Tag Archives: Hamza Khan

Fake Facebook Page Disrupts New Democratic Club

By Adam Pagnucco.

A Facebook page purporting to belong to an officer of a new county Democratic club has turned out to be fake and was deleted.  We have seen MANY things in prior election cycles but nothing quite like this.

Recently, a new organization called the Asian American Democratic Club of Montgomery County was established.  Their Facebook page went up on Friday, February 23.  The club’s Treasurer was listed as Hu Nguyen.

The club sent out a questionnaire to candidates.  We reprint the first section below.

Below was a Facebook page established in the name of Hu Nguyen.  Curiously, this person’s gender was listed as male.  Also of note is that the person’s birthday was listed as November 12, 1987.

Hu Nguyen updated the club’s officer list to include her/himself and announced the club’s founding on Facebook.

Hu Nguyen was also listed as an officer on the club’s Twitter page.

Hu Nguyen offered a positive review of Hamza Khan, who is a candidate for Delegate in District 15 and is an administrator of the club’s Facebook page, and also complimented him in a conversation on the club’s page.

According to the Maryland State Board of Elections, Khan’s birthday is November 12, 1987 – the same as Hu Nguyen’s.

The profile picture on Hu Nguyen’s page matches the picture of a student at a prominent university in another part of the country.  We reprint the original source of the picture below but we will not indicate her name or her university out of deference to her.  Her real name is not Hu Nguyen.

At least one individual filed a complaint to Facebook and the Hu Nguyen profile was removed.  The statements above were also removed.

Soon after, a new Hu Nguyen page was created.  It used the same head shot as the first page and said the person was based in Rockville.  However, the cover photo was taken from a publication in Memphis, Tennessee.

That page has also now been deleted.

Your author sent the following email to Hamza Khan on February 26 at 1:53 PM.

Hamza, I am writing to ask about a person named Hu Nguyen.  She is listed as an officer of the Asian American Democratic Club of Montgomery County on the club’s Facebook page and Twitter page.  You are an administrator of the club’s Facebook page.  She issued a positive review of you on Facebook and complimented you on the club’s page.

According to Hu Nguyen’s Facebook page, the person’s gender was listed as male despite her very obvious appearance as female.  Her birthday was November 12, 1987, which matches your birthday.  The person’s Facebook profile picture matches that of a student at a university in another part of the country.

Hu Nguyen’s Facebook page has now been deleted.

I am attaching screenshots, including one of the original source of Hu Nguyen’s profile picture.

Can you comment on the record via email about Hu Nguyen?  Can you describe the circumstances under which you met her and how she joined the club?  Also, can you supply an email address so that I can contact her?  Thank you – Adam Pagnucco.

Khan replied:

Hi Adam & David:

Thank you for reaching out.

I actually am a mystified myself because despite her kind words about me, I’ve never met Hu Nguyen. She added me on Facebook claiming she met me at a fundraiser or meet and greet. Subsequently she disappeared on Facebook several times — in line with your statement above.  I originally thought she was someone I met at a meet & greet for my campaign, but it turned out she’s not that person at all. As for why she has my birthday and she/he’s listed as a male on Facebook, from what I’ve been now told it was a deliberate attempt to try and tie her back to my campaign. This is unfortunate and very troubling.

I think Barnaby Yeh, their communications director can direct you further. He is cc:ed here.

Shortly after your author’s email was sent, Hu Nguyen was removed as an officer from the club’s Facebook and Twitter pages.  Barnaby Yeh, the club’s communications director, posted the statement below on the club’s page branding the Hu Nguyen account as “fake” and saying the person “was trying to pose as a supporter as a candidate running for office in our county, but was a Facebook plant designed to try and discredit that candidate instead.”

Yeh then wrote the following in an email to your author:

The Asian American Democratic Club of Montgomery County is a grassroots organization of local Asian American activists. Our founders include several local millennials who have worked on more than a few campaigns, been members of other Democratic groups, and are just passionate about getting people involved ahead of the June & November elections. We wanted to organize our club organically by spreading the word online, and decided to create a Facebook group for that purpose.

Hu had approached all of us online claiming to be an Asian American living in Montgomery County. Being that most of our board are millennials, we assumed that it was entirely plausible that we just never met her. She also posed as a friend of several officers’ mutual contacts, going as far as to claim to know the ex-girlfriend of one of our founding members, and claimed to have attended several local political events. She offered to be our treasurer, and given we a) have no money, and b) didn’t see the harm in having another board member, we agreed.

However, we encountered some strange irregularities in trying to reach Hu starting this weekend. Hu began aggressively posting on social media on our behalf, which contravened our agreed-upon roles. We also received a notice from Twitter that someone had changed our Twitter account password, and they had traced the change to an IP address in Aspen Hill, MD. None of our officers had authorized such a change, and we began to investigate. We then also traced the IP e-mail address that Hu had provided to us, and discovered it was from the Ashburn area. At that point, we tried to contact Hu on Facebook to confirm, and further noticed Hu’s birthday and gender identity did not match who Hu presented themselves to be. We concluded Hu was misrepresenting themselves, and have reported the account as fraudulent.

I hope this helps lays this all to rest.

Let this be a lesson: before making someone an officer of your organization, make sure that they actually EXIST first!


Hamza Khan’s Statement on the D39 Race

Following is Hamza Khan’s statement on his candidacy in District 39, which he released today.


Over the past few days, I have been contacted by numerous party leaders, elected officials and voters asking me remain in the race for Delegate in District 39 or to alternatively consider running for county council at-large. I wish to express my deep gratitude in the faith that so many supporters have put in my candidacy for public office. In light of these appeals, I have decided that the wisest course of action at this time is to take some time to reflect. I plan to meet with voters and stakeholders in our community in order to discuss the merits of my campaign and seek their counsel, because it is their voices that matter for any decision to be made in our democracy. Therefore, I will make an final decision about running for office later this summer.

No matter what my decision will be, I believe that all the Democrats seeking our party’s nomination for delegate in District 39 and for County Council next June are accomplished individuals who represent some of the best our beautiful county and state have to offer. Thanks to many of them, I am excited for the future of our party, county and state. Together, I know we can and will liberate Government House from Larry Hogan, and fight the alt-right agenda of his fellow Republicans in Washington. I look forward to being in touch.
Democratically Yours,
Hamza Khan

Khan Claims Endorsements Without Permission

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,

Hamza Khan

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.


Hamza Khan Running for Delegate

Hamza is perhaps best known locally as a founder of the Muslim Democratic Club but he has also be active in many different ways. Here is the press release:

Hamza Khan Announces Campaign for Maryland State Delegate in District 39

GERMANTOWN, MD: Long-time community activist Hamza Khan will run for state delegate in Maryland’s District 39. Hamza will be seeking the vacancy created by long-time public servant Delegate Charlie Barkley, who has decided to run for the Montgomery County Council. “I have decided to run for public office because the challenges we are facing today as a state and country require us to build bridges and seek to bring together our entire community to achieve a progressive future for our children and generations to come”, said Hamza.

Hamza has already been endorsed by a number of progressive elected officials across Montgomery County and the great state of Maryland. Key endorsements include Senator Will Smith (D-20), Delegates Bilal Ali (D-41), Pam Queen (D-14), Joseline Peña-Melnyk (D-20) and Angela Angel (D-25).

In a nod to the breathtaking diversity of District 39, Hamza’s honorary campaign co-chairs collectively speak over a dozen languages in addition to English, including: Arabic, Armenian, Bahasa Indonesia, Cantonese, French, Hebrew, Hindi/Urdu, Mandarin, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese and Wolof. All are spoken in District 39, which is one of the state’s most diverse legislative districts to live by population. “Hamza is a warm person with a warm heart. He has an obvious devotion to strengthening and maintaining good relations between all faiths and ethnicities in our diverse community,” said Montgomery Village community interfaith activist Keleigh Arian (D39).

Hamza’s platform includes: funding and protecting Maryland’s commitment to K-12 public education; fighting for what’s best for our public school teachers, support staff, and students; working to close the achievement gap; fighting for free tuition at all Maryland community colleges; special needs and disability advocacy; investing in public transit options for Maryland commuters, such as Bus Rapid Transit and expanding access to MARC trains; protecting our environment and continuing to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries; protecting a woman’s right to choose; fighting for an end to gender-pay discrimination; fighting for an increased minimum wage; fighting for the rights and protections of Maryland workers; advocating for, listening to, and including organized labor in the battle for social justice in our state; working to improve access to affordable childcare for Maryland families; and investing in Maryland’s small and family-owned businesses.

“Hamza is committed to fighting for progressive values and empowering underrepresented communities. He would be a great leader in the Maryland General Assembly,” said Amy Frieder, an UpCounty Democratic Party activist.

Hamza’s campaign website will launch by early summer. In the meantime, you can follow him on Twitter @HamzaSKhan or like his Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/hamzapolitics) to get updates about his campaign!


Thanks @MoCoYoungDems

I just wanted to thank the Montgomery County Young Democrats for having me over tonight. I had a blast meeting lots of people and sizing up the races. Oddly enough, I even got to feel young as the MCYDs are older than the students I taught earlier in the day.

Paraphrases of a few of the really good questions they asked: Will the state legislative delegation and county council get along better after the elections? Why isn’t there more competition in the County Council races? Which incumbent is most likely to lose the at-large races? Will the General Assembly take up legislation on GMOs soon? Will our delegation be more progressive after the election? How can our elected officials be more effective in Annapolis?

Kudos to Melissa Pinnick for taking the lead in organizing a MCYD team for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Rockville. Click to sign up for this event or make a donation in support of this event.

I’d say it was great to meet future leaders but this is an active and influential group. Almost all of them are already highly active in leadership roles around the County and the State.

They’re also smart. They found the secret entrance on Platform 2 1/2 of the Bethesda Metro Station to the B-CC Regional Services Center. Marc Korman and Jordan Cooper promised that, if elected, they’ll make it easier to find.