’re going to cut spending, were going to roll back as many tax increases as we can, Maryland is now open for business. We’re going to get the government off our backs and out of our pockets so we can grow the private sector and put people back to work, and turn our economy around. Does that sound like a better plan for Maryland?

“Thank you very much. I’m not going to get into any long speeches. What I want to come down and do is, maybe get a couple of oysters, a couple of beers, and I want to shake the hand of every single person in this room and thank you personally. Thank you Eastern Shore, thank you farmers, thank you watermen, we’re not going to forget you. We’re going to be fighting for you in Annapolis! Thank you!”

Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley, a Democrat, was at home in Sailwinds but on her toes in the mostly-Republican celebration. “This is Cambridge—there’s no other place like Cambridge, in my opinion, in the universe. And the fact that the newly-elected Governor chose to have his People’s Ball here in Cambridge is just an awesome feeling for me. I wondered, would I be accepted, should I dress up?—all kinds of things, and I’m not that type. But I wanted to make sure I represented Cambridge, and show some pride—you know, that’s the mayor of the town. The fact that Governor Hogan is here, I have to be here to show support for our newly-elected governor. It’s only right. I’m here to mingle with my people. Cambridge is my home, Dorchester County and the Eastern Shore rocks!”

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Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford poses with Kathy Abbott (foreground) of the Dorchester County Republican Central Committee, at the People’s Celebration.

“I think this is a wonderful event, and a wonderful opportunity for the newly-elected Governor to come back to our county,” said County Councilman Rick Price. “This county did support Governor Hogan in the election, and I think it’s a chance for us to make some really important connections on some goals that we have to make this county the best it can be. Just a great opportunity to establish that bridge of communications with Annapolis.”

“I think it’s awesome that we have leadership that is cognizant of the needs and issues here on the Eastern Shore,” said Senate Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes, “and I’m eager to work with the leadership here in the state of Maryland.”

The music picked up as Governor Hogan tried to work his way towards the oysters from stage left, but for well over an hour he was pushed back by well-wishers. Lt. Governor Rutherford had an easier time moving out into the crowd to mingle, and we asked his thoughts on the past few days.
“It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s been great,” Mr. Rutherford said. “I’ve really enjoyed it. We’re getting a handle on what’s been going on, and we’re quite pleased with the progress that we’re making. The Eastern Shore has been very good to us, and it has always been good to the state. It’s the land of pleasant living, and we have to remember that. So it’s very important that the Eastern Shore is thriving just like the rest of the state, and we won’t forget the people here. Both the governor and I love the Eastern Shore.”

When the crowd started to thin, and before he finally found those oysters he wanted, we asked the Governor the same question.

“It’s going really well,” he told us. “It’s been a heck of a busy week for us, but we’re really excited to have the opportunity and we’ve got a great team we’re putting together. We made a lot of progress in just a few days, it’s a good start. We care very much about the Eastern Shore, they were a big part of our win. I spent a lot of time here on the shore during the campaign and we’re not going to forget what we got here. The Eastern Shore has been forgotten for eight years, and we’re going to change that.”

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Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper A small part of the crowd at the People’s Celebration in Cambridge.

 

Paul Clipper is the editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at pclipper@newszap.com.

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