Tag Archives: Eighth Congressional District

Franchot Endorses Matthews

From the press release:

“As a proud resident of Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, I am happy to announce my support of my friend, Kathleen Matthews, in her campaign for Congress,” said Peter Franchot.  “Having known Kathleen for many years, I believe she will bring to Congress a fresh perspective, new talent and a sensible approach to the challenges facing our state and country. She is a proven advocate for equality and social justice, and one who is also capable of reaching across the aisle to achieve meaningful results at a time when toxic partisanship has crippled Washington and alienated countless Americans from our political process.”

This is a nice endorsement for Kathleen Matthews. Franchot used to represent the same territory as her leading opponent, Jamie Raskin. He is the probably the most well-known in-state official to endorse Matthews.

Over the years, Franchot has tacked from being seen as one of the stronger progressive leaders to a leading voice for fiscal restraint. This endorsement should help Matthews continue to consolidate support from business and fiscally moderate Democrats.

On the other hand, this endorsement helps set up the primary as one of Jamie Raskin and the progressive wing versus Kathleen Matthews and and more centrist Democrats. As the progressive wing has been increasingly ascendant in Montgomery Democratic primaries, this provides opportunities for Raskin.

Raskin’s current problem, however, is that he will be tied up in Annapolis for the legislative session, while Matthews is free to campaign aggressively. Dels. Kumar Barvé and Ana Sol Gutiérrez, who are also in the mix for this seat, face the same challenge.

 

Raskin Internal Poll Shows Lead

Sen. Jamie Raskin’s campaign has released an internal poll of 500 likely Democratic voters that shows him with a lead over his opponents:

  • Jamie Raskin, 30 percent
  • Kathleen Matthews, 21 percent
  • Ana Sol Gutiérrez, 11 percent
  • Kumar Barve, 5 percent
  • David Anderson, 3 percent
  • Will Jawando, 2 percent
  • Joel Rubin, 0 percent

Twenty-eight percent of voters remain undecided. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percent, which means that the true values should be within that range in 19 out of 20 polls.

The Raskin campaign also claims that Jamie has higher favorable to unfavorable ratings than other candidates:

Raskin enjoys a 5:1 favorable: unfavorable rating, compared to 2:1 for Matthews, just under 2:1 for Sol Gutierrez, 1.5:1 for Barve, while the other candidates are unknown to voters.

According to the press release, Raskin leads Matthews by 43 percent in LD 20, which he now represents in the State Senate. He also leads Gutiérrez by 21 points in LD 18.

Analysis

This is essentially a pre-campaign poll, as no commercials have been aired on TV. Little in the way of direct mail has been sent, though I’ve seen one well-done lit piece for former television broadcaster and Marriott Exec Kathleen Matthews.

Right now, it looks as if the race is shaping up largely as most expect with Raskin and Matthews in the lead but neither near being able to claim that they have the nomination locked down. Matthews will likely have the edge in money but Raskin has a strong pre-existing base of supporters and volunteers.

Del. Ana Sol Gutiérrez benefits from her name recognition due her long service on the School Board and a delegate in LD 18. Right now, she looks like a solid bet for third place but will need to raise substantial sums of money or grassroots support to surprise the early frontrunners.

Del. Kumar Barve’s poor showing may surprise. It reflects that he has lower name recognition than the other state legislators in the race because his district–LD 17–is split between CD 8 and CD 6, so fewer voters have seen his name on the ballot.

The other candidates are unknowns. They are likely to remain so unless they can raise money and attract volunteers to assist their campaigns. They also need to win support from people who can validate their message and signal to voters that they merit consideration and deserve a vote.

Finally, as always, take campaign polls with a healthy dollop of salt. Inevitably, they focus on the cream rather than the lemons for their campaign. Moreover, it’s early, so most voters probably do not have fixed opinions.

Final Note

I am supporting Jamie Raskin’s campaign–not exactly shocking news as he is my colleague at American University. Beyond his generally active and effective work as a state senator, I appreciate  his hard work for marriage equality. Jamie will be an excellent advocate for the Eighth and liberal values in the U.S. House. I will still call it as I see it here but thought I should mention it.

Barve Touts Asian American Support

The following is a press release from the Barve campaign:

ASIAN AMERICAN LEADERS UNITE BEHIND BARVE

Members of Congress, Maryland Leaders Endorse Congressional Campaign

Rockville, November 5, 2015 – Kumar Barve for Congress announced today the endorsement of Asian Congressional and Maryland leaders for his campaign for Congress.

“Kumar Barve is a leader in the innovation and technology sectors and is a proven job creator. He is a fighter for the middle class and working families,” said U.S. Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA). “His family history is the American immigrant success story and I would welcome him as a partner in Congress”.

“The AAPI community is united behind Kumar Barve in Maryland”, stated U.S. Rep. Grace Meng. “Kumar is a fighter for social justice. AAPIs are underrepresented in Congress and Delegate Barve has been a long been a national leader in promoting and protecting the civic and political rights of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities”.

“Kumar Barve rose through the Montgomery County Public School system to become a groundbreaking leader in our community. His story – from his grandfather’s fight for citizenship to his historic election as the first Indian American state legislator – is our story” said Delegate Aruna Miller, who represents state legislative District 15 which is included with the 8th Congressional District. “Kumar has been a great mentor to those of us who have followed in his path”.

Barve is one the headliners tonight of the Maryland Democratic Party’s Mid-Autumn and Diwali Celebration in Gaithersburg that will gather AAPI leaders throughout the state. AAPIs, comprising about 8-9% of the population, represent a growing and increasingly active community within the 8th District of Maryland. Since his historic election in 1990, Barve has worked to increase the participation of the AAPI community in the civic and political life of their communities.

List of Endorsements
U.S. Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA)
U.S. Rep. Madeline Bordallo (D-GU)
U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA)
U.S. Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA)
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY)
Norman Mineta, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and Member of Congress
Maryland Delegate Mark Chang
Maryland Delegate Clarence Lam
Maryland Delegate Aruna Miller
Maryland Delegate Kriselda Valderrama
Virginia Delegate Mark Keam
Tufail Ahmad
Alan Cheung, former Member, Montgomery County Board of Education
Ed Chow, former MD Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Suresh Gupta
Rajan Natarajan, former MD Deputy Secretary of State
Farook Sait
Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Leadership PAC
Asian American Action Fund

Joel Rubin Announces Bid for the Eighth

My neighbor, Joel Rubin, has announced his entry into the Democratic primary for the Eighth Congressional District. Above is his announcement video and below is his email:

Hi David,

It’s Joel. I’m excited to let you, my friends, and family know first – I’m running for Congress to represent Maryland’s 8th Congressional District!

My wife Nilmini and I are proud to call the 8th our home. It’s where we started our family, and we now have the privilege of raising our three beautiful daughters here.

I’m joining this race because this Congressional District needs someone to represent it who has strong progressive values and a proven track record of getting things done. That’s me. I’ve fought for these values my entire career – from my time in the Peace Corps to my work at J Street, the Ploughshares Fund, and in the Obama Administration at the State Department.

Help us send an effective progressive voice to Washington here.

It’s time to elect leaders who have the courage to confront our nation’s challenges. And that’s why I’m running. I’ll provide Maryland’s 8th District with the kind of unapologetic, effective, and progressive leadership that it deserves in Congress. I have a track record of success in taking on tough challenges and will do that again in Congress. And I won’t stop until we win!

Support our campaign for effective progressive values. Donate now.

Thanks for your support,

P.S. – Please share this email, visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to be a part of this important campaign.

(Disclosure: I’m supporting Jamie Raskin for Congress.)

Raskin In for the Eighth, Madaleno Staying in MD Senate

A Photo from Three Years Ago that Works Even Better Today
(Photo: Edward Kimmel)

Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-18) mentioned to Kevin Gillogly (reported on his Facebook page) that he is not running for the Eighth Congressional District and will stay in the Maryland Senate, where he is Vice Chair of the Budget and Taxation Committee.

In the Baltimore Sun, Sen. Raskin said previously that he was loathe to oppose Sen. Madaleno who is “like a brother to me” but otherwise, “wild horses” wouldn’t keep him out of Eighth Congressional District race. As Madaleno is not running and the nearest wild horses in Chicoteague don’t seem likely to take up Raskin’s challenge by swimming to the Eighth, it seems safe to say Jamie is running for Congress.

Ariana Kelly for Congress?

arianakellyDelegate Ariana Kelly (D-16)

Del. Ariana Kelly (D-16) is exploring a bid for Congress. Ariana has represented this district, centered on Bethesda, since 2011.

Career

Del. Kelly grew up in the area, attending Walter Johnson High School. Her political involvement long predated her successful bid for the House. She was the Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland and the Environmental Health Campaign Director for MomsRising.org. Her past work as the producer for a PBS news program further adds to her communication experience.

In 2010, Ariana won the Democratic nomination for an open seat in the House of Delegates. Her closest competitor was Kyle Lierman, who was by far the best funded candidate in the race. In that race, Kelly benefited from being the only woman in the race. She performed well in a field with many strong candidates, garnering key support from Democratic interest groups.

As an incumbent in 2014, Kelly won the most votes of any House candidate not just in D16 but Montgomery County. This feat is all the more impressive because she was not unopposed for renomination. On the contrary, several strong candidates with good campaigns hoped to win an open seat.

Starting her second full House term, Del. Kelly was elected Chair of the Montgomery County House Democratic Caucus.

Policy

Ariana advocates strongly on women’s issues in the legislature. “Advocate” can sometimes sound like code for “someone who takes liberal positions but doesn’t really know or do a heck of a lot.” The opposite would be true in Ariana’s case.

People who speak with Ariana will quickly get a sense of her strong commitment to these issues backed by an intricate knowledge of how government does–and sometimes doesn’t–work. In short, Ariana often focuses on issues that are less eye-catching but make  a meaningful difference in people’s lives.

Last year, HB 1026 mandated six weeks of paid maternity or paternity leave for employees in small businesses. HB 963, also passed during last year’s session, requires hospitals to develop procedures to do rape kits–surprisingly many are not equipped to do this–so victims of sexual assault don’t have to be shuttled to another hospital.

Parents of kids with autism are no doubt very grateful that 2012 HB 1055 required autism therapy to be covered by insurance, saving many parents from financial ruin on top of having the extra responsibility of a child with special needs.

Opportunity and Overlap with Other Candidates

Ariana would be a likely candidate to gain support from NARAL since she has worked for their state affiliate and can claim a level of commitment greater than other pro-choice candidates. She would need the backing of EMILY’s List to gain access to the broader national fundraising network that could help provide the funds critical to what will be an expensive House race.

Both Nancy Floreen, and to a certain extent Kathleen Matthews, show the most potential for overlap with Ariana’s candidacy. While they have distinct profiles locally among people who follow politics, each has the potential to appeal especially to women, who will compose well over 50% (probably close to or around 60%) of Democratic primary voters. Ariana would likely try to set herself apart as more progressive but these distinctions can be very hard to get into the minds of primary voters.

Though Ariana has only been elected twice, she represents the legislative district with the most Democratic primary voters in the Eighth District. Moreover, voters in this affluent district with a large Jewish population vote at a high rate.

Backing from her state legislative colleagues would aid Del. Kelly’s campaign, particularly in the early stages as it would help convince big funders like EMILY’s List to give her campaign a serious look. In short, as with other campaigns, not just experience but having supporters who can validate it would help her gain traction should she take the plunge, and enter, rather than explore a bid.

Kumar Barve Announces for the Eighth

Delegate-Kumar-Barve

Here is Del. Kumar Barve’s announcement of his bid for the Eighth Congressional District:

My family, like so many others, came to America for freedom and opportunity. As they left India and traveled across the Atlantic they knew they would face hardships but they were hopeful that they would succeed.

Now, that dream is in jeopardy for millions of American families. There is no longer confidence that working hard and playing by the rules means being able to provide for your family.

I am announcing today that I’m running for the open 8th congressional district of Maryland to help rebuild our middle class, restore hope in the American Dream, and grow our economy so that everyone has an opportunity to thrive and the freedom to live as they wish.

I made history in 1990 at the age of thirty-two when I was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates and became first Indian-American ever to serve in a state legislature.

For 25 years as a legislator, I have worked to earn your trust. As Majority Leader in the Maryland House of Delegates, I helped lead the effort to build the best public school system in America.  I worked to foster economic growth through investments in biotechnology and information technology.  I also fought to raise the minimum wage, expand health care to working families and keep college tuitions low.

Today, as Chairman of the Environment and Transportation Committee, I’m battling the Republican agenda to roll back environmental protections that make our families and communities safe.

In the private sector, I’m an accountant and the Chief Financial Officer of a local environmental and hazardous waste remediation company.  I know how to create jobs, promote the private sector and still protect the environment.

I am ready to take my experience working for economic growth and fighting for our middle class to the federal level. I will build on the legacy of my friend, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, who is seeking the open Senate seat.

When my dad crossed the Atlantic in 1958, wondering what America held for him and his family, he probably never imagined his son would ever get the opportunity to run for Congress. This isn’t going to be easy. Offering bold and innovative proposals to rebuild our middle class and grow our economy never is.

But with your help, we can do this together and make our country great again for everyone.

Sincerely

Kumar P. Barve

Berliner Not Running for the Eighth

berliner

Roger would have been a strong and interesting candidate. Here is Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner’s email to supporters:

Congressman Van Hollen’s decision to run for the Senate, a decision that I wholeheartedly support, immediately set off widespread speculation as to who would run for his seat in Congress.  I was among those reported to be on the list of possible candidates.  As one of my supporters, I wanted to share with you why, as the Washington Post reported yesterday, I harbor no such ambition.

Not so long ago, at a Council of Governments luncheon, Bruce Katz from the Brookings Institute gave a keynote address in which he posited that the traditional government pyramid, with the federal government on top and local government on the bottom, has now inverted.   He argued that local government is in the strongest position to advance the public interest most directly and effectively.   

My own experience has reinforced the belief that those of us privileged to serve you at the local level have an extraordinary opportunity to improve the quality of life for all of us.  I have served at every level of government – from City Hall, to Capitol Hill, the Executive Branch, state legislature, and county government.   That experience has left not a shred of doubt in my mind that if you want to bring about big changes, take care of the small things that make a real difference in your lives, and literally shape a community, local government is a great place to serve.

And it is certainly where I want to continue to serve you for the next four years.   We have work to do — work to improve transportation, better align growth and infrastructure, provide job skills to our workforce, build a dynamic and innovative government culture, support our non-profit community, do what we can to make our county a “community for a lifetime”, close the achievement gap and build more schools, reinvigorate our local economy ….and the list goes on.

So, I will be busy working on these items and more over the course of the next four years ….not running for Congress.   That’s what you were kind enough to support me doing, and that’s what I love doing!

With warm regards,

Roger

 

Valerie Ervin Will Be in for the Eighth

valerieervinglogo

UPDATE/Corrections: See bottom of post.

A reliable source tells me that former Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin will run for Congress from the Eighth District that is being vacated by Chris Van Hollen who is running for Senate. She will be a top-tier candidate.

Valerie won election to the School Board in 2004 prior to winning the District 5 Council seat in 2006–the seat now held by Tom Hucker.A past President and Vice-President of the County Council, she stepped down in the year before her term ended to take a job with the non-profit Center for Working Families.

Policy

Along with Councilmembers Elrich and Navarro, Ervin worked to raise the minimum wage in Montgomery County just before leaving the Council. Active in the PTA before winning election, she has long been especially interested in education issues, such as universal pre-K and closing the achievement gap.

Many Advantages

While in office, Councilmember Ervin had the knack for being well-liked by both labor and business. Her recent working for the Center for Working Families has only burnished her progressive credentials. In short, she has the potential to appeal to a wide range of voters.

The composition of the electorate works in her favor. The Eighth District is 12% African American but black voters will compose a significantly higher share of primary voters. Democratic primary voters are also disproportionately female, and Ervin is so far the only woman in the race.

School Board members run at large, so she may be the only candidate to have ever been on the ballot throughout the Montgomery County portion of the district. Of course, that would not be the case if Councilmember George Leventhal, her former boss and then colleague, also jumped in the race.

Fundraising

Critical to any effort, however, will be raising money for a successful campaign. The kitty in her Maryland campaign account is essentially empty and I could not find a federal committee listed yet. She has not had to raise the kind of dollars needed for a congressional run in past campaigns.

Nonetheless, I think a disciplined person like Valerie could do it. Backing from EMILY’s list would surely help. The national connections she has made through her activism since leaving the Council may also help her financially. Labor could help provide money as volunteers but there is no way to know which way they’ll jump or if they’ll jump together.

Overlap with Other Candidates

Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-20) now represents many of the same people as Valerie once did on the Council. Assuming he runs, they could compete for many of the same voters geographically in that part of the County, which is rich with Democratic voters. It would probably also aid her campaign if she is the only prominent woman and African-American candidate in the race.

UPDATE/Corrections

I have already received some push back on some of my characterizations in this post. The points made by person who responded are well taken, so I thought it important to add them here or balance or correction even as I leave up the original post. First and foremost, someone reminded me (correctly) that Valerie was not beloved by local labor by the time she left the Council.

MCGEO and the Police union especially hated her. Gino Renne at MCGEO even targeted her with an attack website, though he goes off on a lot of people. The police union showed up once to boo her at a hearing and Valerie said that the union chief started making “threats.” Finally, she also had strong conflicts with the School Board and MCEA was not sorry to see her go.

On the other hand, she still has very cordial relations with SEIU–nationally the second-largest union in America. And, as we have seen, sides can change quickly in these races, so past opposition does not always predict future behavior–or the views of national unions.