Tag Archives: Andrew Friedson

Doug Duncan Endorses Andrew Friedson in District 1

Former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan has endorsed Council District 1 candidate Andrew Friedson.  Following is Friedson’s press release.

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Friedson Endorsed by County Executive Doug Duncan

Three-Term Exec. Calls Friedson “Forward-Focused Leader with a Proven Track Record”

Bethesda, Md. – Former Three-Term County Executive Douglas M. Duncan announced his endorsement of Andrew Friedson in the highly competitive Montgomery County Council, District One race.

“Andrew Friedson is a change-maker and a problem solver, a homegrown leader who knows how to bring together the public and private sectors to actually get things done,” Duncan said. “When our community’s growing needs continue to exceed our revenues, and as Montgomery County families are being squeezed with rising living and childcare costs and stagnant wages, we need someone with Andrew’s experience effectively holding government agencies accountable, scrutinizing public spending, and helping grow small business jobs. In rapidly changing times, we need new leaders, with new perspectives, and new ideas on the County Council. Andrew Friedson is that forward-focused leader with a proven track record, and I am thrilled to endorse him for Montgomery County Council in District One.”

Following the endorsement, Mr. Duncan and his wife Barbara are hosting a birthday fundraiser on January 9th in Bethesda to support Friedson’s campaign, along with Comptroller Peter Franchot, Senators Brian Feldman and Craig Zucker, former Congressman C. Thomas McMillen, and former Maryland Democratic Party Chair, Susan Turnbull, in addition to a large host committee of well-known community leaders. Along with the endorsement of the former County Executive, Friedson’s campaign has been noted for its fast start and impressive following on social media since he formally filed for the seat on October 5.

A lifelong Montgomery County resident and University of Maryland graduate, Friedson attended Wayside, Hoover and Churchill public schools. He spent the past six years as Senior Policy Advisor, Deputy Chief of Staff and Division Director for the Comptroller of Maryland where he focused on making government more effective, efficient and responsive, and previously oversaw a complete restructuring of Maryland’s $6 billion 529 college savings program. Friedson currently serves as Chair of the Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth and Families, recently served on Maryland’s Small Business Development Financing Authority, and was a driving force behind a new state program which launched this fall to provide financial security and independence for Marylanders with disabilities.

Duncan currently serves as President and CEO of Leadership Greater Washington. In addition to his decorated 12-year tenure as Montgomery County’s top elected official, he also co-founded a continuous advisory services firm for state and local governments, was Vice President for Administrative Affairs at the University of Maryland College Park, was a National Account Manager for AT&T, and served as Mayor of Rockville.

For details on Andrew Friedson’s January 9th Birthday Bash, please visit http://ow.ly/k17t30h6GLW. For more information on the Friedson campaign, please visit andrewfriedson.com or http://www.facebook.com/andrewfriedson.

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Contact:

Johanna Berkson

johanna@andrewfriedson.com

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Random Bits, October 2017

By Adam Pagnucco.

Chris Wilhelm is Winning the Sign Wars

MCPS teacher and progressive at-large council candidate Chris Wilhelm has covered parts of Georgia Avenue and University Boulevard with his campaign signs.  (It helps to speak Spanish!)  Yes, we know signs don’t vote.  But it shows that Wilhelm is working and that’s good for perceptions of his campaign.

Who Has Momentum in Council District 1?

Council District 1, which covers Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Potomac, Poolesville and a large part of Kensington, has more regularly voting Democrats and more political contributors than any other council district by far.  It’s a prime seat.  Right now, there are nine candidates in the race and there might be more on the way.  Many good candidates in this district, like Bill Conway, Gabe Albornoz, Emily Shetty, Samir Paul and Sara Love, are instead running for council at-large or the General Assembly.  There are lots of openings to choose from these days!

So who has the momentum right now?  You could say Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez, who is the only sitting elected official who is running.  Or Reggie Oldak, who has qualified for matching funds in public financing.  Former Planning Board Member Meredith Wellington should appeal to land use voters oriented towards Marc Elrich.  Former Kensington Mayor Pete Fosselman was just endorsed by former Governor Martin O’Malley.

But we’re going with Andrew Friedson, who just had his kickoff boasting endorsements from his former employer, Comptroller Peter Franchot, along with Senators Brian Feldman (D-15) and Craig Zucker (D-14) and former long-time DNC member Susan Turnbull.  Feldman is an old hand in the Potomac portion of the district and has not been seriously challenged in 15 years.  Turnbull doesn’t usually play in local races but she has a national network in both the Democratic Party and the Jewish community.  If she is all in for Friedson, that’s a big deal.  Friedson, who is killing the field in social media, is feeling pumped up right now with good reason.

Where’s Duchy?

It’s unusual to see a large field of MoCo candidates without Duchy Trachtenberg among them.  She has a long electoral history, losing a District 1 County Council race in 2002 by a hair, winning an at-large council seat in 2006, losing reelection in 2010, briefly running for Congressional District 6 in 2012 and getting annihilated in a challenge to District 1 council incumbent Roger Berliner in 2014.  Now she has a full table of races to pick from, including council at-large, council District 1 and the District 16 General Assembly seats.  Say what you will about Duchy – and we’ve said plenty – but she can raise money, she has a network and she has campaign experience.  Is she done or is she just waiting to file at the last minute, as she has done before?

Can Greenberger’s Strategy Work?

Former County Council spokesman Neil Greenberger is torching his old bosses, saying they treat voters like ATMs and guaranteeing that if he is elected, there will be no property tax hikes.  This is a new strategy for a Democratic council candidate made possible by the 2008 passage of the Ficker amendment, which requires votes from all nine Council Members to go over the property tax charter limit.  Furthermore, it’s an unusual strategy from a historical perspective.  Most council candidates over the last few decades have emphasized schools, transportation, development (pro or con) and a handful of other left-leaning issues but have not been explicitly anti-tax.  That sentiment has mostly come from Republicans.

But two things have changed in Greenberger’s favor.  First, the passage of term limits was rooted partly in opposition to last year’s 9% property tax hike.  But it wasn’t just the increase alone that annoyed residents.  Unlike the 2010 energy tax hike, last year’s property tax increase was not driven by the catastrophic effects of a recession, but was a policy choice by the council that could easily have been much lower.  Voters didn’t see the tax hike as truly necessary, which increased their frustration with it.

Second, the number of votes needed to win an at-large seat could be much lower in this cycle than in the past.  Over the last four cycles, at-large candidates have needed around 40,000 votes to have a shot at victory.  (Incumbent Blair Ewing far exceeded that total in 2002 and still lost.)

That number may no longer hold.  No one knows what the turnout will be next year; informed observers disagree about that.  But the candidate field will be two to three times larger than in any other recent cycle and only one incumbent is running.  That could mean a very fractured electorate yielding a low win threshold and tight margins.  That favors candidates with medium-sized but intense bases, whether geographic, demographic or ideological.  In Greenberger’s case, if 100,000 Democrats vote, and 30,000 of them are sick of tax hikes, and Greenberger can actually communicate with them, he could win.  And so could anyone else who can put together 30,000 votes.

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Friedson Rules Social Media in District 1

By Adam Pagnucco.

Political handicapping is a very subjective exercise.  That said, there are a handful of objective measures that give clues to the state of a race: fundraising, endorsements, surrogates, communications (like number of mailers sent and TV time purchased), and more.  The jury is still out on the importance of social media followers.  But if Facebook followings matter at all, Andrew Friedson is waaaaaay ahead on that measure in the Council District 1 election.

As of Monday, September 11, here are the Facebook followers on each of the District 1 candidates’ campaign pages.

Andrew Friedson: 4,822

Pete Fosselman: 461

Bill Cook: 224

Reggie Oldak: 154

Other candidates: no pages

That’s right, Friedson has almost six times as many followers as his competitors COMBINED.  And they have all been running for months before he got in.

One reason why Facebook followers are discounted by many is that they don’t reflect actual voters in the relevant jurisdiction.  They can come from all over Planet Earth.  So your author asked Friedson to provide a geographic distribution of his Facebook followers.  According to data from his page, roughly two-thirds of Friedson’s followers reported cities of residence.  Of those, 1,490 lived in Maryland, 971 lived in MoCo and 462 lived in the District 1 areas of Bethesda, North Bethesda, Potomac and Kensington.  An additional 700 reported living in D.C., but some of those people could actually live in the Maryland suburbs.

This is an impressive campaign page following for someone who just declared for the race a month ago.  It reflects Friedson’s ability to tap into a number of networks, including his friends and family as a MoCo native; his college network from the University of Maryland (where he was a class President); his professional network from his time as an aide to Comptroller Peter Franchot and Congressional candidate David Trone; and his non-profit networks stemming from his service as a Board Member on the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the MoCo Collaboration Council for Children, Youth and Families.  These are real assets for any candidate for office.  And Friedson can leverage them through social media to raise money, spread his message and build name recognition in a way the other candidates can’t (yet) match.

Reggie Oldak has shown early success in the public campaign finance system but Andrew Friedson is off to a fast start.  Let the rest of the field beware!

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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?

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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.”

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