By Adam Pagnucco.
Senator Brian Feldman (D-15) and Delegate Marc Korman (D-16) make the case for County Executive candidate Roger Berliner in this email sent out by the Berliner campaign.
By Adam Pagnucco.
Transportation is an eternal issue in MoCo politics and most candidates mail on it. But this has been Delegate Marc Korman’s top priority since his first campaign and he has worked hard on this issue in the General Assembly, notably playing a key role in passing dedicated Metro funding. The only quarrel we have with this mailer is that Korman may not be taking enough credit for his work! Still, your author is a big Korman fan and we look forward to his second term.
By Adam Pagnucco.
Josh Starr was Superintendent of MCPS from 2011 through 2015 and still lives in MoCo. He announced the candidates whom he supports on Facebook yesterday. Agree with Starr or not, his personal experience of working with state and county elected officials gives him a unique perspective on those running for office. With his permission, we reprint his post below.
Very long post for my MoCo friends about my choices for the primaries, with notes/comments where I feel it’s appropriate. Please note that my choices and/or comments are based on my personal knowledge and experience with these folks, not any deep analysis of every statement/position/vote they’ve made. I definitely have biases.
Governor – Rich Madaleno; Baker would be my #2. When I was super, I found Rich to be one of the smartest, most thoughtful and most knowledgeable elected officials, esp. around budget. He was also one of the first Dems to push back against Hogan. Experienced, smart, progressive, would be a great governor. I’d also love to see an open member of the LGBTQ community elected governor, although that’s in no way the primary (pun intended) reason I’m supporting him.
Senator – Ben Cardin
Congress – Jamie Raskin, because he is, after all, The Jamie Raskin.
House of Delegates – 3 candidates:
Ariana Kelly – solid, speaks out on issues re: women, no reason for her not to continue in Annapolis.
Marc Korman – smart, thoughtful (in my LM class so I got to know him well), definitely a bright future.
Samir Paul – have had a few conversations with him, very sharp and we need more teachers in office.
County Executive (wherein I get a little snarky based on my experiences with many of these candidates). I also think the next CE might be a transitional leader, as we move from 12 years of Ike during an economic downturn towards a new vision that supports bold economic development with progressive politics.
I’m supporting Roger Berliner as I’ve always found him to be thoughtful, a really good listener/learner, consistent and progressive. I’ve always felt Roger tries to do the right thing in an inclusive and reasonable way and will work hard to bring people together around his vision.
A few comments on other CE candidates:
Blair – don’t know much about him, not a huge fan of business leaders assuming they can “save” public entities. I’m pretty agnostic.
Elrich – have always appreciated his progressive politics, always had a solid working relationship, sometimes I appreciate his willingness to take strong positions, sometimes I think they’re unforced errors; major concern is the big hill he’ll have to climb to convince a wide swath of the county that he can do economic development and enact a very progressive agenda.
Frick – there are some things I like about him, personally and professionally, but my experience with Roger Berliner outweighs any support for Frick.
Krasnow – don’t know her, but I hear good things, sounds like a solid choice.
Leventhal – based on personal/professional experience, I’m in the anyone-but-Leventhal camp. He doesn’t have the temperament or leadership skills to be CE, despite his sometimes-engaging personal style and progressive politics. Please, trust me on this one.
Council At-Large (4)
Gabe Albornoz – smart, engaging, thoughtful, has a very bright future; very supportive of kids and MCPS.
Hoan Dang – what I know, I like.
Will Jawando – he deserves a shot.
Hans Riemer – very education focused, solid on economy and progressive issues, always had a good working relationship, we need someone with experience and we need a degree of stability.
I am also in the anyone-but-Jill Ortman Fouse category, based on my experience with her as a board of education member while I was superintendent. Trust me.
Council – D1
Peter Fosselman – solid, good record in Kensington, deserves a shot at council.
BoE (always at the end of the ballot)
At-Large- Karla Silvestre, glad to see her running, great community leader, smart, thoughtful, will be a great BoE member.
D3 – Pat O’Neill, because she deserves a shot at the MD record for longest serving board member. On a serious note, she knows what the role of a board member is and provides an essential balance to other board members who think their job is to run the school system.
By Adam Pagnucco.
Recently, we have run several reports on fundraising through January 2018. This post combines all of our data and presents the top 20 fundraisers in MoCo so far. Note that we break out self-financing and report totals raised for the cycle, not just totals since the last report. And… here they are!
A few random thoughts.
1. It’s natural to expect Brian Frosh and Peter Franchot to be the leaders since they both hold statewide offices. Of the county-level candidates, Council Member Roger Berliner, who is running for Executive, is number one.
2. The numbers for Senator Rich Madaleno (D-18), who is running for Governor, are misleading since he will be applying for public matching funds. Madaleno has said that he anticipates receiving about $975,000 from the state.
3. Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher (D-18), who is running for Senate, is the leading fundraiser among all of MoCo’s state legislators. He will need that money against his self-funding rival, Dana Beyer.
4. County Executive candidate David Blair, gubernatorial candidate Krish Vignarajah, Council District 1 candidate Andrew Friedson and Council At-Large candidate Bill Conway are first-time candidates. It’s a significant achievement for first-timers to make a list of this kind although it’s somewhat tempered by the self-financing of Blair and Vignarajah.
5. Delegate Marc Korman (D-16) is the only first-term elected official on this list. That’s a big deal and a sign of good things to come.
6. Council Member Marc Elrich, who is running for Executive, has never been on a top fundraising list in his life. He is now, and that’s thanks to public financing.
7. Lieutenant Governor candidate Susan Turnbull raised more money in a month and a half of campaigning than half the people on this list did in the entire cycle, a staggering feat.
8. Governor Larry Hogan has raised more money this cycle ($11.5 million) than everyone on this list combined.
Note: an earlier version of this post mistakenly omitted Turnbull’s results. We have corrected it to include her.
By Adam Pagnucco.
First, the easy part: all three incumbents – Senator Susan Lee and Delegates Ariana Kelly and Marc Korman – are running as a team and are headed to reelection. Lee has historically been one of the delegation’s best fundraisers (although Korman surpassed her by a little bit this cycle). Kelly is beloved by advocates for families, women and children for her work on their issues and has emerged as a leader on ridding Annapolis of sexual harassment. Korman is a rare bird: a lawyer who is good with numbers. Metro riders everywhere should thank him for his tenacious work to improve WMATA. Great things are predicted for Korman so long as he does not return to blogging.
Attorney Sara Love and MCPS teacher Samir Paul are the top non-incumbents vying for the seat being vacated by Delegate Bill Frick, who is running for County Executive. Love and Paul would be great candidates in any part of the county, but unfortunately for them, they are running in the same district. Love fits in well with the progressive female voters who dominate District 16 primaries. Paul is a teacher who has been active in MCEA (which has endorsed him), but his message is much bigger than education as he draws links between all public institutions that confer benefits but require investment, especially WMATA. Love and Paul had super fundraising performances and are essentially equal in cash on hand. Those who have met them are impressed with both of them, but sadly, there is only one open seat.
The Big Question: will Frick, who filed a disappointing January report, drop back down to the House race? We know Frick does not enjoy that question, but since he withdrew from the Attorney General’s race and refiled for Delegate at the last hour in 2014, this is on everybody’s mind. Such a move by Frick would probably result in all four incumbents being reelected, wasting huge time and effort by Love and Paul.
This district is a mess. The only certainty here is that Senator Cheryl Kagan and Delegate Kumar Barve will be reelected, assuming that Kagan is not picked up by a gubernatorial candidate as a running mate. As for everything else… well.
At the root of the mess is Delegate Jim Gilchrist. By all accounts, he is a nice guy who never causes trouble. His defenders describe him as a studious, intellectual workhorse who gets into the weeds and doesn’t claim credit for anything. But he has little tangible to show for three terms in office. He has passed no signature legislation. His website is inactive. His Facebook page has not been updated since 2014 as of this writing. And his fundraising is weak. Consider this: since 2006, Gilchrist has raised a total of $83,217 from others, an average of $27,739 per cycle. (He has also self-financed $11,120 over that period.) MoCo has a bunch of candidates who can raise $27,000 in a month.
The search result for Gilchrist’s website less than five months from election day.
So why does he keep winning office? He has a guardian angel: Barve, who is his committee chair and likes him. Barve slates with him regularly and appears in joint mailers with him. Gilchrist would be a goner in most districts, but with Barve helping him, he survives. And that has caused grumbling in some parts of District 17.
This time, Rockville City Council Member Julie Palakovich Carr decided to run for Delegate in July even when it appeared that all three incumbents (Barve, Gilchrist and Andrew Platt) were running for reelection. Six months later, Platt dropped out and Barve and Gilchrist quickly decided to slate with Palakovich Carr. That’s when simmering tensions erupted into the open.
Kagan, who is no fan of Gilchrist, announced that she was not endorsing the Delegate slate, at least not yet. This is almost unheard of; in virtually all cases when incumbent Delegates form a slate and none of them are challenging the sitting Senator, the Senator participates. And when Kagan posted her decision on Facebook, the Mayor of Gaithersburg and two Gaithersburg City Council Members voiced their displeasure with the slate.
Open dissatisfaction with the Delegate slate surfaces on Kagan’s Facebook page.
The nominal reason expressed by some for their unhappiness is that with the inclusion of Palakovich Carr, all three slate members are from Rockville and none are from Gaithersburg. (The two cities are roughly equal in size.) But lurking underneath is festering discontent with Gilchrist’s performance in office. Some would prefer open competition in part because it might lead to Gilchrist’s defeat, but instead they got another slate designed to protect him. Two Gaithersburg House candidates – school board member Rebecca Smondrowski and attorney Julian Haffner (who is married to a City Council Member) – have now entered the race. Barve is the only Delegate candidate with any real money, so all the others have a lot of work to do.
The Big Questions: will the Gaithersburg grumblers step up and organize for one or more of the House candidates from their city? Or will they cut their losses and make their peace with Barve and his slate-mates? And what, if anything, will Kagan do?