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In a tough race for the 5th district, Republicans see Charles Lollar as their best chance

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Photo courtesy of Charles Lollar for Congress.

Photo courtesy of Charles Lollar for Congress.

Published on: Thursday, August 19, 2010

By Maite Fernandez

Charles Lollar said his parents cannot believe they raised a Republican, but state Republicans are more than pleased that Lollar is one of them.

Lollar, a 39-year-old business manager and a resident of Newburg, Charles County, has created a bit of a buzz during the 5th district’s congressional race. It is also Lollar’s first congressional race.

Even though he is running against Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer, who has been elected to represent the district for the past 29 years in Congress, Lollar has been painted by the Maryland Republican Committee as the best chance to beat the house majority leader in the upcoming elections.

Photo courtesy of Charles Lollar for Congress.

Photo courtesy of Charles Lollar for Congress.

Audrey Scott, chairwoman of the Maryland GOP, thinks Lollar is an extremely credible candidate.

“He exemplifies the best of the best,” she said. “He’s a rising star within the GOP, but he has also won recognition nationally in a very short period of time. We are fortunate that he lives in the 5th District.”

Lollar’s resume seems to exemplify the self-made man. He was born in Toppenish, a small town in Washington that had less than 1,000 inhabitants.

He earned an associate degree from Emory University in Georgia, where he met his wife Rosha, a Spanish school teacher. They have been married for 17 years and have four daughters.

He also attended Kennesaw University, where he earned a Bachelors of Science in political science, and has a Master of Business Administration from Regent University.

When he started college his father told him he would not financially support him anymore, so he needed to pay for his education himself.

“It sharpened my character and grew me up. It made me take responsibility,” he said.

To pay for his education, Lollar had a number of odd jobs, even selling knives door to door.

“I could sell anything,” he said.

He also joined the Marine Corps and served in Kosovo, and he is now a major in the Marine Corps Reserves. As a civilian, he is also the general manager of Cintas, a facility services corporation.

Lollar was also the Chairman of the Charles County GOP and was the campaign manager of Collins Bailey, who won the Republican nomination against Steny Hoyer in 2008.

“Charles has been a friend of mine for several years,” said Bailey, who is now running against him for the Republican nomination in September.

He thinks the fact that Lollar is running too brings vitality to the race. He described him as a great guy and a good speaker.

“He was my friend before and will be my friend after the race,” he said.

So far, Lollar has proven to make the race interesting. He has raised $192,978 as of June 30, according to his most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission. Although Hoyer has raised more than $3 million, Lollar’s fundraising is more than any Republican candidate has raised in at least the last 10 years, according to Lollar said he aims to raise $1.5 million before the general elections in November.

He has spoken in several Tea Party events and has recently been endorsed by FreedomWorks, a conservative action group associated with the movement.

“I respect the Tea Party tremendously. I’m grateful for citizens coming together for this country,” he said.

Andrew Gall, a Democratic candidate for Congress for the 5th district, said that Lollar is a very good politician but thinks his positions are way far to the right for the district, which leans toward Democrats.

“He is further to the right than George Bush,” he said.

And winning against a powerful congressman like Hoyer in a fairly blue district can be a difficult task.

“Lollar has generated excitement about the campaign, more so than past challengers. He is a dynamic, young African-American,” said Todd Eberly, assistant professor of Political Science and acting director of the Center for the Study for Democracy in St. Mary’s College. “But it will be tough to beat Steny Hoyer,” he said.

In a recent campaign event in Hollywood, Lollar said he needed to win Calvert, Charles, Anne Arundel and Saint Mary’s counties and 40 percent of Prince George’s County. However, Lollar said he wants to win 50 percent of Prince George’s County.

Eberly said that is going to be difficult given the characteristics of Prince George’s County’s population, which is more urban and is composed of African-American and minorities in a larger proportion than the surrounding areas. The African American vote is more in line with the Democratic agenda, such as the intervention of federal government in eliminating inequalities like improving access to education.

One of the issues Lollar stands for is a smaller government and less federal intervention, including in education. He said he is a fan of charter and home schools and that the federal government should give more power to the states to run education.

He also stands against increasing taxes, he defends balancing the budget and believes members of Congress should be held more accountable for what they do. He also thinks health care reform is unconstitutional because it forces people to buy insurance. He is not convinced climate change exists because there are different opinions about the subject, and he believes in securing the borders and enforcing stricter immigration laws, a subject he has mentioned repeatedly.

Eberly said that immigration does not play as well in Prince George’s County as it would in other counties. Because a large proportion of minorities live in the county, legal immigrants may see attacks on illegal immigrants as a discomfort with immigration in general or with anyone who is a little different.

Even though Eberly does not see Hoyer losing his seat in Congress given the district’s history, he said this year’s race might be closer than any Hoyer has had in many years.

When asked about what he will do if he wins the Republican nomination but loses the general election, Lollar gave a blunt answer: “Marines don’t lose.”


Reader Comments - 4 Total

captcha 0d93e6c7bd914a5cb8dc14b53427bf03

Posted By: Alejandro On: 9/8/2010

Title: Lollar a man with a plan and the understanding to execute it

I was your typical American, voted every election, I even took time off from work to work the polls, and educated my self about the candidates and the issues at all levels, but this was only for the election. This past February I had the opportunity to meet Charles Lollar at a function and my understanding of the “Typical American” took a new meaning. For the first time in my life I was convicted that I also need to put my time and money where my mouth is, and I’ve done that.
As I get involved in the process I see more and more people arriving to the same realization that nothing is static and change is inevitable. Governments are constantly going through changes. As a result of these changes people are more open to see the individual and not just the party they belong to. We must go beyond the D or the R next to their name.
No longer voting on Election Day is enough. We must get involved in the process. One person alone can’t bring about the change needed.

Posted By: DAD On: 8/22/2010

Title: Lollar-5th Congressional District race

Nice article, BUT I really think that there are many in PG County who align with a lot of Lollar's comments. They're thinking more now about what the Democrats have to offer compared to what they were promised. Many are fed up with promises that were not kept, and are still not being kept! "Times are a-changin!"
In Maryland especially, taxes have been increased ($6B), jobs have been lost (more than 211,000), budget deficits have occurred($8B). Hardly any family has escaped these losses, in the last 4 years especially.

Posted By: Norman56 On: 8/22/2010

Title: Lollar is a man with honor and convictions.

This is more than I can say for Hoyer, who has always defended the corruption that the core of the Democrats exhibit, by trying to make it sounds reasonable. As an old preacher once told me, the devil doesn't come to you ugly, and smelling of sulphur, but pretty and speaking sweet words. Hoyer loves to sweet talk, where Charles Lollar will tell you the hard truth.
Semper Fi, sir. You have my vote.

Posted By: d bECK On: 8/20/2010

Title: iN TOUGH RCE000000000

nice article-fair & OBJECTIVE


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