Superstars in Waiting: The Freshman Democratic House Class

Without an unprecedented General Election upset, the following Democratic nominees for House Seats will be sworn into the General Assembly for the 2015 Session. These legislators show particular promise:

1) Brooke Lierman – The new face of South Baltimore is young, white, wealthy and progressive. Brooke is all of these things (And DC powerhouse Terry Lierman’s daughter). Despite a convenient last name, she fully deserves her seat in the House on her own merits (going back to the campaigns of Paul Wellstone and Howard Dean) up to her present day practice as a civil rights lawyer.

2) Erek Barron – An Attorney at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, the newest addition to the District 24 Delegation has tremendous statewide potential. A former prosecutor (as an ASA in Prince George’s and Baltimore City as well as at the Department of Justice) who worked for then US Senator Joe Biden on Capitol Hill, Erek has as sterling a resume as any legislator. He also has an easy going charm and keen intelligence. Bonus Points: he played foot ball at College Park.

3) Marc Korman – This Sidley Austin Attorney and former Capitol Hill Staffer (not to mention a former blogger at Seventh State predecessor Maryland Politics Watch) has always been the smartest guy in the room–and that definitely won’t change when he gets to the Lowe House Office Building.

4) Andrew Platt – A very, very sharp former US House Leadership staffer cruised to victory and is set to become the youngest legislator in Annapolis. He has future leadership written all over him.

5) Cory McCray This East Baltimore IBEW Leader is charming and exceedingly genuine. He ran an incredibly strong campaign this year and is sure to rise quickly in Annapolis as a powerful voice for working families in the state.

6) David Moon – Attorney and Political Operative David Moon is sure to establish as a liberal lion in the legislature as he marries his communication skills with sharp progressive politics. He will represent his new constituents in Takoma Park well.

7) Will Smith – Despite (perhaps unduly harsh) criticism of his campaign budgeting decisions on this blog (by me), Will Smith cruised to victory on June 24th with the help of a slate led by Jamie Raskin. His future in this state couldn’t be brighter.

These are the future County Executives, Congressman, MGA Committee Chairs, Attorneys General, Comptrollers, Lieutenant Governors of the coming 10-15 years.

Note: This post was modified from the original version because Candice Quinn Kelly lost her close race.



Senate Results from Around the State


In northern Frederick County, Del. Michael Hough easily defeated incumbent Sen. David Brinkley (68-32) for the Republican Senate Nomination in District 4. Another victory for the right-wing of the Republican Party and Sam Arora’s one positive takeaway from the night is that he helped elect a more extreme conservative.

On the southern Eastern Shore, Del. Addie Eckardt defeated incumbent Sen. Richard Colburn in District 37 (57-43). This change should improve this district’s representation.


In Harford County, Del. Mary Dulany-James easily beat former Sen. Art Helton (61-39) to win the Democratic Senate nomination in District 34.

On the Eastern Shore, Sen. Stephen Hershey defeated former Del. Richard Sossi for the Republican nomination in District 36 (56-44). Hershey had narrowly edged out Sossi in 2010 for a delegate seat before winning appointment to the Senate.

In Baltimore County, Sen. Jim Brochin easily turned back a challenge from former Del. Connie DeJuliis (69-31) for the Democratic nomination in District 42. DeJuliis had the support of Gov. Martin O’Malley while Senate President Mike Miller notably did not back Brochin.


Incumbent senators successfully faced down challenges from delegates in Prince George’s. In District 25, incumbent Sen. Uly Currie faced down Del. Melony Griffith (58-38-3). Lamentably, Conservative Sen. Anthony Muse defeated Del. Veronica Turner in District 26  (51-33-9-7).


In Baltimore City District 43, Sen. Joan Carter Conway defeated City Councilman Bill Henry (65-35). In District 45, Sen. Nathaniel McFadden destroyed operative Julius Henson (81-19).

In Prince George’s District 24, Sen. Joanne Benson fought off a challenge from Bobby Henry, Jr. (56-44). In District 47, Latino Sen. Victor Ramirez defeated African-American challenger Walter Lee James. Jr. (69-31).


Winners and Losers: MoCo Edition

This is an off-the-cuff first glance assessment of last night’s primary election results.


1. Incumbents. Did any of them lose? Even the ones facing strong challengers seem to have made it safely to dry land. In the Council races, Hans Riemer, George Leventhal and Roger Berliner all made it home safe. While Leventhal lagged notably behind the other incumbents, he still had a relatively nice margin over Beth Daly who ran strong. Ditto for executive and legislative offices.

2. Sidney Katz. The Mayor of Gaithersburg’s campaign was consistently underrated by many as Ryan Spiegel scooped up union endorsements and Tom Moore garnered support from the Washington Post. But Katz’s longtime service and knowledge of the area just mattered more.

3. Minority Representation. The legislative delegation will have  new African-American (Will Smith), Latino (Marice Morales), and Asian (David Moon) representatives. Additionally, appointed Del. Fraser-Hidalgo fought off a tough challenge. Susan Lee just became the first non-white to win a Senate seat. And Ike Leggett will return for a third term as county executive.

4. Cheryl Kagan. Second time is a charm for the former delegate who sought election to the Senate previously in 2010. Despite Luiz Simmons’ incumbency and seemingly endless barrage of self-funded negative mail, he could not overcome her strong campaign or problems created by his own legislative record.


1. MCGEO President Gino Renne successfully positioned his union as the leader of the county public employee unions outside the school system, including the FOP and the Firefighters. His efforts backfired hugely yesterday as preferred county council candidates lost across the board with the exception of Tom Hucker, who won a tight race over newcomer Evan Glass.

2. Sam Arora and Ben Kramer. Arora was more or less forced out of the legislature after his last-minute switch against marriage equality led to national outrage. His effort to extend his influence through his endorsement of Charlotte Crutchfield also failed. Kramer also lost in betting against Maricé Morales, the choice of Sen. Roger Manno and Del. Bonnie Cullison.

3. Kevin Gillogly didn’t have much success as a campaign operative, having worked for unsuccessful legislative candidates Jonathan Shurberg and Dana Beyer.

4. Duchy Trachtenberg had lots of money but incumbent Roger Berliner just cleaned her clock. This ought to be Duchy’s last stand but that doesn’t mean that it will be.


Stunners in MCDCC Races

Former Young Dem President Dave Kunes helped organize the official MCDCC Unity slate after leading labor-backed challenges to MCDCC. But he did not win one of the at-large slots for MCDCC. Among with the 11 candidates, Kunes came in ninth with the top eight gaining a seat. Natalia Farrar, a non-slate candidate, came in fifth and will join the new MCDCC.

In District 16, Almina Khorikawala currently lags 200 votes behind Loretta Jean Garcia. Almina had been tipped to be the new chair of MCDCC. Her defeat would be a real loss for the Central Committee which needs her combination of smarts and experience.

The other non-slate winner was incumbent Harold Diamond in District 19 who beat incumbent Hoan Dang.


I Ran for the Legislature and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

In Montgomery County, money talked in the form of bombing people’s inboxes with mail but didn’t always translate into votes.

(1) In District 20, Jonathan Shurberg likely set a new local record for the ratio of money spent to votes received. After loaning his campaign at least $240,000, he hired an expensive campaign team, conducted polls, and sent a barrage of mail to voters, including an expensive booklet.

Jonathan came in sixth with just 2853 votes and far behind the 5709 votes secured by the third-place nominee for delegate. The ratio of spending to votes exceeds $80.

(2) In District 18, third-time candidate Dana Beyer, has loaned her campaign account at least $350K across all of her races according to the last report and more money since it was filed. After sending bundles of mail to households, Beyer lost her two-person race with 4890.

While still lagging behind Shurberg, her expenditure of well over $200,000 in this campaign probably still exceed $50 per vote. And she spent roughly $500,000 over her three unsuccessful legislative campaigns in 2006, 2010, and 2014.


Raskin Supports Frosh, Madaleno

Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-20) is fighting back against the misuse of quotations from him that give the sense that he has endorsed opponents of AG Candidate Brian Frosh and Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-18):

Politics can be a tough business because anybody can say anything, and before it’s all over, they probably will.  But the truth is important, and I want to be clear about something to any of my friends out there.  When all the dust settles on Tuesday, Brian Frosh better be the Democratic nominee for Attorney General and Rich Madaleno better be coming back as the Senator from District 18.  These two public servants—I do not use the term lightly–are indispensable to the people of Montgomery County and Maryland.   Indispensable.  We would not have the toughest gun safety law in America without Brian Frosh, and we would not have marriage equality without Rich Madaleno.  Go out and vote for them with pride in everything they have accomplished and confidence in both their public honor and their passionate commitment to our community.

The boldface is mine.


Dueling Delegate Endorsements


Maricé Morales has the support of incumbent Senator Roger Manno and Del. Bonnie Cullison for the delegate seat in District 19 being vacated by Sam Arora after one term. However, incumbent Del. Ben Kramer just endorsed Charlotte Crutchfield, which is all the more interesting because the incumbents also support each other.

From the Crutchfield campaign press release:

MD State Delegate Ben Kramer Endorses Charlotte Crutchfield for Delegate
District 19 Team Will Continue to Represent Children, Families, and Seniors in Annapolis

June 12, 2014 (Silver Spring, MD). The incumbent Democratic District 19 Team of longtime local leaders, Senior State Delegate Ben Kramer and Montgomery County Central Committee member Charlotte Crutchfield, has done much for District 19 residents and looks forward to doing even more in the future. At a crowded meeting with their supporters, the Honorable Ben Kramer and the Honorable Charlotte Crutchfield vowed to keep fighting for the citizens of District 19 and Montgomery County to make sure that every dollar possible will be returned to local improvements in this region.

“It is my pleasure to run with Charlotte Crutchfield and I know she will be a great voice in Annapolis of our friends and neighbors in District 19. She has my full support and I look forward to working side-by-side with her in the Maryland House of Delegates,” said Kramer.

Echoing the sentiment, Crutchfield said “it is an honor and privilege to stand with Ben Kramer. He is the most respected leader in our delegation, and is trusted by the people in both District 19 and Annapolis.” Continuing to assert their long and strong relationship, they both said that integrity is the most important quality in an elected official. “Anyone can tell you what you want to hear, but real leadership means standing by your word,” said Kramer.

“It has been a great campaign and I am proud to stand with Delegate Ben Kramer,” Crutchfield said. Ben Kramer has represented District 19 for eight years and is a known and trusted neighbor and friend. Both the Kramer and Crutchfield families have deep roots in Montgomery County. Ben Kramer’s father Sid was County Executive and Rona Kramer, Ben’s sister, was a two-term State Senator from Olney. Similarly, the Crutchfields have lived in Montgomery County for more than 100 years. “No other candidate in this race have ties that strong to this community. Some just moved here recently,” Crutchfield pointed out.

With a policy agenda that reflects the need to create jobs, promote equality, strengthen education, and protect the environment, both Kramer and Crutchfield have the strongest records and broadest endorsements in this race. Their team vows to keep pushing the progressive agenda forward and will work to bring a stronger economic base to the County and the State.

Ben Kramer was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2006, and serves on the Economic Matter Committee. He has served on the Judiciary Committee and has passed more bills than any other member of the District 19 delegation. Kramer’s important legislative achievements have literally saved the lives of seniors through his “Silver Alert” and enhanced the quality of education for our state’s children, invested in the environment through off shore wind powered generators, and strengthened laws to punish drunk drivers. As the proud father of one daughter and two University of Maryland sons, Ben understands what families hope and sacrifice for our children. Learn more about Ben Kramer at

Charlotte Crutchfield is the only District 19 non-incumbent to receive the coveted Sierra Club endorsement, and is endorsed by Montgomery County Council Member George Leventhal and our States Attorney John McCarthy. Elected to the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee in 2010, Charlotte has also served as President of the Glenallan ES PTA, and on the Board of Directors of Tivoli Home Owners Association. She is a member of the Montgomery County Bar Association, obtaining her BA from Howard University and her JD from Boston College Law School. She is most proud of her college Sophomore daughter and Kennedy High School son. For more information, visit


Kagan Endorsed by Van Hollen and O’Malley

Kagan CVH Mailer PNG

From the Kagan for State Senate press release:


Calls her the”clear choice” for progressive Democrats

Governor Martin O’Malley endorsed Cheryl Kagan for State Senate in Maryland’s 17th Legislative District. O’Malley is the latest addition to Kagan’s impressive list of supporters, which includes Congressman Chris Van Hollen and retiring Senator Jennie Forehand.

In a statement, Governor O’Malley said, “I am pleased to endorse Cheryl Kagan for the Maryland Senate. She is knowledgeable, passionate, and articulate. She will ensure that the voices of Rockville and Gaithersburg are heard loud and clear in the Senate. Cheryl Kagan is the clear choice for progressive Democrats in District 17.”

O’Malley cited Kagan’s focus on progressive values as the reason for his endorsement. “She has been a leader in our fight for tougher laws punishing domestic violence; she’s been out front, leading the charge for smart, sensible gun laws; and she has been a forceful voice for a higher minimum wage for Maryland’s working families.”

“I am grateful for Governor O’Malley’s endorsement,” Cheryl Kagan said. “He knows that we share the same progressive values that my opponent has sometimes undermined.”

Governor O’Malley joins The Washington Post, The Gazette Newspapers, and over a dozen progressive organizations in endorsing Cheryl Kagan for State Senate.


Progressive Kick Shoots for Moon

The following is a press release from Progressive Kick:

SuperPAC Shoots for Moon

Outside $$ enter House of Delegates District 20 race

David Moon is getting outside help in his bid for the Maryland House of Delegates.

Progressive Kick, a national progressive SuperPAC, has jumped in to the race with an online, mail and phone campaign supporting David Moon in District 20.

Progressive Kick’s online video, playing now on computer screens and smart phones across the district, touts Moon’s record as a grassroots activist and his many endorsements with the tag line “One small step for Moon, one giant leap for Maryland.”

Watch the video here

“David Moon stands head and shoulders over all the other progressives in this race. He is the absolute best. Progressive Kick only endorses truly progressive candidates all across the country, but we rarely find a candidate that mirrors our values as clearly as David Moon. If elected he would not only support progressive causes with speeches and his vote, but he will use his skills to build coalitions and make things happen. It would be a tragedy if David Moon were not elected because he can make a real difference,” says Joshua Grossman, President of Progressive Kick.

Progressive Kick is working to boost turnout for the June 24th primary with direct mail and targeted phone outreach.  This is the first year Maryland is not holding the primary in September. Nine candidates are on the ballot, and voters can choose up to three to fill two open seats. Early voting begins June 12th.

David Moon is a grassroots organizer, campaign strategist and founder of Maryland Juice, named one of America’s top political blogs by The Washington Post. He’s worked with Latino, African American and civil liberties groups. Collaborating with late Internet activist Aaron Swartz, he was instrumental in defeating the notorious SOPA/PIPA Internet censorship legislation.  Moon’s endorsements include African American, Latino and labor organizations, and elected officials including Congressman John Delaney, State Senators Jamie Raskin and Rich Madaleno and Takoma Park Mayor Bruce Williams, among others.

Progressive Kick is a national progressive SuperPAC working to elect candidates for U.S. Congress and state legislatures who will be responsive to the interests of all members of our society, not just the most powerful. Progressive Kick gives voters the facts they need to make informed decisions and mobilizes them to participate in the electoral process.