Citizen: Open Letter To Anne Arundel County Republicans

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The following is an open letter written by Anne Arundel County District 5 resident Brad Cole.

Anne Arundel County Republicans are now voting to send our candidate of choice into the general election for County Executive against Steuart Pittman. The ultimate goal is to remove the Progressive Tax and Spend Democrat from the Arundel Center. 

Five Republican candidates are on the primary ballot, but the race is between Herb McMillian and Jessica Haire. They are both Republicans but differ in significant and consequential ways. 

Mr. McMillian has demonstrated his elected office capabilities and leadership abilities through effective past service in the Maryland General Assembly. Additionally, he is a United States Naval Academy graduate who served in the Navy – a Veteran. Mr. McMillian has balanced his public service with a career as an airline pilot. And through actions, he has demonstrated commitment to Conservative  – especially fiscal – principles and values. Although unabashedly Conservative, Mr. McMillian is not a “right-winger” and will most surely serve all Anne Arundel County residents ethically and equally. He is mounting more of a grassroots organic campaign without the help of the Republican Party apparatus. 

Much less is known about the other leading candidate, Jessica Vasconcellos Haire. A lawyer by profession, she is closing out her first experience holding elected office as an Anne Arundel County Council member representing District 7. It is troubling that, as a lawyer, Ms. Haire denounced President Trump by voting yes on Resolution 5-21, “urging disqualification from Donald J. Trump holding office.” One might think a lawyer would support holding a trial before establishing guilt and attempting to “urge” ending President Trump’s ability to seek elected office again. Yet she was the only Republican member of the Council to vote yes on the Resolution. 

I have continued researching to learn as much as possible before the election. Much information about Ms. Haire and her politically engaged husband (also a lawyer ) is publicly available on the internet. The intended purpose is to understand more about Dirk & Jessica Haire’s background, past policy positions, experience, and possible motivations for Jessica Haire seeking to become the next County Executive. 

Together they are working as a political team. In 2019 the media considered the Haire’s one of Maryland’s power couples. This from the website Maryland Matters  on July 5: “Certainly Haire, in her short political career, has benefited from her connections — chief among them her husband, Maryland Republican Party Chair Dirk Haire, who has made his wife’s career his top priority despite multiple political obligations.” Many people I have spoken with about the couple guess their political aspirations include someday residing in the Governor’s Mansion. 

Back in 2004, when Dirk Haire mounted an unsuccessful campaign for Anne Arundel County Executive, he predicted that it would require raising $1.5 million to succeed at winning the office. He was quoted in the Baltimore Sun in February 2004, saying, “It’s the price you pay in order to play.” Before the primary, he withdrew from that race and threw his support to John Leopold.  

Dirk Haire’s prophesy seems to be coming true as the Haire campaign is on its way to raising over $1 million – record amounts of campaign cash. As a team, the Haire’s are a fundraising and campaign spending machine. In addition, they loaned their campaign $500,000 at the beginning of the year. And they are seemingly outspending Herb McMillian threefold. 

Maryland Republican Party Chairman, Dirk Haire, seems highly motivated and ambitious politically. He’s been actively involved in politics since graduating from Ball State University in Ohio. He relocated east to pursue political ambitions and practice law.  

Back to Jessica Haire, a self-proclaimed Conservative candidate. I have a few questions that I have had difficulty getting answers to or clarifications. I have sought answers to my questions respectfully to inform my opinion before voting. They have been submitted to the candidate and the Central Committee but remain unanswered. Key unanswered questions are listed below.

·       I’d like to hear Jessica Haire’s explanation for representing one of the country’s largest pornography businesses . What the McMillian campaign email points to seems accurate and verifiable. But there has been no comment that I am aware of from the Haire campaign. 

·       I heard their children attend the private Severn School, not AA Co public schools. Is that true?

·       How will the half-million-dollar loan to the campaign get paid back?

·       She posed with a shotgun in a campaign mailer. Is she a dues-paying member of the NRA?

·       Is Dirk Haire possibly using his position as the Chairman of the Maryland Republican Party to the advantage of his wife, Jessica Haire? Does he/they have a conflict of interest?  Curiously, Kelly Rosenthal, wife of the Maryland Republican Party Treasurer, Chris Rosenthal, serves as Jessica Haire’s campaign Treasurer. 

·       Will Dirk Haire publicly disavow any involvement or connection to the PAC Anne Arundel Forward, which sent out negative, inaccurate mailings about Herb McMillian? 

·       A story about Jessica Haire hiring the polling firm with connections to the Proud Boys to do test polling in 2021 contains comments about the party providing such polling for her but none of the other Republican candidates. Quote: “The State Party is spending money on this…what I had not seen as the individual analysis they did for Jessica Haire, but no one else. No other candidates knew this was being done – except for her [Jessica Haire].”

·       The development/building industry collectively is a known and open supporter of the Haire campaign, and the developers/builders are betting on the Haires to prevail. Here might be the problem with that for the Republican Party come November. In 2018 Pittman got elected partly because of his stance on curbing “over development.” So, if the Haires win the primary and go up against Pittman, their strong backing by developers will get played against them big time. Herb McMillian (although not anti-development) can’t as easily get portrayed as being in debt to the building/development industry. Consequently, it is not inconceivable that McMillian is the better Party candidate to go up against Pittman in November. The overdevelopment issue in our County has not gone to sleep.

The above observations, supporting attachments, and questions are not intended to criticize or mischaracterize the Haires, only to get a complete picture and cast an informed vote.

In closing, based on research to date and with unanswered questions remaining about Ms. Haire, this Anne Arundel County Republican voter will cast a primary vote on the 19th for Herb McMillian. 

 Very respectfully,

Brad Cole

Registered Republican 

Anne Arundel County District 5 Resident

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