TAYLORS ISLAND — Keith Graffius, owner of Crabi Gras in Cambridge and resident of Taylors Island, announce on Sunday, April 2, his intention to run for the Maryland District 37B delegate seat in 2018. District 37B is Dorchester and Talbot Counties, plus the lower part of Caroline and Wicomico Counties.
Mr. Graffius, in announcing his candidacy in a short speech at the Peeler Pen on Taylors Island, said that one of his intentions is to right something he sees as a wrong for Dorchester County.
“As an unforeseen event of the last election (when Delegate Addie Eckardt was elected senator) we lost our resident delegate,” Mr. Graffius said. “Because of that, we’re the only county in the state that doesn’t have a resident delegate. Without a resident delegate we lose those retail politics, everyday politics that mean so much to us. The pancake breakfasts, the oyster fritter lunches and the spaghetti dinners. That’s where you meet your constituents, that’s where you meet the people. There’s some stuff that goes on in Annapolis, but the real everyday work happens here. Our representation is important to me, this community is important to me.”
Mr. Graffius grew up in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, “Ten years ago my family bought a place on Taylors Island, and Bonnie and Mike Willey adopted us and took us in. They made us feel like part of the family, and part of the island, and part of the culture. She taught me the difference between a green crab and a buster crab, and Mike would take me crabbing—he took me oystering one time and said ‘That’s enough of that…’ He said I wasn’t cut out for tonging. And here on Taylors Island is where I came up with the idea for Crabi Gras. Hanging out here, on Taylors Island, talking to the watermen and listening to the stories, it all was born right here.”
Keith’s company, Crabi Gras, sells promotions items with a strong Eastern Shore bias. Crabi Gras includes a line of boutique hot sauces offered under the Bird Dog Sauce Company, named after Henry Bird “Bird Dog” Wheeler, who is the chairman of the Graffius campaign effort. Mr. Graffius and his company also promote events in Cambridge, such as the annual Muskrat Stew and Crayfish Boil, and lends a hand at many of the Cambridge Main Street events.
“We want to do some good for the county,” he told the gathered crowd. “We’re going to run a very different campaign than people are used to seeing. We’re really positive people, and it’s all about the community, and all about Dorchester and Talbot and Caroline and Wicomico. The Eastern Shore is a special place, and it would be an honor for me to represent District 37B.”