Tag Archives: 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.

UPDATE

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.