Hogan, Franchot Hold Town Hall Meeting in Salisbury - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Hogan, Franchot Hold Town Hall Meeting in Salisbury

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, left, and Comptroller Peter Franchot, right. (Photo: WBOC) Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, left, and Comptroller Peter Franchot, right. (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md.-  A rare display of state bipartisanship occurred in Salisbury on Monday.

Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic Comptroller Peter Franchot were in Salisbury for a town hall-style event at Headquarters Live on South Division Street. It also marked a major economic victory Monday for the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

The Eastern Shore often feels neglected by state officials; the Chesapeake Bay being the great divider. The genesis of Monday's event began months ago when Mike Dunn sent a letter and waited, and hoped. Dunn is the director of the Greater Salisbury Committee, and wanted to get Maryland's Republican governor and Democratic comptroller on a stage together.          

Hogan and Franchot describe themselves as friends who don't always agree on the issues, such as taxes. While Hogan would like to further cut taxes, Franchot said they should stay where they are for now.

"We went from losing 8,000 business and 100,000 jobs, to gaining 73,000 private sector jobs and we went from last place in the Mid-Atlantic region in job creation to first place," said Hogan, referring to gains spurred by his administration's tax cuts. While Hogan conceded further tax cuts are not realistic in the near future, he emphasized now is not the time for tax increases, either.

Franchot agrees.

"Let the private sector do what it is a genius at, which is, if you give it stability and predictability, it will create jobs and wage growth," he said. 

Both say part of their approach to breaking down the partisan wall comes from everyday Marylanders.

"When I go around to what I call the real Maryland, outside of Annapolis, rank-and-file Democrats are enthusiastic about me working with Governor Hogan," said Franchot.

Hogan reminded attendees he ran for office partly on a platform of bipartisanship.

"I am sure there are some people that say you should never work with a Democrat, or Democrats shouldn't work with Republicans. I think that's insane," he said.

At a later gathering with Salisbury Mayor Jake Day and Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver, Hogan announced nearly $29 million from the state is coming to Maryland's Lower Shore. Some of the investments in the upcoming fiscal year include construction at West Salisbury Elementary School and Parkside High School, improvements to the Smith Island wastewater treatment plant, and funding for Ocean City beach replenishment and hurricane protection.

And, as previously announced, $1 million is going toward Salisbury's downtown revitalization plan.

Hogan and Franchot also appeared together on Delmarva last year to promote the governor's order to start the school year after Labor Day to help local economies.

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