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Md. GOP Delegate Once Represented Obama

One Maryland delegate to the Republican National Convention was reminiscing yesterday morning about past ties to the presidential nominee -- of the Democratic party.

As a member of the Hawaii legislature in the 1970s, Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold (R) said he represented a district in Honolulu that included the home of Sen. Barack Obama's grandparents, where the future presidential hopeful lived.

Leopold was -- and remains to this day -- an ardent door-knocker. During his four years in the Hawaii House and four years in its Senate, he said he probably visited Obama's grandparents' home at least three times.

While he has no recollection of meeting them, Leopold said he remembers the high-rise in which the family lived.

"I can't know absolutely that I met them," Leopold said in an interview. "The likelihood is I did."

Leopold said it is also possible he met Obama himself, whose school was in Leopold's legislative district.

Leopold's tenure in the Hawaii legislature ended in 1978. He was first elected in 1982 to the Maryland House of Delegates, which he left in 2006 upon his election as Anne Arundel County executive.

Leopold laughed when asked if his ties to Obama made him feel any more fondly about the Democratic nominee.

"No," he said. "This is business. It's not personal."

By Anne Bartlett  |  September 1, 2008; 12:31 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Elections , At the 2008 Conventions , John Wagner  
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