Category Archives: Endorsements

Final MoCo Endorsements

By Adam Pagnucco.

Here is our final list of MoCo institutional endorsements.  Don’t ask us to list more because the font is small enough now!  We’re not sure what to make of MCGEO’s semi-endorsements of House candidates Gabe Acevero (D-39) and Julian Haffner (D-17) but we will leave them in this chart.  One more note: the Washington Post has chosen not to endorse in General Assembly races, something we don’t recall happening in the past.


Sun Endorses Jealous

This morning, the Baltimore Sun endorsed Ben Jealous for governor:

Maryland voters deserve a real choice in November’s election for governor, and we believe Democrat Ben Jealous provides the clearest alternative to Gov. Larry Hogan. It’s not just that the former NAACP president and CEO has the stature or political skills to run a competitive campaign against the popular and extremely well funded Republican incumbent (though he does), it’s that he presents the strongest contrast to the governor in his vision for the state. We give him our endorsement in the Democratic primary.

Jealous is already doing well in the Baltimore region and this should only aid his efforts there.


MoCo Endorsements: February 15, 2018

By Adam Pagnucco.

Below, we present a preliminary list of institutional endorsements for MoCo candidates in contested races.  These lists are incomplete for two reasons: first, several influential players (like MCGEO, the Washington Post, the Volunteer Fire Fighters and the Realtors) have not concluded their endorsement processes and second, many of those who have endorsed have decided on some races but not yet others.  That is particularly true of MCEA, holder of the mighty Apple Ballot, which has issued one round of endorsements and will be issuing another round shortly.

A few notes.

First, incumbents are cleaning up as usual.  Challengers, we know you think you can do a better job than them.  But the incumbents have cast real live votes and have relationships you don’t have.  Deal with it!

Second, a handful of non-incumbents are starting to rack up progressive endorsements.  In MoCo, the two who stand out are Council Member Marc Elrich, who is running for Executive, and District 3 County Council candidate Ben Shnider, who is challenging incumbent Sidney Katz.  If Shnider’s endorsements keep snowballing can he pull off the unthinkable?  Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher, who is running for Senate, has now claimed five major institutional endorsements against one claimed by his opponent, Dana Beyer.

And third, there are so many big endorsements that have not yet come down.  It’s still early so don’t carve anyone’s tombstone yet.  That is particularly true of the Council At-Large race, where only incumbent Hans Riemer is building a big stack of them.  The coming endorsements could act as a critical differentiator in a historically huge field.

We will be updating this list periodically.  We will not be including individual endorsements from elected officials or other prominent muckety-mucks.  (OK, maybe if Barack Obama gets involved, we will make an exception.)  And we will not be listing endorsements from tiny, piddly-squit groups that have never shown any game here.  That means if the Wheaton Beer-Drinking Bass Guitarists Political Club issues an endorsement list, tough beans! – we will not be running it.

To be continued.


Bad Day for Donna Edwards


Rushern Baker Endorses Chris Van Hollen

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker’s endorsement of Rep. Chris Van Hollen over Rep. Donna Edwards for U.S. Senate shows the tough road ahead for Edwards as the primary contest progresses. Not all endorsements matter. This one does.

While Van Hollen has the united support of the Montgomery County Executive and County Council, Edwards just lost the most prominent local official in her home base. Van Hollen has easily consolidated political support in his home base. In contrast, Edwards has now been served notice that she will have to fight hard to get Prince George’s to swing behind her.

It reinforces the existing media narrative that Edwards doesn’t work well with others either in Maryland or Congress. Moreover, it serves as a powerful signal to other African-American officials that it’s OK to endorse Van Hollen over Edwards. A further subtext is that Baker thinks Van Hollen will win so you should support early.

Edwards will try and counter as the authentic progressive candidate running against a corrupt establishment as when she challenged successfully Al Wynn. Except that she’s now a Member of Congress and part of the establishment so people want to see effectiveness as well as an ability to speak truth to power.

Moreover, neither Van Hollen nor Baker are Wynn. Both have strong reputations of wanting to clean up politics. Van Hollen, for example, has been a champion of campaign finance reform. The insufficiently liberal narrative won’t work on Van Hollen either and may just end up reinforcing that Edwards is less electable.

If Elijah Cummings enters the race, this can’t hurt him either, as it makes it easier for him to reach out to Prince George’s. In short, Cummings looks to have an easier time making inroads into Edwards’s base than vice-versa.


AFL-CIO Disses MoCo Council Incumbents

MD AFLIn the Democratic primary, the AFL-CIO endorsed incumbent Marc Elrich as well as challengers Beth Daly and Vivian Malloy for the at-large seats. Only Elrich won the nomination. The AFL-CIO did not endorse incumbents Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal, or Hans Riemer. They have now decided not to endorse any of these three (or anyone else) for the general election.

The AFL-CIO have also made no endorsement in District 1 (Roger Berliner), District 2 (Craig Rice), or District 3 (Sidney Katz). They had endorsed unsuccessful candidates Duchy Trachtenberg (District 1) and Ryan Spiegel (District 3).

District 4 Incumbent Democrat Nancy Navarro is their only new endorsed candidate. They had already endorsed Tom Hucker in District 5–their only other Montgomery County Council winner besides Marc Elrich.

So two-thirds of the new Council will have the election without the endorsement of the AFL-CIO in either the primary or the general election–7 out of 9 if you include the primary.


WaPo Endorses in MoCo Legislative Races

You can find the full endorsements online:

District 14
House: Kaiser, Luedtke, Zucker

District 15
House: Dumais, Miller, Fraser-Hidalgo

District 16
Senate: Lee
House: Kelly, Frick, Korman

District 17
Senate: Kagan
House: Barve, Platt, Hoffman

District 18
Senate: Madaleno
House: Gutierrez, Waldstreicher, Shetty

District 19
House: Kramer, Cullison, Bardack

District 20
House: Hixson, Unger, Jawando



The WaPo Endorses

The Washington Post endorsed in Montgomery County Council races on Monday. The endorsements reflect their usual view that county unions have too much power, spending needs to be cut, and that MoCo needs to be more pro-business.

In the at-large races, the Post preferred all four incumbents, viewing Vivian Malloy’s candidacy as not “viable” and Beth Daly as “dead wrong” and attacked her as wanting to slow “the county’s already anemic rate of growth” as “misguided.”

Most interesting are the endorsements in the district races. The District 1 race is viewed less through the lens of unions and spending and more through general capability and personality:

In District 1, Roger Berliner, who is seeking a third term, is vastly superior to Duchy Trachtenberg. Mr. Berliner, an environmental lawyer, is respected on the council for his command of environmental issues and superb constituent service. By contrast, Ms. Trachtenberg, who lost her at-large seat in the election four years ago, was widely regarded as disorganized, unfocused, polarizing and inattentive to constituents.


In Districts 3 and 5, the WaPo rejected the candidates most identified with the unions–Ryan Spiegel in District 3 as well as Tom Hucker and Chris Barclay in District 5. Among the other candidates, the Post promoted Tom Moore in District 3 and Evan Glass in District 5.

The Post lauds Moore as “a champion for open government and affordable housing.” Evan Glass is described as:

pragmatic and deeply committed to the community, where he’s been an effective advocate for affordable housing. He’s the sort of independent-minded candidate who could make an important mark on the council and help rebrand Montgomery as a more welcoming place for employers.