By Adam Pagnucco.
In his emailed announcement of candidacy for a House seat in District 39, Hamza Khan claimed several endorsements from elected officials. But there’s a problem: at least two of them were cited without permission.
An excerpt from Khan’s announcement email.
Senator Will Smith (D-20), who was listed as an endorser, told us, “I wish Hamza well in his endeavor. However, I did not know about the email and I was not asked to have my name included. I have not endorsed anyone in that race.”
Delegate Eric Luedtke (D-14), who was also listed as an endorser, said, “I like Hamza a lot, I think he’s a passionate and effective advocate for the community, and I think he would make a great Delegate. He and I have had conversations in the past about an endorsement but we haven’t reached that point yet. The inclusion of my name was a simple error at this point.”
We contacted the other elected officials listed in the announcement asking whether they had endorsed Khan. To this point, none of them have replied.
This has happened before in Montgomery County. Lord knows that candidates have made more serious mistakes than this in the past. But it’s also an easy issue to avoid. If you are running for office and looking to release a list of endorsers, just contact them and ask, “May I list you as endorsing my candidacy in my announcement?” Better yet, do it in writing so that there is no dispute over the answer.
We received this note from Hamza Khan:
Thank you for publishing my campaign announcement. As embarrassing as this is: I have to inform you that it turns out two of my endorsements from elected officials are incorrect. At this time, Senator Will Smith, Delegate Eric Luedtke and Delegate Bilal Ali have not formally endorsed me. I was out of the office most of today, and so it took me until now to write to you and issue this retraction. I regret the error, and am thankful that Eric, Will and Bilal contacted me to clear up this matter.
As Adam pointed out in his blog post earlier about “endorsements without permission” — this was an avoidable mistake, and mistakes do happen. But they shouldn’t happen to someone who’s been involved in politics as long as I have. I apologize to you and your readers for this error. Being forthright and honest in the aftermath is all I can do to rectify the error, and I appreciate your willingness as bloggers to allow me the chance to try and rectify the mistake.
With Great Respect,
Editor’s Note (i.e. David Lublin): We all make mistakes. How one deals with them says a lot about a person. In this case, while the errors were regrettable, I applaud Hamza’s taking responsibility and look forward to seeing the campaign as it moves forward.