A planned rally for Maryland Republican candidates dubbed “Unite the Right” — the same name as the deadly 2017 rally in Charlottesville — has a new name: “Maryland United.”
Organizer Kim Klacik, a WBAL radio host who twice ran unsuccessfully for Congress, posted about the new name on her social media accounts on Tuesday, one day after The Baltimore Banner reported on the connection.
“Unfortunately, some were likening our rally to one that occurred in 2017, which there is no relation. All invited candidates were invited before the final details were discussed, including the name. The buck stops with me,” Klacik wrote on Twitter and Instagram.
The new name represents a change in position from the evening before, when Klacik defended the event and the name.
“The ‘Unite the Right’ rally on Oct 22nd is happening!” Klacik posted on Twitter on Monday evening. “Simply laughable ‘journalists’ are trying to make a big deal about the name. I’m bringing the GOP in MD together. As a BLACK woman, it’s a shame white liberals are trying to suppress my voice.”
Klacik has not responded to messages from The Baltimore Banner requesting an interview. Her Red Renaissance political action committee, which is sponsoring the event, did not respond to voicemail and email messages.
Klacik’s event is designed as an opportunity for voters to meet Republican candidates. Musician James McCoy Taylor, a former contestant on “The Bachelor” dating show and supporter of former President Donald J. Trump, is scheduled to perform.
Two local Republican activists who were listed as co-hosts told The Baltimore Banner on Monday that they were unaware that the Charlottesville rally was called “Unite the Right.” They said there would be no connection to the ideas promoted at Charlottesville.
The Charlottesville rally attracted participants who engaged in racist, antisemitic and anti-Islamic behavior, including a tiki-torch-lit night rally where participants chanted “Jews will not replace us.”
One woman was killed and dozens more were injured when a man drove through a crowd of counter-protesters nearby, and two Virginia State Police troopers were killed when their helicopter crashed while flying to the event. The driver of the car, James Alex Fields, pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes charges and was sentenced to life in prison.
The Republican candidate for governor, Dan Cox, and his running mate, Gordana Schifanelli, withdrew from the event on Monday after learning it was called “Unite the Right.”