Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird is headed to Washington for Tuesday’s State of the Union.
Congressman Jamie Raskin invited Kinnaird as his guest for the annual address from the president. Kinnaird said Raskin called him last week and he was “absolutely floored” when Raskin invited him.
“I mean it’s just amazing, it’s an amazing honor to me,” Kinnaird said. “You have one State of the Union address each year. ... And to be honored to be invited to something like that, it’s just amazing.”
Kinnaird, who has been mayor since 2013, said that he has watched the State of the Union address on TV and thought before about how much he would like to attend.
“I was in the Capitol as a kid at school, but to actually be in the Capitol building when something like that is going on and to be there, and be part of history just is an amazing opportunity for me,” Kinnaird said.
Kinnaird has met Raskin on several occasions, the first of which was when Raskin was first running for the House of Representatives.
“We get along very well, he’s a very nice gentleman. I don’t know him so well that I thought he would invite me to something like this,” Kinnaird said. “I’m sure there are plenty [of] other people that are his constituents that are probably more deserving of this honor than I am, but he chose me and I am very, very happy for that.”
Although the men come from different parties — Raskin is a Democrat and Kinnaird is a Republican — the two have immense respect for each other.
“Mayor John Kinnaird is an amazingly effective and heroically devoted hands-on small-town Mayor who is available to our shared constituents round-the-clock in Thurmont,” Raskin said in a press release. “... An immigrant, a storyteller and an outrageously nice guy, he is an American original who exemplifies why local government works so well in Maryland. I am proud to bring him as my guest to the State of the Union.”
Kinnaird has lived in Frederick County since 1960, when he emigrated from Scotland with his parents and younger sister.
The Thurmont Board of Commissioners will not meet Tuesday night while Kinnaird is away. The next meeting will be next Tuesday.