Tag Archives: Cory McCray

Cory McCray to Announce for Senate

By Adam Pagnucco.

Next Saturday, freshman Delegate Cory McCray (D-45) is holding a campaign event in which he is expected to announce a challenge to long-time Baltimore City Senator Nathaniel McFadden.  It’s a gutsy move that will be one of the marquee races in the city.  The Baltimore Sun and Maryland Matters have both covered the impending race.  We reprint McCray’s announcement below.


Special Announcement about the 2018 Elections

What: Friends, family, and neighbors across Baltimore’s 45th Legislative District will gather for a special announcement from Delegate Cory McCray

When: Saturday, September 16, 2017 @ 10:00 A.M.

Where: Clifton Park – 2555 Harford Road, Baltimore, MD 21218 (Across From Fairmount Harford High School)

Who: Lifelong Baltimore resident and member of the House of Delegates, Delegate Cory McCray

Why: Baltimore is a strong community filled with potential, and we deserve political leadership who will help turn that potential into a reality.

Growing up in Baltimore, Cory could have easily become a statistic. He changed his life when he found an opportunity to do better. He wants to provide those same opportunities to the residents in the 45th district. Though the challenges Baltimore faces are significant, Cory is prepared to deal with those challenges head on. Baltimore is a town that has passion and determination to push through these difficult times. September 16th, Cory will make an announcement regarding his plans to fight for the community that raised him. The 45th district deserves a leader who will listen and provide services to improve the quality of life, where the community are partners in progress.

Cory McCray, is a husband, father of four, union electrician and, he’s willing to make the hard choices necessary to begin the healing in Baltimore.

Cory V. McCray



Facebook – http://on.fb.me/gAIEJ0

Twitter – @corymccray

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.


Override Thursday: Voting Rights and Marriott

Voting Rights Restoration Override Vote Postponed

The Maryland Senate special ordered (i.e. postponed) the vote on the Governor’s veto of the bill to restore the voting rights of ex-felons to a later date. The House overrode the Governor’s veto yesterday. The lead sponsors are Sen. Joan Carter Conway and Del. Cory McCray.

The Senate President stated forthrightly on the floor that this was to allow time for the appointment of a replacement to former Sen. Karen Montgomery (D-14). Rumor has it that many General Assembly Democrats are not thrilled about the timing or handling of this appointment.

Keep Marriott in Maryland

The Maryland Senate took a major step toward keeping Marriott headquarters in Maryland by overriding the Governor’s veto of a bill that requires the same tax rate levied on hotel rooms sold by third-party hotel bookers as by the hotels themselves.

This seemingly obvious fairness–the major request of the Marriott Corporation whose headquarters Montgomery County is working hard to retain–had the Governor cowering in fear that it might be cast as a tax increase. It’s evidence that the Governor’s ideological passion exceeds his desire to keep major companies in Maryland.

As the tally sheet shows, the Senate achieved the 29 votes required to override a veto with one to spare despite Sen. Montgomery’s retirement. A real victory for Senate Budget and Taxation Vice Chair Rich Madaleno who pushed hard for the bill.

Marriott OverrideTwo vote switchers from the original bill are Sen. Addie Eckardt (R-Eastern Shore) and Sen. John Astle (D-Anne Arundel). Eckardt’s switch was not surprising, as Republicans tend to want to rally around the Governor to support a veto.

In contrast, Astle is a member of the Democratic leadership team, so his vote to support the Governor was a shock. Indeed, this Montgomery blogger wonders if Montgomery Senate Democrats might return the favor by voting to uphold the veto on funding for Anne Arundel–except that the Speaker wants it.

UPDATE: Sen. C. Anthony Muse also flipped, which is interesting since Gaylord Marriott, located at National Harbor in his district, in Prince George’s made it a top priority. Additionally. Sens. DeGrange and Peters–both Democrats–switched from red on the original bill to voting to green on this vote.


A Great Way to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Audio Recording of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Give Us the Ballot” Address at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an indefatigable fighter for voting rights. A great way to honor his legacy would be for the General Assembly to overturn Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill that would restore voting rights to ex-felons.

The bill would restore the voting rights of 40,000 people. Its lead sponsors are Del. Cory McCray in the House and Sen. Joan Carter Conway in the Senate. The House of Delegates website says that it adopted a motion by Del. Anne Kaiser to special order the bill for an override vote on January 20th. Turning this bill into law would be a great start to the legislative session.


Ending Felon Disfranchisement

Freshman Del. Cory McCray (D-45) and Sen. Joan Carter Conway (D-43), the Chair of the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee are sponsoring a bill (HB 980/SB  340) to restore the voting rights of former felons:

The bill would remove the obstacles that are in the way of an estimated 40,000 ex-offenders in Maryland who want to vote.

Current law in Maryland prohibits individuals with a felony conviction from voting until after they have finished parole, probation and paid restitution. Advocates say many of the former felons who are eligible to vote are uncertain of their voting status. They fear of being accused of voter fraud and being arrested again.

[Sen. Joan Carter] Conway described the current law as a form a voter suppression.

“The criteria doesn’t make sense,” Conway said. “The debt has been paid.”

A Good and Right Idea

The General Assembly should pass this legislation for a variety of reasons. First, we should make it easier for people who have the legal right to vote to participate–not placing barriers in their path, including fear of running afoul of the law.

Some may not like that former criminals get to vote. But we are all citizens of this country. Once someone has paid their debt to society, their citizenship rights, including rights, should be restored as part of their return to the community.

Moreover, the criminal justice system does not always treat similar offenses in the same way. As a result, some people who commit become classified as ex-felons while others do not. There is no reason for this disparity in sentencing–a whole different area for debate–to carry over into the restoration of voting rights.

But Don’t Expect Too Much

Studies show that education is the best predictor of the likelihood to vote. Additionally, people who are more likely to vote include older voters, married voters, and people with a long-established residence.

As a group, former felons are far less likely than other Americans to possess these characteristics. Difficulties in obtaining a job exacerbate problems in gaining a stable housing situation. Barring some very serious organization, former felons will remain much less likely to register or to cast a ballot.

So Republicans who fear that this is a plot by Democrats to get more of “their” voters on the rolls should chill. The impact will likely be small. More importantly, even if every single one voted, no political party worthy of the name should be afraid of citizens participating in our democratic process.


State of the State Reax

Here are a few early reactions to Governor Hogan’s State of the State address earlier today.

Delegate Cory McCray (D-45, Baltimore):

Marylanders won’t stand for balancing the budget on the backs of our children. We should be concerned about the cuts to higher education which will increase tuition for our students, cuts to Medicaid which will have an adverse effect on our vulnerable families, and the 2% salary reduction to State Workers who are our neighbors, our friends, and our family.

Common Cause Executive Director Jennifer Bevan-Dangel:

We agree with the Governor that people feel a real disconnect between Annapolis and the rest of Maryland, and we believe that special interest influence in elections and a broken redistricting process are fueling that divide. We look forward to working with him on these critical reforms.

Delegate David Moon (D-20, Montgomery):

After striking a partisan tone in his State of the State, Governor Hogan today outlined a series of tax cut proposals without explaining how he plans to pay for them. To me this raises questions about the administration’s commitment to reining in the long-term structural deficit, and the announcement seems strangely timed given that the Governor has signaled his first priority is to bring our fiscal house in order. There are obviously tough choices that will need to be made in the coming session, but our county’s first priority has been and remains restoring school funding and keeping the Purple Line on track. This is not an appropriate time to be considering further reducing the state’s revenues, when we’re deleting hundreds of jobs in our school system.



Superstars in Waiting: The Freshman Democratic House Class

Without an unprecedented General Election upset, the following Democratic nominees for House Seats will be sworn into the General Assembly for the 2015 Session. These legislators show particular promise:

1) Brooke Lierman – The new face of South Baltimore is young, white, wealthy and progressive. Brooke is all of these things (And DC powerhouse Terry Lierman’s daughter). Despite a convenient last name, she fully deserves her seat in the House on her own merits (going back to the campaigns of Paul Wellstone and Howard Dean) up to her present day practice as a civil rights lawyer.

2) Erek Barron – An Attorney at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, the newest addition to the District 24 Delegation has tremendous statewide potential. A former prosecutor (as an ASA in Prince George’s and Baltimore City as well as at the Department of Justice) who worked for then US Senator Joe Biden on Capitol Hill, Erek has as sterling a resume as any legislator. He also has an easy going charm and keen intelligence. Bonus Points: he played foot ball at College Park.

3) Marc Korman – This Sidley Austin Attorney and former Capitol Hill Staffer (not to mention a former blogger at Seventh State predecessor Maryland Politics Watch) has always been the smartest guy in the room–and that definitely won’t change when he gets to the Lowe House Office Building.

4) Andrew Platt – A very, very sharp former US House Leadership staffer cruised to victory and is set to become the youngest legislator in Annapolis. He has future leadership written all over him.

5) Cory McCray This East Baltimore IBEW Leader is charming and exceedingly genuine. He ran an incredibly strong campaign this year and is sure to rise quickly in Annapolis as a powerful voice for working families in the state.

6) David Moon – Attorney and Political Operative David Moon is sure to establish as a liberal lion in the legislature as he marries his communication skills with sharp progressive politics. He will represent his new constituents in Takoma Park well.

7) Will Smith – Despite (perhaps unduly harsh) criticism of his campaign budgeting decisions on this blog (by me), Will Smith cruised to victory on June 24th with the help of a slate led by Jamie Raskin. His future in this state couldn’t be brighter.

These are the future County Executives, Congressman, MGA Committee Chairs, Attorneys General, Comptrollers, Lieutenant Governors of the coming 10-15 years.

Note: This post was modified from the original version because Candice Quinn Kelly lost her close race.



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?


Top Eight Young Guns of Baltimore City

1. 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.

2. Dy Reed – The eternally savvy in-house lobbyist for the Maryland Department of Human Resources. Currently in law school at the University of Baltimore, she attended Columbia University for undergrad. Incredible potential.

Anonymous: When Dy isn’t lobbying in Annapolis in her official capacity as government relations rep for the Maryland HR, she is one of the most active members of the Baltimore City Young Dems. Dy was also recently recognized for her work in Baltimore by the B.E.S.T. Democratic Club.

3. Brian Hammock – I’m reasonably certain that Brian was the youngest statewide field director in the country in 2006 when he oversaw the ground game for O’Malley’s first statewide run. After a stint in the Governor’s office, he’s practicing law with Mid-Atlantic powerhouse Venable LLP. He’ll be an insider from city hall to the statehouse until the day he dies.

4. Matt Stegman – The nicest, funniest dude in Maryland politics. With a resume that includes lots of real races both in Maryland (O’Malley and Kratovil) and in more competitive states (Ohio and Pennsylvania). he currently works for House Environmental Matters Committee Chair (and contender for the Speaker’s Chair) Maggie McIntosh. At night, he goes to the University of Baltimore Law School (a.k.a. finishing school for lobbyists).

Anonymous: Like his boss – smart, progressive, & has the best sense of humor in Annapolis.

5. Liz Richards – Liz is a former DSCC independent expenditures staffer who is currently managing Brooke Lierman’s surefire delegate campaign in District 46. I fail to see how they lose that race, and Liz should be well positioned to capitalize on the victory.

6. Benjamin Smith – The Student Government President at UMD Law School is already a published author (the book was about community agriculture). He has 2018 written all over him. Kentucky native but looking to move up in Charm City.

Anonymous: Ben recently moved to Maryland to attend law school, and he has quickly asserted himself in the political community. Ben makes no secret that he holds deep political ambitions in the state of Maryland, and in Baltimore, in particular. Look for him to make a run for elected office shortly after he graduates law school and passes the bar.

7. Anthony Jones – This Baltimore City native and Martha McKenna protege previously worked for US Senator Ben Cardin and Comptroller Peter Franchot. Someone to have on your side in the upcoming 2016 municipal elections.

8. Tashea Brodgins – Currently, she works at the Department of State and was previously with the Executive Office of The President. Tashea was the President of the Baltimore City Young Democrats for five or six years–A remarkable run for an organization known for high turn over–and remains tied in locally as a member of the City Central Committee.