Of all of the numerous delegate contests in Prince George’s, the one in District 24 is perhaps the most interesting. This is the seat that the once extremely promising Tiffany Alston lost to indictment. After Gov. O’Malley shot down the appointment of reformed ex con Greg Hall, former Del. Darren Swain was selected to fill the vacancy, although Swain would soon become embroiled in his own scandal.
Swain is running for reelection but is challenged by Alston and Hall. A third challenger, Attorney Erek Barron, is perhaps more formidable than any of them.
Swain’s vulnerabilities spring from one night shortly after he was appointed where he allegedly picked up a group of teenagers, took them to an abandoned house and was then robbed by the same teenagers.
Alston is not regarded as a serious candidate by anyone with whom I’ve spoken. Alston filed an affidavit saying she had raised less than $1,000 on January 1st.
Hall is in many ways an appealing candidate–a drug dealer who served time in prison for his role in a shooting who then cleaned up his act and is now a prosperous small business owner. Furthermore, many feel he is owed the seat because the PGCDCC nominated him for the appointment and he was the runner up to Alston in the 2010 primary. Still, his past makes many, including the Gov, uneasy. Like Alston, Hall filed an affidavit saying he had raised less than $1,000 on January 1st.
Finally, there is Barron. He has served as a prosecutor in Prince George’s County, Baltimore City and with the Department of Justice. He was also an Attorney for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, acting as Lead Counsel to now Vice President Joe Biden. He is also tied in locally, having played football at UMD and served as a PGCDCC member. He currently practices law with a prominent Maryland firm, Whiteford, Taylor and Preston. Barron had $29,000 on hand on January 1st.
Carolyn Howard and Michael Vaughn are both well respected in Annapolis and have been reasonably strong fundraisers. Howard reported $32,000 on hand in her January report, which is a solid number for an incumbent legislator in Prince George’s County. Vaughn had $75,000 on hand– an unusually strong number for a Prince George’s delegate.
Marva Jo Camp, a Annapolis Lobbyist and Attorney has also filed to run. She failed to file a campaign finance report in January, suggesting a certain lack of organization. I’ve been unable to find any substantive information on Durand Ford, although he raised a paltry $613 in 2013. A google search turned up nothing on Delano Miller. There isn’t any campaign finance data available for Phillip Raines and his websites doesn’t list any biographical data other than that he graduated from Bowie State.
These candidates have yet prove their credibility.
Swain, Alston and Hall are all deeply flawed candidates. Barron is running a well organized campaign and has a sterling resume. The chatter is that he is the favorite.
Rating: Lean Barron
Full Disclosure: I pitched Erek Barron on Direct Mail services on behalf of a previous employer in November 2013.