Madaleno on the Night Maryland Became
the First State to Vote Yes on Marriage Equality
Sen. Richard Madaleno, Jr.
Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-18) has been flagged by Bill Turque in The Washington Post as a potential contender for the Eighth District seat:
Madaleno, 49, a onetime aide to former Montgomery County executive Doug Duncan, is vice chairman of the Maryland Senate’s budget and taxation committee and the body’s only openly gay member. He was a key player in passage of the state’s same-sex marriage and transgender rights laws.
If Rich runs, his campaign would likely gain very serious support from the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which has backed his past state legislative campaigns. Madaleno first ran for the House in 2002, becoming the first openly gay man ever elected to that body.
When Rich ran for the Senate in 2006, he was unopposed in the Democratic primary and the general election. While he is better publicly known for his work on LGBT rights, Madaleno is recognized around Annapolis as one of the top budget experts, serving as the floor leader on virtually every major revenue initiative. Additionally, he played a central role in the passage of the Dream Act.
Rich has been consulting family and friends this weekend about whether he should jump in the race. His state legislative district is entirely located within the Eighth District. Moreover, along with neighboring D20, represented by almost certain candidate Sen. Jamie Raskin, D18 holds more Democratic primary voters than any other located within this congressional district. (Note: D16 has even more, though a snippet of D16 is outside the Eighth.)
Kathleen Matthews has expressed strong interest in the race and seems set on a bid though she has not spoken directly to the press. Though Matthews does not hold political office, she’s not a stranger to politics or the community:
Matthews, who lives in Chevy Chase, left WJLA in 2006 after 24 years. At Marriott, she became a rare high-level Democrat in a corporation where executive chairman Bill Marriott and family members are major GOP contributors. Matthews is credited with making the company more active on social media. She has served on the boards of several charitable organizations.
Her job at Marriott was very high level–Chief of Global Communications and Public Affairs. Moreover, her job likely provides her with a network of potential donors in the business community unmatched by other potential candidates, including GOP donors who would be unlikely to give to other Democrats.
The substantive nature of her work at Marriott would allow her to talk about how she was able to promote liberal goals even in a conservative corporation–not a bad skill for someone to have in today’s House of Representatives:
Matthews, who has long talked about running for office, advocated Marriott’s move toward more progressive policies, including sustainability and LGBT friendliness. She pushed the company to open a hotel in Haiti after the earthquake — Bill Clinton attended the opening last month.
She would be an interesting candidate in a field otherwise likely to be dominated by elected officials. On the other hand, this district is replete with people who work in government-related jobs. Rather than focus primarily on her business experience, I suspect she’ll use it to tout issue positions. She certainly will not lack the communication skills, though it will be a change for the former reporter to have to answer the questions.