Category Archives: Prince George’s

Nine Kings and Queens

By Adam Pagnucco.

Advocates of a nine-district county council in MoCo press on despite clear evidence that our at-large races have much more political competition than our district races. But there is no need to speculate about what a nine-district system would look like. For more than 30 years, a nine-district system was in use right next door to us in Prince George’s County. How did it work there?

Under Prince George’s County’s original charter in 1970, its county council had eleven members, all elected at-large. Five of them had to reside in one each of five districts while the other six could live anywhere in the county. The structure was quickly dominated by Democratic Party leaders who ran slates for state and county offices, but it began to disintegrate when non-slate members won races in 1978. In 1980, the county passed Question K, which replaced the old structure with 9 district-based council members who would be elected solely by voters in their districts. At the time, the Washington Post wrote:

With the council reduced from 11 to 9 members and its members elected from separate districts, there will be decidedly fewer countywide offices with which to form a slate. That was one goal that the amendment’s initiators — Republicans and Democrats who ran against the party slate in 1978 — intended. The supporters of K also said they designed the amendment to make the council more responsive to the electorate. Its opponents charged that the amendment will cause parochialism and an emphasis on district issues at the expense of the county.

Sound familiar?

The new structure was first used in 1982, which saw the defeat of numerous incumbents and power brokers. The system remained in place until 2016, when residents approved Question D to add 2 at-large members by a 67-33% vote. In 2018, a retiring district council member and a non-incumbent won the 2 new at-large seats, defeating seven other candidates including another retiring district council member and a former state delegate.

Another factor in Prince George’s elections are term limits, passed by voters in 1992. The county executive and county council members are limited to two consecutive four-year terms, though they can return after being out of office. Additionally, council members can serve two terms in district seats and then immediately run for two more terms in the at-large seats created in 2018. Prince George’s voters have rejected multiple attempts to repeal or extend term limits.

How well has the nine-district system promoted political competition in Prince George’s County?

The table below shows the distribution of the 60 county council elections held in Prince George’s from 1998 through 2018. Of those 60 elections, 32 were district races with an incumbent on the ballot, 22 were for open district seats, 5 were special elections for open district seats and one was an at-large election in 2018.

The first thing one notices is that the average number of primary candidates is much lower in races with incumbents (1.9) than in open seat district races (4.8) and special elections (6.6). The 2018 at-large race had 9 candidates.

Now let’s look at how incumbents fare in Prince George’s district races.

Fully half of the elections featuring an incumbent (16 of 32) had no opposition. Only 3 elections had an incumbent winning by less than 10 points. Ninety-one percent of the elections had an incumbent winning by 20 points or more or not having an opponent at all.

The combined record of incumbents running for reelection over the last two decades is 32-0.

Granted, elections work differently in Prince George’s and MoCo. Prince George’s politicians employ mixed slates of incumbent and non-incumbent state and county candidates who distribute sample ballots listing all of them. This gives incumbents, especially non-term limited state legislators, enormous influence in selecting and grooming new members of their political organizations. But the end result is not much different than in MoCo’s district council races since 1998, in which Democratic incumbents have an 18-1 record and regularly win blowouts.

The lesson from Prince George’s County is clear: in the context of all district seats, true competition usually only occurs when an incumbent does not run. Because Prince George’s limits incumbents to two consecutive four-year terms, that means true competition happens once every eight years for district seats (unless a vacancy occurs and a special election is held). In Montgomery County, which limits council members to three consecutive four-year terms, true competition would occur once every twelve years. That is a mammoth setback from MoCo’s at-large elections, which have at least some degree of competition in every primary and have sent three incumbents home.

The effect of electing nine candidates and then allowing them to face creampuff (or no) opposition for twelve years would be to create nine kings and queens. That is comparable to what happened in Prince George’s County except our monarchs would rule 50% longer. The NIMBYism and parochialism of the Prince George’s nine-district system even acquired a name – “council courtesy,” under which the other eight members nearly always accepted a member’s position on development in his or her district. With neither the county executive nor the planning board trumping the council on land use powers, the council members were unchallenged overlords inside their domains. Then-special election candidate (and future Council Member) Derrick Leon Davis explained how this works on Kojo Nnamdi’s show in 2011.

In politics, there are few things more dangerous than elected officials who face little or no competition. The risk of being hurled from office by pitchfork-wielding voters is one of the few safeguards protecting the people from politicians afflicted by greed, ego, malice, sloth or sheer incompetence. Nine-district advocates have legitimate grievances and the county could use more district council seats. But competition is a far better solution to our problems than the crowning of kings and queens.


Ademiluyi and Pierre Beat Incumbent Judges in Democratic Primary

Most of the races in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties are very sleepy this year. The judicial races have become a surprise exception. Though there are still votes that have yet to be counted, it looks like challengers upset a member of the incumbent judges slate in the Democratic primary for circuit court judge in both counties.

Maryland judicial races have an unusual process. After being appointed by the Governor, the incumbent judges must face the voters and any other candidates that decide to run. All candidates are placed on each party’s ballot. All of the candidates who place high enough on any party’s ballot continue on to the general election.

Though they lost the Democratic primary, the incumbents will also continue to the general because they still won one of the top four spots in the much lower turnout Republican primaries. In both Montgomery and Prince George’s, the challengers are African-American women and the incumbents are white men who were appointed by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

Ademiluyi Upsets Bereano in Prince George’s

In Prince George’s County, April Ademiluyi beat incumbent Judge Byron Bereano in the Democratic Primary for Judge of the Circuit Court. The daughter of African immigrants, Ademiluyi is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park and received her law degree from George Mason. According to currently available numbers, Ademiluyi won 105,725 votes to 87,017 for Bereano, the son of controversial lobbyist Bruce Bereano.

Bruce Bereano was convicted of campaign finance fraud in 1994–he got his employees to make campaign donations and then illegally reimburses them under the guise of lobbying expenses. Besides going to jail, he was disbarred and lost his license to practice law.

Neither stopped him from coming back as a highly influential lobbyist or from exerting influence on judicial nominations and elections.

As Josh Kurtz explained:

[Bereano asked] his friends to contribute to something called the Prince George’s Committee to Elect Sitting Judges. This is a campaign committee for five Circuit Court judges — four of whom were recently appointed by Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) — seeking 15-year terms to the bench in the 2020 election. One of them happens to be his son, Judge Bryon Bereano, appointed first by Hogan to the District Court, then late last year, to the Circuit Court.

Stranger still, consider the identity of the man chairing the sitting judges’ election campaign in Prince George’s County: That would be Alexander Williams, the former federal judge and close Bruce Bereano ally who is surely Hogan’s favorite Democrat. Hogan has rescued Williams from retirement, appointing him to several key appointed posts. Those include his role as chairman of the Appellate Courts Judicial Nominating Commission.

Bruce Bereano has also been heavily involved in Anne Arundel judicial races.

Despite losing the Democratic primary, Byron Bereano will also appear on the general election ballot. He won a spot with just 4,970 votes — all that was needed in heavily Democratic county home to few Republicans. Bereano attended the University of Baltimore School of Law and formerly worked at Lerch, Early and Brewer.

Pierre Edges Out Fogleman in Montgomery

In Montgomery, challenger Marylin Pierre beat incumbent Christopher Fogleman. Pierre gained 79,673 votes to 77,976 for Fogleman who was appointed by Gov. Hogan. Pierre, a former army lieutenant and Howard law graduate, ran as a progressive alternative to the incumbent slate. Somerset Mayor Jeffrey Slavin was her sole endorsement from an elected official.

This was Pierre’s second attempt as an insurgent judicial candidate. In 2018, Pierre failed to win either party’s nomination. However, she nevertheless did quite respectably for someone not part of the incumbent slate in a contest that is below the radar of most voters.

Fogleman served for three years as a public defender in the 1980s. The American University law graduate also was appointed by former County Executive Ike Leggett to the county’s Juvenile Justice Commission. Fogleman served for ten years, including as the commission’s chair.

Like Bereano in Prince George’s, Fogleman will advance to the general election due to his success in the Republican primary in which he earned 14,085 votes compared to 6,893 for Pierre.

The outcomes in the two party primaries were strikingly reversed for the other incumbents. Incumbent African-American Judge Bibi Berry ran away as an easy first place in the Democratic primary with 106,128 votes — over 23,000 votes more than the second place candidate. But in the Republican primary, Berry came in fourth with 11,492 votes, which is roughly 3000 votes less than her white male running mates.


Alsobrooks Brags About Beating MoCo

By Adam Pagnucco.

In a blast email sent today, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks bragged about a recent Washington Post story showing her county pulling ahead of Montgomery County in job creation. The email is reprinted below.


Prince George’s Overtakes Montgomery as Top Job Creator in Maryland Suburbs

Dear Prince Georgians:

In case you missed it, an article published Monday in the Washington Post showed that our County has officially overtaken Montgomery County in terms of job creation for Maryland.

From 2013 to 2018, we added 21,236 jobs in our County, growing by 7.1%.  That growth secures our County’s spot as the top job creator for the entire State of Maryland.  I am Prince George’s Proud to say that these numbers confirm what we have been saying, which is that we are the economic engine for our State.

As the article states, our job growth is due in part to honest and effective political leadership in our County over the past several years.  In addition, our County has aggressively courted businesses by making key investments over several budget cycles.  We are not just waiting for businesses to come, but instead going out and beating the bushes to tell the story of Prince George’s.  These factors, plus the strong working relationship that we have with our colleagues on the County Council, have contributed to a very business-friendly environment in our County.

As we maintain the spot as the top job creator for the State of Maryland, we will not rest on our laurels.  Over the next several years, we plan to continue making investments to incentivize businesses to locate to Prince George’s County.  Some of our top priorities include high-quality dining and amenities, technology companies, and even federal government facilities that are looking to relocate.

We also plan to invest in creating what we call the Downtowns of Prince George’s.  These are areas where we will focus on mixed-use, transit-oriented development to continue attracting new businesses and growing our commercial tax base.  In the past year alone, we have seen several successes with these projects and the investments we have already made.

For example, in the area around the New Carrollton metro, Kaiser Permanente opened its new regional headquarters last year, and we learned that WMATA plans to move its regional headquarters there as well.  Construction will soon begin on the Carillon Project in Largo, which will revitalize the former Boulevard at Capital Centre.

Finally, we broke ground on the Hampton Park Project, which will replace the former Hampton Park Mall in Capitol Heights.  We’ve already secured several commitments from businesses to open in this location when construction is done, including the award-winning Ivy City Smokehouse restaurant and a Market Fresh Gourmet grocery store.

Those are just a few of the accomplishments we had in 2019 in terms of attracting new businesses and job creation.  You have my commitment that my administration will continue telling our story, making critical investments and attracting new businesses to create even more jobs over the next several years.

The best is truly yet to come for Prince George’s, and I know that by working together, we’ll have an even better story to tell in the coming months.

Yours in service,

Angela Alsobrooks

Prince George’s County Executive

Additional Coverage: The Economy is Booming in Prince George’s County

Following the Washington Post article, WJLA ran a story discussing the booming economy in Prince George’s County.  We have thousands of job openings in the County, and engineering firms like ATCS are excited to be here and hiring now. In case you missed the story from WJLA, watch it online by clicking here.


Leggett Endorses Alsobrooks

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett has endorsed State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks for Prince George’s County Executive. Here is the press release from the Alsobrooks campaign:


LARGO, MD – Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett today endorsed Angela Alsobrooks to be the next County Executive for Prince George’s County. During a press event at Alsobrooks’ campaign headquarters, Leggett said Alsobrooks was best prepared to hit the ground running day one and address challenges that impact the county and the region.

“After serving as Montgomery County Executive for the last 12 years, I know the leadership abilities a person needs to be successful in this job and Angela Alsobrooks has them,” Leggett said. “She is a leader who holds herself and everyone around her to the highest ethical standards and she leads by being present, getting to know those she serves so she can address the specific challenges they face. She also has a good temperament and the ability to work with anyone and everyone, even those who disagree with her, to get the job done. Her record as State’s Attorney speaks for itself and I know she will be a County Executive to lead Prince George’s County into the future.”

The endorsement continues to add to the broad and diverse support that Alsobrooks has earned during the campaign. She has also been endorsed by 15 local labor unions representing more than 65,000 working families and all four of the county’s public safety unions.


Glenarden Election Results


Edward Estes, 323
Dennis Smith (incumbent), 283

Councilmembers (Seven At-Large)
Deborah Eason (incumbent), 351
Carolyn Smallwood (incumbent), 327
James Herring (incumbent), 317
Robin Jones, 317
Celestine Wilson, 305
Angela Ferguson, 294
Donjuan Williams, 273
George W. Reid, 272
Judy Diggs (incumbent), 268
Mark Coulter, 264
Jennifer Jenkins (incumbent), 256
Maxine Phifer (incumbent), 237

Glenarden experienced major turnover as it unseated its mayor and turfed out three councilmembers. However, three other incumbent councilmembers came in first, second and third for the seven available at-large seats, despite controversy reported in the Washington Post:

The election in Glenarden, in central Prince George’s County, was marred by controversy after three council members were censured over allegations that they used city money to promote a petition campaign. The council retained an attorney and has requested an investigation by the state prosecutor.

All three of the council members — Carolyn Smallwood, James Herring and Deborah Eason — retained their seats Monday, according to early returns.


Mt. Rainier, Hyattsville and Cheverly Election Results

Mount Rainier

Malinda Miles (incumbent), 486
Jesse Christopherson, 416

Ward 1 – Two Years
Celina Benitez, 331
Charnette Robinson, 155

Ward 1 – Four Years
Luke Chesek, 339
Tyrese Robinson, 143

Ward 2
Bryan Knedler (incumbent), 353

The election was hard fought and exhibited tensions related to issues of change, class, and gentrification. In recent years, the African-American share of the population has fallen while many Latino immigrants and Whites have moved to the town.

Essentially, two slates competed. Mayor Malinda Miles along with Charnette Robinson and Tyrese Robinson represented the views of longer term residents. All are African-American women. Councilmember Jesse Christopherson was allied with Celina Benitez and Luke Chesek. Christopherson and Chesek are white while Benitez is a Salvadoran immigrant.

Though Mayor Miles eked out a win in the marquee race, she will now have to grapple with two newcomers she opposed on the Council, as Benitez and Chesek easily won their races. White incumbent Bryan Knedler was also reelected.

The mayoral campaign was clearly hard fought and not always pretty. After the election, one resident bizarrely wrote losing Mayoral Candidate Jesse Christopherson’s wife what can best be described as an intentionally hurtful nastygram.

UPDATE: Luke Chesek explained via email that he did not run on a slate or endorse either mayoral candidate. Thanks for the much appreciated feedback.


Ward 1
Bart Lawrence (incumbent), 467
Talib Karim, 165
Ian Herron, 50

Ward 2
Robert Croslin (incumbent), 356
Write-Ins, 20

Ward 3
Carrianna Suiter, 136
Ayanna D. Shivers, 85
Vinni Anandham, 19
Write-In, 1

Ward 4
Edouard Haba (incumbent), 106
Shirley Ann Bender, 18

Ward 5
Erica Spell, 75
Ben Zeitler, 51
Derrika Durant, 4

A group of Catholic Hyattsville residents who have formed a tight community were recently featured in a profile of Ron Dreher in the New Yorker. Councilmember Shani Warner reports on Facebook that the election was at least somewhat bitter:

Amusing excerpt from a “concession” email to the neighborhood listserv: “Also, I extend my gratitude to all the people who made false and hurtful statements about me and my supporters, as I am told that every act of wrong that one experiences wipes away sin.”

The concession email was authored by Talib Karim, who lost an appeal against a Civil Protection Order requested by his wife. The basis for Karim’s appeal was that the judge denied his request for a continuance to seek counsel in the middle of the trial–Karim is a lawyer and decided to go pro se.

Controversies also included campaign finance. Herron and Karim filed their reports after the deadline. Karim failed to submit required receipts for campaign expenditures and may have accepted illegal donations from businesses. Others also had problems with their reports.

You may wonder why such reports are required in such a small town but candidates have raised thousands of dollars. Karim, for example, raised over $12,000 in 2015, and had raised over $8000 in 2017. Mayor Hollingsworth also raised over $11,000 in 2015.


Ward 1
Laila Riazi, 71

Ward 2
Robert Julian Ivey, 220
Nicholas D’Angelo, 133

Ward 3
Roswell Eldridge, 59

Ward 4
Maurielle Stewart, 127
Fred Price, Jr., 36

Ward 5
Jenny Garcia, 6
Lucille Gaither, 3
Melissa Turner, 1

Ward 6
Elizabeth MacKenzie, 56
Monica Megan Daly, 34

Julian Ivey is the son of former Del. and Lt. Gov. Candidate Jolene Ivey and former State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey. They must be very proud of his election. I have no idea what happened in Ward 5, which only had ten voters.

UPDATE: A reader explained why the turnout is so abysmal in Ward 5:

Ward 5 turnout is a perennial issue. Ward 5 encompasses a large complex of apartments on the edge of Town with predominately minority renters.  When District maps were drawn, the apartments were all put in Ward 5 to help assure that an African American would be represented on Council.  But the apartments have never been really fully integrated into the Town. Consequently, few candidates run for Council and only a handful vote in Town elections (turnout in presidential elections is relatively good.) The good intentions have never materialized.

Thanks for the information and local perspective.



Worst Reason Not to Run

In the Washington Post, Arelis Hernández reports that Rep. Donna Edwards is receiving encouragement from progressive Prince George’s activists to run for County Executive. However, the possible entry of Sen. C. Anthony Muse is giving her pause:

Longtime state Sen. C. Anthony Muse, who is close to Edwards and has his own deep base of political support, has also been considering a run — one factor that could dissuade Edwards from getting into the race.

Like Edwards, Muse is touting his outsider credentials:

Although Muse has been in Annapolis since 2007, he is known for his independence from the Democratic leadership there and would also likely try to claim the outsider label.

“Muse is the only one who has built his career on standing up to the establishment,” said Wayne Clarke, a veteran political operative who is close to the senator.

Except that Muse has stood up to the Democratic establishment by opposing it from the right, not the left. In contrast to State’s Attorney Alsobrooks, a leading candidate for County Executive, Muse was a leader in the effort to fight bail reform this year:

Alsobrooks was the only state’s attorney in Maryland to publicly oppose a bill sponsored by Muse to revive the state’s cash-bail program. The legislation was denounced by progressives who had worked for years to eliminate bail for poor defendants. It passed in the Senate but died in the House.

Muse also opposed marriage equality. According to political science estimates, Muse has been the seventh most conservative Democrat in the Maryland Senate. Unlike other more conservative Democrats, Muse does not represent a swing district. Other Prince George’s Democrats are among the most liberal in the Senate.

Muse’s financial past also raises eyebrows. He led two Prince George’s churches into bankruptcy. Muse’s own financial situation looks much happier. At the time of the second bankruptcy, he owned four properties–his own home, a vacation home, a rental property in Silver Spring, and a vacant lot in Fort Washington.

Todd Eberly sees an Edwards bid as a good way to wreck revenge on the Democratic establishment, which doesn’t support her:

[t]he former congresswoman might consider it “wonderful revenge” against party leaders who embraced then-Rep. Chris Van Hollen instead of her during the Senate primary.

But Sen. Chris Van Hollen has been a progressive leader. A big part of the reason Edwards lost was that there was just not enough daylight on issues between the two candidates.

For someone who is a progressive champion, the idea that  Anthony Muse could become county executive should be seen as a reason to run–not to hit the pause button.


Uly Currie’s Un-Resignation

curriesSen. Ulysses Currie and Rev. Shirley Gravely-Currie

On November 4, Sen. Uly Currie (D-Prince George’s) sent his resignation effective December 1 to Senate President Mike Miller:

It is my deep love for my constituents and the Maryland Senate, combined with a recognition that I can no longer serve with the strength and energy you all deserve, that I have decided the time has come to turn the mantle over to a successor. . .

Now, he has decided to rescind his resignation, as the Central Committee is unwilling to appoint his wife to his seat:

I was proud and supportive when Rev. Shirley Gravely-Currie courageously put herself forward to fulfill this role as no other person came forward without the intention of using the appointment to gain an election advantage over others.

Since my announcement, it has been nothing but petty political jockeying and deal making, with only the 2018 election in mind.

Claiming to be shocked at the role that politics plays in politics and at the loss of civility his departure from the Senate would mean, Currie made a political move. As his resignation was not yet effective, I imagine he will make it stick.

While Currie certainly is a courtly individual, the Senate voted to strip him of his leadership position as Chair of the Budget and Taxation Committee in 2010 for ethics violations. Even Currie voted for the motion, which took place in the wake of his being found not guilty on bribery charges.

Having announced his departure, Currie should go. His behavior makes him easily characterized as a member of a crony driven pay-to-play Annapolis elite. Reversing his resignation for health reasons because his wife couldn’t win the appointment only serves to increase political cynicism.

I know little of his potential replacements but it would be good for the Democrats and for Prince George’s for someone new to be given a chance to represent the district.


CD4: Where are the Voters?


The overwhelmingly Democratic Fourth Congressional District will be open in 2016 since incumbent Rep. Donna Edwards is making a bid for the U.S. Senate rather than seeking reelection. So where do the Democrats who will vote in the primary live?

Registered Democrats by Legislative District

The Fourth CD is split between Anne Arundel and Prince George’s but 86% of registered Democrats live in Prince George’s. Former Prince George’s State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey was on the ballot repeatedly, though he has not been on the ballots since 2006.

The following table shows the number of registered Democrats as well as the number who voted in each of the four past Democratic primaries within the portion of each state legislative district included in the Fourth Congressional District.

cd4 vr1

Newly elected Del. Erek Barron (D-24) is rumored to be interested in running for the Fourth. At 21.0%, D24 has the highest share of registered voters. Though Democratic primary turnout is slightly sub par, voters in this legislative district nonetheless consistently provided over one-fifth of all voters.

District 25 does not lag far behind District 24’s voting power with 18.7% of the CD 4’s registered Democrats. This is Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s former legislative district. Talented Del. Dereck Davis (D-25), the powerful Chair of the Economic Matters Committee, is also said to be musing about running for the seat.

Del. Jay Walker (D-26) is openly exploring a bid. Sen. Anthony Muse (D-26) from the same district is also rumored to be thinking about it. D26 has the third highest share of registered Democrats but lags notably behind either D24 or D25 with 14.4% of CD 4’s Democrats. Moreover, turnout is often mediocre–it fell as low as 13.4% of the Fourth’s total though it reached 14.9% on the one occasion in which the share of voters exceeded registrants.

Former Del. Jolene Ivey represented District 47 under different boundaries before redistricting. The current version of D47 holds 13.4% of CD 4’s registered Democrats but turnout consistently lags. In the past four Democratic primaries, voters from D47 never comprised more than 11.9% of the voters in CD 4.

Nevertheless, Jolene Ivey, a successful and highly talented politician in her own right who ran for Lt. Governor last year, will undoubtedly be an asset to her husband Glenn Ivey’s campaign. When she last ran for the House in 2010, she came in first by a mile in a crowded primary with eight candidates.

Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk (D-21) is planning a run. Currently, she represents just 8.1% of registered Democratic in CD 4. A small base on which to build.

Registered Democrats by Legislative and County Council Districts

The second table shows the share of registered Democrats broken down by state legislative and county council district. None of the Anne Arundel Councilmembers represent more than 5% of registered Democrats in CD 4.

cd4 vr2

Prince George’s Council Vice Chair Derrick Davis (D-6)–not to be confused with the state legislator with the very similar name–represents 20.3% of registered Democrats but 64% also live in Legislative District 25. As this is declared candidate Anthony Brown’s former district and Del. Dereck Davis’s current district, competition for these voters could be fierce.

Councilwoman Karen Toles (D-7) represents 17.4% of CD 4’s registered Democrats. This district has significant overlap with Del. Erek Barron’s legislative district, as well as those of Brown/Davis and Walker/Muse. 15.5% of CD 4’s registered Dems also live in  Council District 5, held by Andrea Harrison. This district has a lot of overlap with D24 (Barron) and D47A (Jolene Ivey).

Former Council Chair Ingrid Turner has expressed interest in running for the Fourth. But she represented Council District 4. In its current incarnation, it falls almost entirely into CD 5. Just 0.8% of CD 4’s registered Dems live in District 4.

Likely Voters by State Legislative and County Council Districts

The final table breaks down the share of Democrats who voted in at least two of the past four primaries by state legislative district and county council district:

cd4 to2

This table indicates even more cleanly that Council District 6 is the heartland of CD 4’s Democratic voters. While it has less than a 3% advantage over Council District 7 in registered Dems, it has a 10.6% lead over the same district in two-time primary voters–23.8% versus 13.2%. No wonder Dereck Davis is thinking about running. (Notice also that Council District 5 leapfrogs ahead of Council District 7 in this table.)

Among state legislative districts, the biggest drop is in D47, which has 2.2% fewer two-time primary voters than registered Dems. Legislative Districts 24 and 25 have a slightly higher share of two-time primary voters than registered Democrats. But the statistics change less dramatic; the increase is 0.7% for D24 and 0.2% for D25. In contrast, the share of two-time primary voters is lower the registered Dems by 0.6% in D26.

Based on this table, the most desirable pieces of real estate to have represented before in terms of Democratic primary turnout are:

1. Maryland (Brown)
2. Prince George’s County (Ivey)
3. Prince George’s County Council District 6 (Derrick Davis)
4. State Legislative District 24 (Barron)
5. State Legislative District 25 (Dereck Davis/Brown)
6. Anne Arundel County
7. Prince George’s County Council District 5
8. State Legislative District 26 (Walker/Muse)
9. Prince George’s County Council District 7
10. Prince George’s County Council District 8
11. State Senate District 47
12. State Legislative District 33
13. State House District 47A
14. Prince George’s County Council District 1
15. State Legislative District 21 (Peña-Melnyk)


MD-04 Battle Looms Large

Jolene Ivey, Doug Gansler

Former State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey at the Announcement of
Del. Jolene Ivey’s bid for Lieutenant Governor

Rep. Donna Edwards is announcing her Senate bid today, which means a slew of people are thinking of running for the open Fourth.

Maryland’s Fourth Congressional District, which stretches from Anne Arundel County and around the border of the District of Columbia to take in most of inside the beltway Prince George’s County, is the wealthiest, most highly educated African American majority district in the country. We can expect a lively, crowded primary for this heavily Democratic seat.

The Hon. Rev. Bishop Senator C. Anthony Muse
Perhaps the most flamboyantly colorful member of the Maryland Legislature (Delegate Oaks of Baltimore City is more sartorially extroverted but he lacks Muse’s flair for the dramatic in other regards) brings a large base of south County voters and will have support among the large community of African-American Evangelical voters in the 4th.

How he expands his base is an open question, as his fundraising. He can’t be counted out, though his noted conservative positions, particularly on social issues, will attract a rush of progressive money to any other candidate if it looks like he stands a chance.

Former State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey or Former Del. Jolene Ivey
Glenn Ivey is a very dynamic, well connected former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney with a wealth of downtown DC connections to lean on. It’s rumored that his wife, former Delegate Jolene Ivey is making calls soliciting support for a potential bid on his behalf.

While he was an immensely popular State’s Attorney, he’s in a less strong position than if this primary were happening closer to when he last held office. On the other hand, former Del. Jolene Ivey, his wife, just ran for Lt. Governor, and only continued to build upon on her already positive image. She too would be an excellent candidate. In short, both are terrific political assets to the other.

Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk
Joseline Peña-Melnyk looks potentially like the only Latino candidate in the race as it appears that State Senator Victor Ramirez will take a pass. However, there are fewer than 20,000 registered Latinos in district so this community only provides so large a base. Peña-Melnyk is Dominican, while most of the Latinos in the district are Salvadorian (as is Ramirez). Furthermore, much of District 21, which she represents, is in the Fifth District.

Mary Lehman
Mary Lehman is a term-limited Prince George’s County Councilwoman representing much of the Laurel area. She previously served as Chief of Staff to the last person to hold her current seat–Tom Dernoga. While well liked and respected by many in the community, she lacks to rolodex to raise the millions needed for a competitive campaign.

She would likely be perceived by many as the white candidate, although in a crowded field in a black-majority district that isn’t necessarily a bad place to be. Especially when even though the majority of residents are African American, a slight majority of registered voters are white.

Del. Erek Barron
He is a freshmen Delegate from Prince George’s County with a long resume that includes stints working for Joe Biden and as a high level prosecutor. Barron has deep ties into the legal community in Baltimore and the District of Colombia, as well as on Capitol Hill. He could likely raise more money than all other candidates except either of the Iveys. He has already impressed many in his brief time in the legislature and shouldn’t be underestimated.

Former Lt. Governor Anthony Brown
Mere months ago the idea that today Anthony Brown would be a heavy underdog candidate in a potential comeback for an open congressional seat would be so fundamentally bizarre and incongruous that it belied even a hint of plausibility. But, lo, how the mighty hath fallen

While Brown is currently largely persona non grata throughout Maryland, he is a very talented, fairly charismatic pol  with a sterling resume who did carry his home county very strongly. Far stranger things have happened (See: Sanford, Mark).  Don’t count him out.