I’ve focused on the Democrats here but also included one exciting young Republican. The five Democrats:
1. Melissa Joseph – Melissa is whip smart and perhaps the most charming member 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.
2. Ethan West – At 18, Ethan is a bit of prodigy. Whether with labor groups or on Rob Garagiola’s congressional campaign, Ethan has always proved himself a tremendous asset. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as a union political director in Annapolis in a few years.
3. Matt Ferrante – Infectiously charming and smart to boot, Matt will go as far in politics as he wants. We may be talking about Delegate Ferrante in 2018. He was the undeniable breakout star of Rob Garagiola’s unsuccessful congressional bid.
4. Ryan Trout – An Americorps Alum, Ryan ran a spirited campaign in District 4A as a Democrat–not an easy task. He then moved to Frederick City, served as Ron Young’s Chief of Staff for a few sessions and then got a job at the Frederick Housing Authority. The next time there’s an open seat in District 3A (and no one with the last name Young throws their hat in the ring), count on Ryan Trout being a major factor in the race.
5. Latia Hopkins – While Frostburg State Alum Latia “Tia” Hopins is Baltimore born and bred, she came into her political own as President of the Frostburg College Democrats. She built the club into a respected player inf Allegheny County Democratic Politics. She’s currently in Grad School at George Washington University and serves on the board of the Young Democrats of Maryland.
And one Republican . . .
6. Chandler Thornton – While this Frederick County native is currently studying at American University, he also carries out the truly thankless task of serving as Chairman of the DC College Republicans. Democrats from Westminster to Oakland fear his return. Even before starting college, Chandler blazed an impressive path through the world of Free State Republicans logging time with the state party, Bob Ehrlich’s 2010 Campaign, and in Roscoe Bartlett’s congressional office. More recently, he worked on Romney’s 2012 presidential effort in the early primary state of New Hampshire and later in battleground Virginia.
Chandler is Director of the prestigious Kennedy Political Union (KPU) at American University–an impressive post to have gained, especially for a Republican, at this very Democratic university. Interestingly, the KPU was founded by none other than District 17 Delegate Lou Simmons!