Maryland’s Republican lawmakers heaped praise on GOP congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik’s recent campaign video in which she said Democrats have mismanaged Baltimore and have taken the city’s majority Black constituency for granted.
“I think it was extremely well put together. I think that it spoke truth. It was hard-hitting…She just said what most of either can’t say because we’re going to be criticized because we’re not from Baltimore or we’re not African-American or we’re not female,” Del. Brian Chisholm (R-Anne Arundel) told MarylandReporter.com in a phone interview on Monday.
Chisholm added: “She went out and made a point and hit on facts and delivered it in a way that was very effective in my opinion. It did demonstrate to me that this is what people gravitate towards as far as a message goes. And I think she did a a great job.”
Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (R-Baltimore County) echoed similar sentiments.
“I think it (the video) speaks a lot of truth because when you do the same thing over and over again it’s called insanity. And that’s what’s been happening in the city of Baltimore.”
Salling, who is running for Congress in the second district, said Baltimore has a “major problem” with “homicides and crime” and poverty.
“They need help. They need help so bad,” he added.
Salling said political change is the best way bring to about that help.
But not everyone praised Klacik’s video.
Sen. Cory McCray (D-Baltimore City) dismissed the candidate’s claims about Baltimore’s leadership as campaign “rhetoric” and called on Klacik to offer up her own plans for fixing the city’s problems.
“If she would like any types of strategies, if she would like to discuss those types of strategies-I have no problem with that.”
McCray said Klacik’s claims do not take into account city leaders’ efforts to try and reduce violent crime. McCray said access to recreation centers, parks, and mentorship programs have gone a long way toward preventing criminal activity among the city’s youth.
Klacik, 38, posted the video to her campaign’s Twitter page on Aug. 17. It has since received more than 11 million views and has put the candidate on the national stage. Klacik is scheduled to speak tonight at the Republican National Convention. The convention formally kicked-off this morning in Charlotte with an in-person roll call to renominate President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence as the party’s candidates. Trump is expected to formally accept the nomination from the White House due to concerns associated with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The Democrats held a virtual convention last week because of the pandemic.
Klacik is running against Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D) in the seventh district. The district includes most of Baltimore City, parts of Baltimore County and the majority of Howard County. It is majority African American and overwhelmingly Democratic. A Republican has never held the seat.
Mfume handily defeated Klacik in April’s special election to fill the remainder of the term of the late-Rep. Elijah Cummings. Mfume previously served in Congress from 1987-96. Klacik is a member of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee. She runs a non-profit which helps disadvantaged women transition into careers.
The video shows Klacik walking through blighted parts of Baltimore as she cites poverty and crime statistics and speaks with residents. She questions whether Democrats, who support the Black Lives Matter Movement, really believe that refrain: “This is the reality for black people every single day: crumbling infrastructure, abandoned homes, poverty and crime. Baltimore has been run by the Democrat Party for 53 years. What is the result of their decades of leadership?”
Klacik could not be reached for comment.
Baltimore does not have any Republican representation at the local, state or federal level.