The most obvious choice for conservatives is Del. Neil C Parrott from Hagerstown, a serious Eagle Scout who was elected to the General Assembly as a tea party organizer in 2010 and quickly emerged as the leading crusader for direct democracy in Annapolis. We disagree on many points, but we admire Mr. Parrott’s integrity and respect the authenticity of his beliefs.
Mr. Parrott passes the litmus test to get our endorsement, that is, he acknowledges that Joe Biden is the legitimate President and condemns the January 6, 2021 violence. Mr. Parrott says he has an invitation to attend Donald Trump’s rally on the Ellipse rejected that fateful day when the President incited a mob to attack the Capitol because he believed the outcome of the election was settled and saw no point in further contesting the results. He has shown himself willing to take a stand against leaders of his own party, even if they are unpopular. In May 2020, he sued Gov. Larry Hogan (R) to challenge his emergency pandemic orders.
However, Mr. Parrott has spent more than a decade making voting difficult. He proposed a voter’s card during his first year in the congregation. After the 2020 election, Mr. Parrott traveled to Philadelphia to analyze preliminary ballots to help Mr. Trump and claims that 1 to 2 percent of the ballots he reviewed had signatures that did not appear to match the voter’s original registration form. He introduced legislation in the last session that went nowhere that would have required signatures on ballots in Maryland to match registration forms exactly.
At 51, Mr. Parrott is more than twice the age of his leading rival. Matthew Foldi, 25, has raised big bucks and amassed endorsements from GOP establishment figures within the Beltway, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Foldi has youthful vigour. He is restless issuing subpoenas and monitoring the Biden administration. But he has yet to show the maturity needed to serve in Congress.
It’s disheartening how many other candidates in the GOP primary field play on Mr. Trump’s lies about voter fraud or feign ignorance of established facts. When asked if Mr. Biden was the legitimate president, Mr. Foldi was reluctant: “There is no doubt that Joe Biden won Maryland,” he said. When asked if he would have voted for the Arizona and Pennsylvania electoral votes two years ago, Mr. Foldi declined to answer, saying he had not been there.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t hypothetical, and that sort of dodge reflects a candidate who isn’t ready for prime time. There are other indications that Mr Foldi would be more focused on trolling than governing and would be an overly reliable stamp on party leadership. In Mr. Parrott, Republicans in the 6th District have a better pick.