This past Wednesday, in the Atkinson Room of the Lane University Center at Frostburg State University, Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland in 2010, spoke to a crowd of about 30 students and locals alike about his career and his ambitions. It was announced publically in June that Bongino, a 38-year-old native of New York and current Severna Park resident, would be challenging Rep. John Delaney, a Montgomery County resident, for the Sixth District’s Congressional seat.
Delaney, a Democratic mutli-millionaire investment banker from Potomac, won the Sixth District seat after the Maryland State Legislature controversially redrew the Sixth District to include most of heavily Democratic Montgomery County, and meanwhile carve out heavily Republican parts of Frederick and Carroll Counties. Bongino made the recent redistricting a key issue during his talk at Frostburg State, saying, “Safe districts reduce the incentive for candidates to challenge the incumbent, both in the primary and general elections.”
Mr. Bongino talked at length about his time as a Secret Service agent. In his 12 years in the Secret Service, Bongino worked presidential details for Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Bongino said he loved his time in the Secret Service, and stated that working for the Secret Service, “… included everything from being a bodyguard to being a high-level political strategist.”
Bongino described three major issues as his key policy issues: the economy, healthcare, and education. Bongino made some bold statements on the current state of the economy. He said, “The economic policies being put forth right now are leading to one thing collectively: Misery.” Bongino also said later that the current state of the Federal Reserve is “a disaster”, and that the Fed has caused “… the biggest source of devaluation of personal wealth in this country today.” Bongino spoke passionately on Obamacare, using his own personal situation at home to appeal to the crowd. He also said that, “The economics, theoretical underpinnings, and mechanics of Obamacare do not work.” Bongino concluded by talking about education, and said that “The greatest untapped resource in this country… is the inner city kids who do not have one good school in their local public school system.” Bongino also highlighted his affinity for “school choice”, or charter school programs.
Bongino took some time at the end of his visit to take questions from the crowd on topics such as the Federal Reserve, as mentioned earlier, and other issues such as government regulation of small businesses and the possibility of Delaney campaign staff trying to “dig up dirt” about Bongino’s time at the Secret Service. Bongino addressed this by saying that he “relishes a good fight”, and that the Delaney camp, is “not going to like the can of worms they opened when I shove it back down their throats.”
Many Frostburg State students attended the Frostburg State College Republicans-sponsored event. Casimir Wagner, a sophomore political science major from Boyds, and president of Frostburg State College Republicans, praised Bongino as being “very charismatic” and “good at getting his ideas across”. Grant Smith, a senior geography major from Williamsport stated, “I like him because he is outsider, he won’t tow a party line, and won’t be bought out.”