Lower Eastern Shore Districts 38A, 38B, and 38C
Editor’s Note: John Hayden was the author of the Maryland on my Mind blog from Ocean City. He offered this alternative view to my post on the races for delegate in District 38 on the Lower Eastern Shore.
I think your analysis of the District 38 delegate races is appropriate, based on campaign fundraising reports. From a Democratic point of view, I like that your report gives Mary Beth Carozza reason to to feel overconfident.
IMO, Norm Conway should be rated as safe, and Judy Davis-Carozza should be rated a toss-up. Norm met his wife when they were both students at Salisbury University (then Salisbury State). They were both career educators in the Wicomico County public schools. Norm and his wife personally know nearly everyone in his Salisbury district. He nearly lost in the sprawling 38B in 2006, but learned his lesson and came back with a strong campaign in 2010 and won easily. His new single-member district is safe for him, IMO.
You’re correct that 38C is the most Republican leaning of the subdistricts in 38. However, the local backgrounds of the candidates is going to be a big factor. Carozza departed the Eastern Shore to go to college, and never returned, until last year. It’s true that she worked briefly for Ehrlich, but most of her career has been as an inside-the-beltway professional working for people like Rumsfeld. Nearly all her support comes from Republicans she knows from her years on Capitol Hill and in DOD. (I’ve reviewed the list of her donors closely.)
The Judy Davis bio is a mirror image of Carozza’s bio. Judy came to the Eastern Shore to attend Salisbury State, and has lived on the Shore her entire adult life. She married, raised a family, and taught in public schools in Wicomico County and Worcester County.
You’re probably aware of the Democratic Emerge program. Judy was handpicked for the first Emerge class in Maryland, which was held last winter. Judy made a lot of contacts through Emerge, and she will have the endorsement of teachers statewide. Those two networks should enable her to raise significant funds after the primary, when Democrats focus on the general election.
Also, I’m hopeful that both Mathias and Conway, and Mike Busch, will point Democratic contributors in her direction. District 38C is one of the few places Democrats can hope to pick up a delegate seat, to offset possible losses in other districts. I suspect that key people in the state’s Dem fundraising network will understand the opportunity to pick up a delegate seat, and will support Judy.