I profiled the shenanigans in the District 13 Democratic primary here and here. Long story short, a husband and wife both filed for delegate as did an uncle and his niece. The wife, School Board Member Janet Siddiqui, withdrew at the last minute to refile for School Board but her husband, Nayab Siddiqui, stayed in the race.
Both Vanessa Atterbeary, formerly a candidate in District 18, and her uncle, incumbent Del. Frank Turner filed and neither dropped out. Del. Guy Guzzone, who is running for Senate, originally planned to form a slate with incumbent Del. Shane Pendergrass, Del. Frank Turner, and Janet Siddiqui.
Now, Guzzone, Pendergrass, and Turner have decided to put Vanessa Atterbeary on their ticket as its third candidate for delegate after a series of interviews with the prospective candidates. Nayab Siddiqui and Vanessa Atterbeary both had inside knowledge that someone was going to drop out–or else why on earth would they have filed? And now Team 13 has added the niece of an incumbent delegate to the slate.
Atterbeary, 38, is new to Howard County, having run four years ago in District 18, and participating in Leadership Montgomery two years ago. Congenial enough but running an unskilled campaign that made many missteps (see here, here, and here). But it’s good to know the Montgomery produces such great leaders that Howard feels compelled to import.
Her website, however could use some work (screenshot today):
So why Vanessa Atterbeary besides the link with her uncle?
One reason might that her very successful father, Knowlton Atterbeary, and his connections could help provide significant financing for her campaign and for the slate’s campaign account. During the 2010 cycle, he cut Ike Leggett a check for $2000 and I imagine that, as much as he likes Ike, he loves his daughter.
Much of Atterbeary’s funding last time around came from loans to her own campaign totaling $59K. She may well have earned all of that money or she may have gradually accumulated it through perfectly legal gifts from her parents. Once the money is legally hers, she is legally free to loan it to herself.
Her access to money is not unusual and is not a reason to attack Vanessa. The way she ended up on the slate against an array of generally weak candidates through this very timely withdrawal of J. Siddiqui rather than past work gives much more pause. My bet is that at least some people in Howard County agree.
UPDATE: Vanessa Atterbeary works for KRA, her father’s company.