Maryland Republicans won’t have the man they called “Banjo Troll” to kick around any more.
Bryan Lesswing was hired by the Maryland Democratic Party in February as a strategist focused on “holding Gov. Larry Hogan accountable.”
Four months later, Lesswing confirms he has left the party to take a position working with campaigns through Emily’s List, a political action committee that focuses on helping elect pro-choice, female Democratic candidates.
His departure wasn’t announced by the party. His Linkedin account still lists employment with the state party, but his Twitter account shows his employment with EMILY’s List.
Friday, Lesswing was prominently featured in a press release. That email was corrected after a reporter contacted Lesswing to ask about his employment.
Lesswing confirmed he had been with the national organization for about a week.
The move is considered a step up by some political observers who expect the 2018 campaign season to be a robust one with many women candidates contending for public offices around the country.
Lesswing, with his sometimes daily email comments, joined an onslaught of other Democratic voices attempting to tie Hogan to President Donald Trump in advance of the 2018 election. During that brief time he quickly earned the not-so-affectionate nickname “Banjo Troll” from Red Maryland, a conservative Republican blog and podcast. The moniker later became a hashtag on social media.
— Bryan P. Sears (@bpsears) February 28, 2017
“I just thought it was funny that #banjotroll was Red Maryland’s fallback when they couldn’t defend Governor Larry Hogan or his Trump-like agenda, which is often,” Lesswing said.
Shortly after coming to Maryland, Lesswing donned a bad wig and suit, posing as Trump, and carrying a sign that asked for help in finding Hogan’s missing spine — part of an effort to pressure Hogan to stand up to the president on a number of national political issues.
Lesswing, who seemed to relish the negative attention from his Republican adversaries, is also a musician who plays (obviously) the banjo.