Category Archives: Young Guns

The Top Thirteen Young Guns of Maryland

1. Sarah Elfreth is Government Affairs Director for the National Aquarium. The smartest, wittiest lobbyist walking the halls of the Lowe House Office Building, she is also one of the youngest young guns on these lists. Whether she remains behind the scenes or runs for office in the future–a distinct possibility–one thing is for sure: you’ll be sure to hear the name Sarah Elfreth for decades to come.

Anonymous: “Sarah Elfreth, a resident of Annapolis MD, is a true leader and an extraordinary example of a young woman who is both influential and impactful before State and local government.”

2. Amit Mistry is a rising star not just in Montgomery County, not just in Annapolis but also in the big leagues: DC. Currently the National Data & Targeting Director at the League of Conservation Voters, he was previously an Account Executive at Catalist. Before that, he was Chief of Staff to House Majority Leader Kumar Barve and worked for Martin O’Malley–both in the Governor’s Office and on his reelection Campaign. He also worked for Del. Sam Arora in his Annapolis office and on his 2010 primary campaign. A native of Damascus, he is well positioned to win a seat in District 14 if he ever felt so inclined. The kicker: he’s only 26.

3Jonathan Sachs is the rare wunderkind made good.  Currently Director of Public Policy for Adventist Healthcare, I could see Jonathan as a successor to GiGi Godwin as CEO of the MoCo Chamber. A number of different people wrote in to nominate Jonathan for this list. Here is what one said:

Anonymous: “Probably the most notable thing about Jonathan—and it speaks to his character and intelligence—is that in a county where “progressives” rule, Jonathan is a centrist, pro-business Democrat. He thinks for himself and doesn’t fall in line with the local political dogma, so his input is all the more valuable because those who share his point of view can get drowned out in our local political conversations. But when Jonathan says something, people—included elected officials—pay attention.”

4. Zach Fang – In my opinion, Zach is now the top field director in the State of Maryland. With a DCCC Pedigree, Zach has returned to the Free State more dangerous than ever. Doug Gansler lucked out hiring this guy.

5. Melissa Joseph is whip smart and perhaps has the best people skills of Maryland’s political class. With an extensive experience in the offices of Ron Young, Rob Garagiola and Chris Van Hollen, Melissa is a triple threat: she’s effective at the federal, state and campaign levels.

6. Ed Burroughs – Not only is Ed the youngest member of Prince George’s School Board, he’s established himself as a national thought leader on education reform. Although he passed on what would have been an easy open seat race for Delegate in D26, a promotion is surely in his near future. He’ll certainly be the favorite to succeed Obie Patterson on the County Council . . . if he wants it. Close with the Iveys, he could also end up as a bigwig in a potential Gansler administration.

7. Joseph Kitchen – Joseph is a highly influential openly gay African-American Minister. He is also a respected voice on education reform and were it not for a recurrence of cancer would have likely been elected to the Prince George’s School Board in 2012. He is also the President of the Young Democrats of Maryland, who have experienced a lot of growth in the DC Suburbs under his tenure.

8.  Anne Klase is part of Comptroller Peter Franchot’s small, close knit circle (along with Andrew Friedson and Len Foxwell)

Anonymous: Anne is District 30’s go-to. Hardworking, balanced, and liked by everyone.

Anonymous – works for the Comptroller (floats between the campaign and the office) but don’t hold that against her. She’ll be elected to the AAC Central Committee in June. In a county with few strong Dems (and the strong ones can sometimes be divisive), Anne is universally liked and respected. She is young (23/4) and has a long career ahead in AA politics – if only as the person behind the scenes

9. Kelly Blynn is a Rockstar organizer. No one does it better in Montgomery County. I dread the day I find myself on the opposite side of an issue from Kelly because that can be a very scary place to be. One nominator described her as:

“Coalition for Smarter Growth, transit advocate – a sophisticated and energetic organizer who played a central role in the BRT campaign.”

10. Tommy Underwood  is a genuinely nice, decent guy and done a great job so far managing O’Malley Speechwriter Nick Stewart’s state house run and has a very bright future. This guy could be the Executive Director of the Democratic Caucus in 2018.

AnonymousHe’s not only a plugged-in guy with a very easy-going personality, but he’s also one of the hardest workers I’ve come across and sharp politically.

11. Andrew Friedson. Excepting his longtime handler Len Foxwell, no one is closer to Peter Franchot than Andrew Friedson. He currently serves as Communications Director in the Comptroller’s Office, where he was previously Deputy Chief of Staff. He managed Franchot’s reelection campaign in 2010.

Anonymous: “another no-brainer nominee.” 

12. Cory McCray – As far as I’m concerned, there is not a single person in Baltimore (or Maryland) who doesn’t think Cory McCray will win a seat in the legislature on June 24th. One incumbent actually dropped out to avoid facing him in the primary–and I don’t think anyone blames her. Cory has been a recognized leader in the IBEW for years. He’s also infectiously charming. Future Mayor?

Anonymous: Cory is a graduate of a five-year apprenticeship program with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 24. For the past four years before becoming a candidate in Baltimore’s  District 45 you could not say union organizing in Baltimore without mentioning Cory’s name. Corey also is the co creator of the B.E.S.T. Democratic Club.

13. Jonathan Jayes-Greene is very bright and connects well with many people. He combines a tremendous personal story with boundless political savvy to promote the issues important to him, which frequently involve immigration. Currently working in the governor’s office, maybe he’ll return there as First Panamanian-American governor?

Top Six Eastern Shore Young Guns

1. Brian Kemmett – Brian is managing the biggest state senate race of the cycle–Jim Mathias’s reelection. In 2010, he was a Regional Field Coordinator for the O’Malley Campaign. That alone justifies his inclusion on this list. Brian was also a Regional Field Director for the state party in 2012 and attended Salisbury University. In between elections, he was a Canvass Director for Progressive Maryland and worked in US Senator Barbara Mikulski’s office..

2. Jake Day – The Salisbury City Council President also happens to be a Veteran and holds Masters degrees from Oxford and Carnegie Mellon. (For undergrad, he was a Terp). He’s also a Lieutenant in the National Guard. Jake has also worked for the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy. He could give Andy Harris a real race one day. He previously served on the City Planning Commission.

3. Josh Hastings – Josh is waging a strong campaign in a solidly Republican district for Wicomico County Council. Currently the lobbyist for the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, he was previously an aide to Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee Chair Joan Carter Conway. Could succeed Rick Pollitt as County Exec one day.

Anonymous: Truly a nice guy. Smart & dedicated to the Eastern Shore.

4. Laura Clay – There are very, very few good professional fundraisers in Maryland. Laura is one of them. She did finance on both of Frank Kratovil’s Congressional Campaigns and is now helping Bill Tilghman post surprisingly big numbers in his MD-01 bid.

5. Robby Sheehan– The Director of Government & Community Relations (and Deputy Chief of Staff in the President’s Office) for Salisbury University is one of the youngest people working in Annapolis (provided you don’t include interns), period. He previously worked for the powerful House Appropriations Committee Chairman Norm Conway. Currently working on a Master’s Degree, this guy has big things in his future.

6. Dennis Teagardin – Dennis’s influence extends far beyond the Shore to the Baltimore Suburbs (where he’ll likely take a seat on the Central Committee in July) and to Montgomery County (where he is Delegate Kirill Reznik’s Legislative Aide). However, this Ocean Pines native and Jamie Fontaine protege will forever be intricately tied  to the Shore. If there were a competitive congressional in MD-01, he’d be a solid field director.

Anonymous: He is president of Baltimore County Young Dems and a candidate for Central Committee for District 11 (he is on the slate with Sen. Zirkin and Delegates Stein and Morhaim).  He is currently on the Central Committee by function of being President of Balto County YD.  He is generally seen as a potential successor to a Delegate seat in 2018, should one come open, and is active on a number of campaigns and fundraising efforts.

Anonymous: He is president of Baltimore County Young Dems and a candidate for Central Committee for District 11 (he is on the slate with Sen. Zirkin and Delegates Stein and Morhaim).  He is currently on the Central Committee by function of being President of Balto County YD.  He is generally seen as a potential successor to a Delegate seat in 2018, should one come open, and is active on a number of campaigns and fundraising efforts.

Top Four Southern Maryland Young Guns

1. Duwane Rager– Sue Kullen is one of three real pick up opportunities for Team Blue this year–the others are Nick Scarpelli and Patrick Murray. Duwane, her Campaign Manager, stands to benefit immensely, if she pulls it off. Duwane is also the President of the Southern Maryland Young Dems and a member of the Calvert Central Committee.

Anonymous The Southern Maryland Young Democrats President, a member of the Calvert County Democratic Central Committee and the Campaign Manager for Sue Kullen’s campaign for Delegate.  He is a great guy and someone who is really going places in the region.

2. Scott Moore – Scott’s a rare breed in Maryland Politics–a professional. He’s done work for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus and the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. I’ve always felt that out of state work is a signal of great talent.

3. Ben Goldstein-Smith – Super nice, solid dude. Currently managing Steny Hoyer’s reelection.  I think the quote speaks more to his talents than I ever could.

Anonymous: Four years ago, Ben was a field coordinator on Nancy King’s Senate re-election. This year, he is serving in his second year as Executive Director of Hoyer for Congress. Talk about moving quick.

4. Anne Klase – Anne is part of Comptroller Peter Franchot’s small, close knit circle (along with Andrew Friedson and Len Foxwell).

Anonymous: Anne is District 30’s go-to. Hardworking, balanced, and liked by everyone.

Anonymous – works for the Comptroller (floats between the campaign and the office) but don’t hold that against her. She’ll be elected to the AAC Central Committee in June. In a county with few strong Dems (and the strong ones can sometimes be divisive), Anne is universally liked and respected. She is young (23/4) and has a long career ahead in AA politics.

Top Eight Young Guns of Baltimore City

1. Cory McCray – As far as I’m concerned, there is not a single person in Baltimore (or Maryland) who doesn’t think Cory McCray will win a seat in the legislature on June 24th. One incumbent actually dropped out to avoid facing him in the primary–and I don’t think anyone blames her. Cory has been a recognized leader in the IBEW for years. He’s also infectiously charming. Future Mayor?

Anonymous: Cory is a graduate of a five-year apprenticeship program with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 24. For the past four years before becoming a candidate in Baltimore’s  District 45 you could not say union organizing in Baltimore without mentioning Cory’s name. Corey also is the co creator of the B.E.S.T. Democratic Club.

2. Dy Reed – The eternally savvy in-house lobbyist for the Maryland Department of Human Resources. Currently in law school at the University of Baltimore, she attended Columbia University for undergrad. Incredible potential.

Anonymous: When Dy isn’t lobbying in Annapolis in her official capacity as government relations rep for the Maryland HR, she is one of the most active members of the Baltimore City Young Dems. Dy was also recently recognized for her work in Baltimore by the B.E.S.T. Democratic Club.

3. Brian Hammock – I’m reasonably certain that Brian was the youngest statewide field director in the country in 2006 when he oversaw the ground game for O’Malley’s first statewide run. After a stint in the Governor’s office, he’s practicing law with Mid-Atlantic powerhouse Venable LLP. He’ll be an insider from city hall to the statehouse until the day he dies.

4. Matt Stegman – The nicest, funniest dude in Maryland politics. With a resume that includes lots of real races both in Maryland (O’Malley and Kratovil) and in more competitive states (Ohio and Pennsylvania). he currently works for House Environmental Matters Committee Chair (and contender for the Speaker’s Chair) Maggie McIntosh. At night, he goes to the University of Baltimore Law School (a.k.a. finishing school for lobbyists).

Anonymous: Like his boss – smart, progressive, & has the best sense of humor in Annapolis.

5. Liz Richards – Liz is a former DSCC independent expenditures staffer who is currently managing Brooke Lierman’s surefire delegate campaign in District 46. I fail to see how they lose that race, and Liz should be well positioned to capitalize on the victory.

6. Benjamin Smith – The Student Government President at UMD Law School is already a published author (the book was about community agriculture). He has 2018 written all over him. Kentucky native but looking to move up in Charm City.

Anonymous: Ben recently moved to Maryland to attend law school, and he has quickly asserted himself in the political community. Ben makes no secret that he holds deep political ambitions in the state of Maryland, and in Baltimore, in particular. Look for him to make a run for elected office shortly after he graduates law school and passes the bar.

7. Anthony Jones – This Baltimore City native and Martha McKenna protege previously worked for US Senator Ben Cardin and Comptroller Peter Franchot. Someone to have on your side in the upcoming 2016 municipal elections.

8. Tashea Brodgins – Currently, she works at the Department of State and was previously with the Executive Office of The President. Tashea was the President of the Baltimore City Young Democrats for five or six years–A remarkable run for an organization known for high turn over–and remains tied in locally as a member of the City Central Committee.

Top Six Young Guns of Western MD

I’ve focused on the Democrats here but also included one exciting young Republican. The five Democrats:

1. Melissa Joseph – Melissa is whip smart and perhaps the most charming member of Maryland’s political class. With an extensive experience in the offices of Ron Young, Rob Garagiola and Chris Van Hollen, Melissa is a triple threat: she’s effective at the federal, state and campaign levels.

2. Ethan West – At 18, Ethan is a bit of prodigy. Whether with labor groups or on Rob Garagiola’s congressional campaign, Ethan has always proved himself a tremendous asset. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as a union political director in Annapolis in a few years.

3. Matt Ferrante – Infectiously charming and smart to boot, Matt will go as far in politics as he wants. We may be talking about Delegate Ferrante in 2018. He was the undeniable breakout star of Rob Garagiola’s unsuccessful congressional bid.

4.  Ryan Trout – An Americorps Alum, Ryan ran a spirited campaign in District 4A as a Democrat–not an easy task. He then moved to Frederick City, served as Ron Young’s Chief of Staff for a few sessions and then got a job at the Frederick Housing Authority. The next time there’s an open seat in District 3A (and no one with the last name Young throws their hat in the ring), count on Ryan Trout being a major factor in the race.

5. Latia Hopkins – While Frostburg State Alum Latia “Tia” Hopins is Baltimore born and bred, she came into her political own as President of the Frostburg College Democrats. She built the club into a respected player inf Allegheny County Democratic Politics. She’s currently in Grad School at George Washington University and serves on the board of the Young Democrats of Maryland.

And one Republican . . .

6. Chandler Thornton – While this Frederick County native is currently studying at American University, he also carries out the truly thankless task of serving as Chairman of the DC College Republicans. Democrats from Westminster to Oakland fear his return. Even before starting college, Chandler blazed an impressive path through the world of Free State Republicans logging time with the state party, Bob Ehrlich’s 2010 Campaign, and in Roscoe Bartlett’s congressional office. More recently, he worked on Romney’s 2012 presidential effort in the early primary state of New Hampshire and later in battleground Virginia.

Chandler is Director of the prestigious Kennedy Political Union (KPU) at American University–an impressive post to have gained, especially for a Republican, at this very Democratic university. Interestingly, the KPU was founded by none other than District 17 Delegate Lou Simmons!

Top Nine Young Guns in The Baltimore Suburbs

1. Caitlyn Leiter-Mason – Originally from Frederick, Caitlyn has been a fixture in western Baltimore County since arriving at UMBC. She was the longtime President of the UMBC College Democrats and is currently managing rising star Baltimore County Councilman Tom Quirk’s reelection bid. She previously worked for Del. Anne Kaiser–a super star rising in the House leadership. There are certainly great things in Caitlyn’s future.

2. Zach Fang – In my opinion, Zach is now the top field director in the State of Maryland. With a DCCC Pedigree, Zach has returned to the Free State more dangerous than ever. Doug Gansler lucked out hiring this guy.

3. Ashley Harden – According to someone on Gansler’s senior staff, this Northwest Baltimore County field organizer is Doug’s best in the state. One Baltimore based Field Operative told me she’s probably the best seen in the Baltimore suburbs since at least 2006.

Anonymous: She’s way too good to stay in Baltimore County, but she just might anyway.

Anonymous: The next Ann Beegle.

4. Tommy Underwood – Tommy is a genuinely nice, decent guy–which is far too rare in politics. He’s done a great job so far managing O’Malley speechwriter Nick Stewart’s state house run and has a very bright future. This guy could be the Executive Director of the Democratic Caucus in 2018.

Anonymous: He’s not only a plugged-in guy with a very easy-going personality, but he’s also one of the hardest workers I’ve come across and sharp politically.

5. Jahantab Siddiqui – Jahantab (more frequently known as JTab) comes from the politically active Siddiqui clan of Howard County. With an extensive resume that extends statewide, I have no doubt that the next Muslim State Legislator in Maryland will be Jahantab. He may have taken a pass this cycle, but he has District 9 State Senator written all over him.  He could be a credible candidate in MD-03 down the line, or statewide. Smart. Charismatic. Handsome. When he runs you can add unbeatable to that list.

Anonymous: Mt. Airy (on the HoCo side) statewide college coordinator with O’Malley ’06 campaign, Field Director of Ulman’s ’06 campaign, Mikulski Staffer, Ruppersberger’s ’12 campaign, and currently with MoCo govt.

6. Dylan Goldberg – I will admit that I was for a time skeptical of Dylan. How could someone always be this happy? This isn’t California, so it had to be an act. It isn’t. His incredible work ethic and that same infectiously happy personality are sure to carry him far. Howard County Executive by 2026 or Bust.

AnonymousHe’s a bit of a superstar in Howard County, having worked for the state delegation in Annapolis for a couple years after working some local and state races in 2010 (That year, he received the MD Democratic Party’s James W. Rouse Community Service Award). He’s now field director for Courtney Watson’s county executive campaign. He previously worked for Councilwoman Mary Kay Sigaty.

Anonymous: He stepped up to lead Watson’s campaign and has done a fantastic job (with a great but not very warm and fuzzy candidate).

7. Marc Szczepaniak – Harford County Young Dems President, UMBC Student and Rachael Rice protege has a terrific future ahead of him, whether in Annapolis or on the campaign trail. Limitless upside and lucky find in one of the tougher county for the Democrats.

8. Nick Stewart – Nick was a speechwriter for Martin O’Malley first as Mayor and later as Governor. He also worked in O’Malley’s press office. He is currently a litigation attorney with the prominent firm Saul Ewing LLP. His next move? Running for delegate in Howard/Baltimore County Based District 12. While the field is large, Stewart is a strong candidate. He would be one of the youngest members of the the General Assembly, but nowhere near the least experienced.

Anonymous: one of 10 Democrats vying for the three District 12 delegate nominations, Nick is a former O’Malley speechwriter/press assistant in City Hall and the State House. He now is a lawyer at Saul Ewing in Baltimore. Lives in Arbutus, raised in Timonium. He also clerked for Judge Glenn Harrell. Just this week named to the Daily Record’s 20 in Their Twenties list

9. Shayla Adams – For the last several years, Shayla has run a 501(c)3 called RemixEducation (whose influence extends from Maryland all the way to North Carolina. She’s also a former Teacher with degrees from Wellesley (Undergraduate) and Duke (M.A.T.).  As education disparities between different jurisdictions in the state come into focus, her influence can only grow.  Plus, she makes up one half of a Young Gun Power Couple (the other is Prince George’s Young Gun Larry Stafford).

Anonymous- Really active in the African American community of Howard. Runs a non profit program. She’s cool with Elijah Cummings and he’s speaking at her scholarship banquet.

Young Guns of Prince George’s

1. Ed Burroughs – Not only is Ed the youngest member of Prince George’s School Board, he’s established himself as a national thought leader on education reform. Although he passed on what would have been an easy open seat race for Delegate in D26, a promotion is surely in his near future. He’ll certainly be the favorite to succeed Obie Patterson on the County Council . . . if he wants it. Close with the Iveys, he could also end up as a bigwig in a potential Gansler administration.

2. Dave Murray – Nobody out hustles Dave Murray. He came within a razor’s edge of capturing a seat on the Prince George’s Board of Ed in 2010 and 2012. While he won the primary with an overwhelming majority, the demographics of a General Election universe of voters are challenging for him. When term-limited Mary Lehman leaves the council in 2018, you can count on Dave to replace her.

3. Raaheela Ahmed – Raaheela came gut wrenchingly close to beating the Chair of the Prince George’s Board of Education last cycle. While her father Shukoor is a bit of a perennial candidate, Raaheela will be in Annapolis before the next round of redistricting.

4. Larry Stafford – Deputy Field Director on Heather Mizeur’s gubernatorial campaign, Larry also revitalized the Prince George’s Young Dems. He’s sure to continue to rise behind the scenes regardless of how Heather’s bank shot bid turns out.

5. Dinora Hernandez – She grew up in Lewisdale, went to Michigan Law, and has recently worked for County Executive Rushern Baker’s lobby shop. She has pressed for greater recognition of Prince George’s growing diversity. In her current School Board campaign, she has argued hard for more parent liaison resources in areas with high concentrations of limited-English proficient students. Already a leader with the skills to move forward and to offer.

6. Walakewon Blegay – Walakewon is an attorney for the National Labor Relations Board. Previously, she worked in U.S. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s District Office, as a Legislative Aide to Ben Barnes, and as a staffer on the campaigns of Tom Perez (for Attorney General) and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (for Baltimore City Council President). Of Nigerian and Liberian descent, she is also a leader in Maryland’s growing continental African Community. Definitely one to watch.

7. Jazz Lewis – Jazz is an extremely talented Prince George’s based organizer. He’s worked for everyone from SEIU to Del. Michael Summers to U.S. Senator Ben Cardin. Currently a grad student at UMD, he is sure to continue and rise in politics.

 

Annapolis Top Five Young Guns

Part II in this continuing series of up and comers under 30 around the State.

1. Jake Weissmann. Don’t let Jake’s goofy style fool you: he has been the brains behind Mike Miller’s formable political operation for years. This cycle, he faces the greatest challenge of his career–guiding the Senate Caucus through what’s shaping up to be a 2010 style red wave nationally. Once he finishes law school, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as one of the top earning lobbyists in the state.

2. Sarah Elfreth is Government Affairs Director for the National Aquarium. The smartest, wittiest lobbyist walking the halls of the Lowe House Office Building, she is also one of the youngest young guns on these lists. Whether she remains behind the scenes or runs for office in the future–a distinct possibility–one thing is for sure: you’ll be sure to hear the name Sarah Elfreth for decades to come:

Anonymous: “Sarah Elfreth, a resident of Annapolis MD, is a true leader and an extraordinary example of a young woman who is both influential and impactful before State and local government.”

3. Cailey Locklair is the Deputy Director of the Baltimore Jewish Council. The following nomination is perhaps the highest praise any lobbyist could receive:

Anonymous: “One of the most persuasive people I’ve ever had a drink with in Annapolis. Completely dedicated to her client.”

4. Geoff Burgan. This guy is sharp and has fantastic people skills. Currently in O’Malley’s comms shop, I wouldn’t be surprised to  see Geoff as a key player in the Brown Administration or on a nascent O’Malley’s presidential campaign.

5. Andrew Friedson. Excepting his longtime handler Len Foxwell, no one is closer to Peter Franchot than Andrew Friedson. He currently serves as Communications Director in the Comptroller’s Office, where he was previously Deputy Chief of Staff. He managed Franchot’s reelection campaign in 2010.

Anonymous: “another no-brainer nominee.”

MoCo Top Ten Young Guns

1. Dave Kunes & Nik Sushka. Dave is a smart, savvy operative with the heart of an activist. He revitalized the Montgomery County Young Dem’s into a force to be reckoned with within the County and beyond. That they helped carry a candidate the Virginia House Caucus had left for dead to victory–Mike Futrell–in 2013 was lost on none). Tom Hucker was lucky to have him and Anthony Brown is too. Labor’s favorite person–period. Future? Whatever he damn well pleases.

Nik, Dave’s fiancé and an all around nice person could have a future representing District 20 in the Legislature. She succeeded Dave as President of the Young Dems (which, in a strange twist of events, now seems to wield more clout than the Central Committee). She works for Montgomery College and is well versed on a number of policy issues.

2. Andrew Platt. If Andrew isn’t finishing up his first session as a delegate representing District 17 next year, I will donate $100 to a charity of his opponents’ choice. But between massive labor support, strong fundraising, and tremendous campaign vigor, I think my hundred bucks is safe. He’s sharp as anyone and has the spirit of a hustler. Future MD-06 Congressman?

3. Dan Reed. Land use aficionados have turned to Just Up The Pike for sharp policy analysis for years. In the last six months, Dan has shown versatility in taking on Josh Starr on a host of education issues for which he has dutifully taken heat. Future Planning Board Member? Or could a 2016 school board candidacy be in the offing?

4. Jonathan Jayes-Greene. Jonathan is charming, handsome and very bright. He combines a tremendous personal story with boundless political savvy to promote the issues important to him, which frequently involve immigration. Currently working in the governor’s office, maybe he’ll return there as First Panamanian-American governor?

5. Joel Sati. Joel isn’t just smart. He’s a genius. He brings the intellectual fire power of an Ivy League Department Chair to his advocacy which has often been based around the Dream Act. Currently in New York City for School, I (and many others) would love to see him run for office back home. With JD/PhD plans in his future, could he be the first African American AG?

6. Dan Campos. This Latino investment banker and former U.S. Senate staffer made a convincing 2010 bid for delegate in D17 as a Republican, earning the NARAL endorsement. He has since switched parties–and everyone should welcome him to Team Blue with open arms. Right now, he is leader of the opposition in Gaithersburg’s municipal affairs. When he runs for something, watch out. Nobody outworks Dan Campos.

7. Jonathan Sachs. A rare wunderkind made good.  Currently Director of Public Policy for Adventist Healthcare , I could see Jonathan as a successor to GiGi Godwin as CEO of the MoCo Chamber. A number of different people wrote in to nominate Jonathan for this list. Here is what two of them said:

“Probably the most notable thing about Jonathan—and it speaks to his character and intelligence—is that in a county where “progressives” rule, Jonathan is a centrist, pro-business Democrat. He thinks for himself and doesn’t fall in line with the local political dogma, so his input is all the more valuable because those who share his point of view can get drowned out in our local political conversations. But when Jonathan says something, people—included elected officials—pay attention.”

In a universe of newbies – most with slim credentials – Jonathan stands out as a star.  Rather than conjuring up bona fides, Jonathan is and has been in the trenches since his days at the University of Maryland.”

8. Kelly Blynn. Rockstar Organizer. No one does it better in Montgomery County. I dread the day I find myself on the opposite side of an issue from Kelly because that can be a very scary place to be. One nominator described her as:

“Coalition for Smarter Growth, transit advocate – a sophisticated and energetic organizer who played a central role in the BRT campaign.”

9. Kevin Walling. A well connected national operative who works at the top political phones firm in the country, Kevin traded an uphill fight for delegate for a safe shot at the MCDCC. Four years from now, he’ll have the local roots to compliment his national credentials. This will make him an even stronger candidate when he runs for office again. Rumor has it that he intends to make a play for MCDCC Chair this year.

Editor’s Note. Number 10 is the author, John Gallagher, nominated by just too many different people to leave out. Offered without comment except from the nominators:

“John Gallagher, Seventh State, mail/campaign operative – the youngest of the young guns, with a campaign resume that would be impressive for a 40-year-old.”
“You. You’re everywhere, you’re a beast, you deserve it.”

Honorable Mention: Marc Korman. Marc has aged out. However, due to his youthful good looks so many people mistakenly nominated him for the list as to necessitate his inclusion. He has an even shot at winning a delegate seat in Annapolis this year. Sidley Austin Attorney, Democratic Party stalwart and ex-Capitol Hill staffer. Anonymous comment:

candidate for delegate, former MPW – smooth edges and a good sense of humor, with broad and deep contacts across Montgomery politics and government.”

 

Young Guns Redux

Longtime Seventh State (then known as Maryland Politics Watch) loyalists will remember the Young Guns of MoCo series that the Adam Pagnucco wrote back in 2009. The YG’s that year were (in the following order): David Moon, Jackie Lichter, Lisa Fadden, Jeff Waldstreicher, Bill Frick, Marc Korman, Jason Waskey (tied with Ben Moskowitz and Eric Luedtke), and finally Ryan Spiegel.

Adam’s post set the age limit at 35. I’m going to bring it down to 30. I’m also going to take it beyond Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. Western Maryland (Garrett, Allegheny, Washington, Frederick and Carroll), the Eastern Shore (too many counties to list), the Baltimore Suburbs (Baltimore County, Harford County and Howard County), Baltimore City, and Southern Maryland (Anne Arundel, Charles, Calvert & St Mary’s) will each get their own editions.

There will also be a special Annapolis edition and a statewide top ten. Email your nominations to johnga.ems@gmail.com. Commentary is appreciated.