GOP's Tung defies ban on political event

Picnic starts at gazebo, adjourns to her yard


House of Delegates candidate Mary Beth Tung held her Republican political campaign picnic at the Clarks Glen community gazebo in Clarksville as scheduled Sunday evening, defying her homeowners association, which had prohibited the event.

Cpl. Lisa Myers, a Howard County police spokeswoman, said officers were called to the event about 4:30 p.m., but they merely obtained information and gave it to David Woodhouse, president of the Clarks Glen Homeowners Association.

Myers said that if the association wants to pursue trespassing charges, the board must go before a District Court commissioner and seek a summons. Because Tung is a resident, the case could be complicated.

Tung said she addressed the crowd, and the group stayed at the gazebo for about an hour before moving to her back yard a block away, where barbecue grills, food and restrooms were available.

Neither Woodhouse nor the community's Westminster-based management company returned phone calls yesterday. The association had sent her a registered letter banning her from using the community gazebo for anything but family or strictly social events.

Tung, 43, a neophyte candidate for the House in District 13, has lived in Clarks Glen for two years. She said she had no regrets about holding the event because she believes constitutional free-speech rights should extend to private property and not cover only public places.

"I do think it's something Maryland needs to look into," Tung said. "I'm glad I did it. I'd do it all over again."

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