Date: August 8th 2017
EASTON — “So why am I running? We have a crisis in leadership in Washington, D.C.,” Michael Pullen said to a group of supporters on Tuesday evening. “I’m running because of what John Kennedy said, 56 years ago to the day of Trump’s inauguration.”
“What he said was that he was unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed,” Pullen said. “And to which we are committed today at home and around the world.”
Former Talbot County Attorney Michael Pullen announced on Tuesday, Aug. 8, that he is running for the District 1 congressional seat to represent Maryland in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Pullen announced his candidacy in front of a crowd of about 150 people at his campaign headquarters, 36 S. Washington St. in Easton.
That congressional seat has been occupied by U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md.-1st, since 2011.
“The food today is from Harris Teeter,” Ryan Ewing said, who is Pullen’s campaign manager. “I don’t know — maybe it’s the ring to it, ‘Harris Teeter’?”
“Well, if there’s anybody who can make Harris teeter, it’s this guy right here,” he said.
In Talbot County, Pullen was the county’s very first in-house, full time attorney that kept various Talbot County councils following the law as they framed legislation over the course of 24 years.
Pullen served under five different Talbot County councils.
“He has worked with both Republicans and Democrats to get things done,” Ewing said.
For Pullen, the burning campaign issues are health care, jobs and education, but also patriotism.
He said his introduction to politics began as a child when he heard the inauguration speech of John F. Kennedy on January 20, 1961.
“I remember hearing that Boston accent and listening to that inspiring call to service for all Americans to serve their country,” Pullen said. He said he was glad to be an American that day.
“Fifty-six years later to the day, January 20, 2017, we had another inauguration,” Pullen said.
“This time I marched the next day with hundreds of thousands of women and men across the United States in Washington, D.C., and millions of people across the world,” Pullen said.
“And we marched because we knew this president was going to adopt policies that weren’t going to take us forward but backward,” he said.
Pullen quoted some health care statistics, saying that we are No. 11 among all other nations in the world in terms of health care, overall quality of care and overall results.
“We also pay more for prescription drugs than any other country in the world,” he said.
“I’m in favor of universal health care,” Pullen said to loud applause.
“You may have heard about the wind farm recently approved by the Public Service Commission,” Pullen said. “Two developers were going to create a wind farm off of Ocean City.”
“That was going to create 9,700 direct and indirect jobs for Marylanders,” Pullen said. “It was going to require an investment of $1.8 billion in the Maryland economy.”
“And it was going to remove 19,000 tons of CO2 from the environment every year for 20 years,” Pullen said. “Harris voted against that.”
“This is not supporting American workers and American jobs,” he said.
He compared the ability of college students to send themselves through college in the 1970s compared to how difficult it is to find the money for college now.
“Education for the 21st century economy needs to be affordable, job training needs to be affordable,” he said.
“It is a momentous time,” Ewing said. “It is a historic moment here in America. When you look at the Congress that we have today and what it is that is happening in Washington, D.C.”
“People who have never been involved in politics before are coming to the forefront as a crucial time in our history where leaders need to step forward,” Ewing said. “People who have never been involved in politics before but want to make a difference now. Mike Pullen is one of those leaders.”
“There are not many candidates that are built for the First Congressional District,” Ewing said. “It’s an expansive district — it’s huge. It’s the entire Eastern Shore. Nine counties and that’s not even half the population. We got three other counties on the western shore.”
He said Pullen has spent the last few weeks touring District 1, beginning in Carroll County where he went to National Night Out north of Westminster, then talked to people across Harford County and Cecil county.
He was at the Blessing of the Combines in Snow Hill last weekend.
“If you want this name to catch on, fine,” Ewing said. “I’ve been calling him ‘Mike the tractor Pullen.’ He’s dependable. He’s a workhorse.”
“We are used to politicians who are show horses, flash-in-the-pan,” Ewing said. “This guy’s a workhorse.’
Ewing said another one of their campaign slogans is “Pullen for us.”
“We haven’t had anybody pulling for the Eastern Shore for a long time,” Ewing said.
Last summer, during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pullen served as a delegate for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Last year he was one of the founders of the grassroots organization Talbot Rising.
“We are American patriots because we are unwilling to stand by and watch the human rights, which this country has always stood for, for its 230-year history be undone by the current administration,” Pullen said.
“The promise of America is in jeopardy today,” Pullen said. “I’m going to work as hard as I can to keep that promise alive so that our children, our grandchildren will have the same opportunities that we were blessed to receive in this great country of ours.”
Pullen will be at Caroline Summerfest next weekend, at Indivisible Dorchester on Saturday morning in Cambridge, followed by the state barbecue bash in Bel Air.
Others who have filed to run include Democrat Allison Galbraith of Harford County, who announced she was running for Harris’ seat last May.
Republicans who have announced they are running for Harris’ seat are Martin Elborn of Chester and Lamont Taylor of Denton.
For more information on Pullen, visit his campaign website at http://pullenfor.us/.