Jessica Haire is a Republican running for Anne Arundel County executive.
In 2021, Jessica Haire hired Republican political consultant Rory McShane’s firm to poll Anne Arundel County Republican voters on the 2022 county executive race.
Mr. McShane is a Maryland native and the founder and owner of McShane LLC, a well-known Republican political consulting company.
McShane LLC is known to work with far-right and even alt-right Republicans like Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar.
Mr. Gosar is well-known for having ties to White nationalist and pro-Nazi groups.
Jessica Haire was not a county executive candidate when she hired McShane in 2021 to poll-test Republican voters on the upcoming Republican county executive primary.
McShane’s polling showed good news for Jessica Haire’s political future: County Councilwoman Jessica Haire could beat incumbent Democratic County Executive Steuart Pittman in a November 2022 general-election matchup.
But did Jessica Haire and her campaign know about Rory McShane and his associates working in cahoots with a violent extremist group when they hired McShane LLC?
Jessica Haire, when questioned, hasn’t responded to questions about the matter
A Miner Detail investigates.
Jessica Haire Hired a Political Consultanting Firm That Recruited The Proud Boys
Rory McShane and his closest associates operated primarily from the state of Nevada throughout much of 2020 and ingratiated themselves within the upper echelons of the Nevada Republican Party.
In November 2020, McShane’s top deputy, Woodrow Johnston, attempted to recruit the Proud Boys to protest the Nevada ballot-counting efforts.
You’ll recall that Joe Biden, now the president of the United States, won the state of Nevada in the 2020 presidential election.
About the Proud Boys, McShane LLC, Rory McShane, and Woodrow Johnston
Through an ally, Woodrow Johnston sought help from the Proud Boys to overturn Nevada’s election results in favor of Donald Trump.
The Proud Boys are a racist, neo-fascist all-male extremist group.
The group uses political violence and intimidation tactics when targeting political opponents.
Members of the far-right group describe themselves as “western chauvinists.”
More than three dozen Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, another far-right group, have been charged with conspiracy-related crimes connected to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol Building.
Mr. Johnston reached out to a political ally for help to help recruit the Proud Boys to interfere in Nevada’s election-counting process.
(More on this ally later.)
McShane LLC would quietly direct the Proud Boys, through an intermediary, to harass, intimidate and protest Nevada election officials in the Las Vegas area.
There is no evidence that massive voter fraud affected the 2020 election results.
Do Anne Arundel County Voters Know About Jessica Haire’s Involvement with Rory McShane?
Did Jessica Haire and her campaign team vet McShane’s consulting firm before paying them nearly $82k to commission a poll?
To date, Jessica Haire hasn’t commented on her campaign’s relationship with Rory McShane and McShane LLC.
Jessica Haire hired McShane LLC
In March 2021, McShane LLC polled Anne Arundel County voters on a hypothetical matchup between Haire and incumbent Democratic County Executive Steuart Pittman (D).
McShane LLC produced a “confidential memo” that showed Haire defeating Pittman by 2.2 percentage points in a 2022 general-election matchup.
Here’s what McShane’s “confidential memo,” said, in part:
“Haire is on a clear path to victory should she decide to run for County Executive.”
Below is a copy of McShane LLC’s polling memo.
More on Jessica Haire’s 2021 Polling Memo
McShane’s political consulting firm included five other Republicans in its polling, in addition to Jessica Haire:
- Nathan E. Volke, an Anne Arundel County Councilman (District 3);
- Herb R. McMillan, a former Maryland state delegate;
- Sid A. Saab, a current Anne Arundel state delegate;
- Derek J. Fink, a former District 3 councilman.
A Maryland political operative who spoke to A Miner Detail in June 2021 shared their thoughts about McShane LLC, Jessica Haire, and Rory McShane:
“Dirk [Jessica Haire’s husband] shared it with people as an MDGOP poll, which likely has to be on one of their financials,” the insider said, who spoke to A Miner Detail on the condition of anonymity.
“The State Party is spending money on this…what I had not seen as the individual analysis they did for Jessica Haire, but no one else.
No other candidates knew this was being done – except for her [Jessica Haire].”
McShane forwarded Dirk Haire a copy of his firm’s polling memo in March 2021.
Who Is Jessica Haire?
Jessica Vasconcellos Haire, 39, was born in April 1983.
She’s an “engineer, attorney, wife, and mom who has represented District 7 on the Anne Arundel County Council since 2018,” her campaign website says.
Jessica Haire’s Education
- American University, M.A., 2014
- American University Washington College of Law, J.D., 2011
- George Washington University, B.S., 2005.
Jessica Haire’s Relationship With Maryland Republican Party Chairman Dirk Haire
Jessica Haire is married to Maryland Republican Party Chairman Dirk Haire.
Maryland State Delegate Nic Kipke and Rory McShane
Maryland state Del. Nic Kipke chairs Jessica Haire’s county executive campaign.
The same operative who spoke to A Miner Detail in June 2021 said Mr. Kipke “was trying to get the House GOP caucus members to hire Rory McShane’s political consulting firm.”
“We’ve always known that McShane does shoddy work,” the source said.
Why would Nic Kipke hire a Republican consulting firm directly tied to the Proud Boys?
How did he not know about McShane LLC’s public history?
More on McShane LLC’s Proud Boys Nevada Recruitment Efforts
The Nevada Republican Party hired Rory McShane’s firm to investigate electoral fraud and challenge the 2020 presidential election results.
According to the Washington Post, the Nevada GOP tasked McShane LLC to access the validity of election ballots in the Las Vegas area.
The Nevada Current and The Post reported that McShane LLC Vice President Woodrow Johnston contacted Sarah Ashton- Cirillo to arrange for the Proud Boys to attend a Nevada political rally.
Enter Sarah Ashton-Cirillo
Sarah Ashton-Cirillo is a freelance journalist and former progressive activist.
She is currently in Ukraine, covering the country’s ongoing war with Russia.
In 2020, Ashton-Cirillo faked a political persona to get close to the Nevada GOP.
She infiltrated a few Nevada Republican extremist groups to “get the Proud Boys to a post-election rally protesting the validity of balloting in the presidential election.”
The Nevada Current received an email from a former Republican operative confirming Facebook Messenger chats in which Woodrow Johnston sought Ashton-Cirillo’s help to recruit the Proud Boys to visit a Vegas-area election center to protest the presidential recount.
Johnston communicated with Ashton-Cirillo on election night in 2020.
“We might need to do the same here in Nevada,” Johnston wrote to Ashton-Cirillo.
And that meant getting the Proud Boys out to the rally, Johnston said.
“I’ll let you know as soon as I know it’s happening. But wanted you to be mentally ready,” Johnston’s text read.
“Stand back and standby Lol,” Johnston wrote to Ashton-Cirillo, parroting Donald Trump’s infamous remarks.
Mr. Trump declined to condemn the Proud Boys during the first 2020 presidential debate with Joe Biden.
Debate moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump if he was willing to condemn white supremacists and militia groups.
“Stand back and stand by,” Trump notably said, in response to Wallace pressing him to condemn the extremists backing him for re-election.
A Miner Detail Reached Rory McShane for Comment
When reached by A Miner Detail, Rory McShane pointed to a recent Washington Post report on McShane LLC’s involvement with the Proud Boys.
“Read the Washington Post article,” McShane said.
“It’s pretty accurate.”
The Washington Post Report
In 2021, Mr. McShane told the Washington Post that Woodrow Johnston contacted a Nevada GOP activist to recruit the Proud Boys for an election-related intimidation rally.
But McShane claimed he had no knowledge of Johnston’s communications with Ashton-Cirillo or Johnston’s plan to recruit the Proud Boys for a political rally.
“He [Woodrow Johnston] wasn’t working on behalf of any client,” McShane told the Post.
“Our management team has met with him, and he [Johnston] understands what he did wrong.”
Isn’t Johnston part of McShane LLC’s management team? He’s McShane’s right-hand-man, after all.
“The day after the election, Johnston asked Ashton-Cirillo to invite Proud Boys members and other far-right activists to a protest similar to the ‘Brooks Brothers Riot,”’ The Post reported.
In response to inquiries from The Post and other media outlets, Johnston denied operating on behalf of or in coordination with McShane LLC to recruit the Proud Boys to protest Nevada’s presidential election results at the Clark County Education Department in North Las Vegas.
Jessica Haire Condemns Donald Trump over Jan. 6 Insurrection
In February 2021, Jessica Haire voted with the Anne Arundel County Council Democrats in favor of a resolution condemning the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and Donald Trump’s involvement.
Herb McMillan is Jessica Haire’s top Republican rival in the Republican county executive primary.
McMillian, a former Republican state delegate, is running to Haire’s political right and is supported by Dan Cox, a Republican gubernatorial contender and QAnon conspiracy theorist.
In 2021, McMillian asked Anne Arundel County Republican voters a couple of questions about the Republican executive primaryp:
“Did you know that Jessica Haire, who is running for County Executive, voted to condemn Donald Trump and bar him from ever running again?”
“It’s true. In early February, Jessica Haire voted with Democrats on the County Council to pass Resolution 5-21, the bill condemning Donald Trump and urging Congress to bar him from ever serving public office again.”
“Knowing Jessica Haire cast this critical vote, do you think she would be a voice for Republican voters?” McMillan’s poll asks.
Jessica Haire did not comment on her campaign’s relationship with Rory McShane, when reached.