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Gilchrest Speaks Out at Environmental Tribute

Last night's League of Conservation Voters dinner in Annapolis was a virtual who's who among Maryland Democrats. But a departing Republican stole the show.

Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (D-Md.), who was defeated in the GOP primary in the 1st Congressional District this year, received the organization's 8th Annual John V. Kabler Memorial Award, the centerpiece of the event. And Gilchrest, in turn, had some memorable words for the several hundred environmentalists gathered in the Westin ballroom.

The self-described moderate from the Eastern Shore disclosed that he voted for Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) in 2006 over then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R). And Gilchrest, who was defeated by the more conservative state Sen. Andrew P. Harris (R-Baltimore), continued his harsh criticism of the Bush administration's prosecution of the Iraq war.

"People who are young should not be sent to war because old men lied," Gilchrest told the crowd.

Gilchrest, who has endorsed Democrat Frank Kratovil to succeed him in the the general election, drew hearty praise from many of the other speakers last night, including O'Malley, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and former state senator Bernie Fowler, who was given a lifetime achievement award by the league.

"I couldn't hide my disappointment when he didn't win in the primary," Fowler said of Gilchrest. Fowler, like other speakers last night at the officially non-partisan event, praised Kratovil as a worthy successor to Gilchrest.

Hoyer, who was the evening's keynote speaker, joked that "I've been warned that I can only mention Frank Kratovil's name five times." He exceeded his limit by a few times that number during his remarks.

By John Wagner  |  October 21, 2008; 10:09 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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