Tag Archives: Rushern Baker

Prince George’s Out Negotiates Montgomery

As explained previously on 7S, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker played hard to get on ponying up additional funds for the Purple Line in an effort to set up his County to extract concessions in price and other matters. Turns out he succeeded at both:

Prince George’s County has tentatively agreed to commit an additional $20 million to finance the Purple Line in exchange for assurances from state transportation officials that construction will begin within its borders and the command center be built there, a top aide to County Executive Rushern L. Baker III said Thursday. . . .

“I agree to accomplish each of these requests,” [Transportation Secretary] Rahn replied in an Aug. 12 letter to Baker.

Montgomery agreed to pay $40 million in additional costs and received nothing.

Baker negotiated a better deal than Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett or Council President George Leventhal. His County will pay half as much in additional costs, obtain more, and still have the light-rail project he supported move forward.

Baker and Leggett on Race and Endorsements

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker got asked essentially why he, as an African-American leader, endorsed a white man over a black woman for U.S. Senate. Baker responded well and then Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett jumped in to give an exceptionally eloquent statement:

Regardless of whether you prefer Van Hollen, Edwards, or someone else, their answers as to why they support Chris Van Hollen speak to the content of both of these gentlemen’s character.

If Donna Edwards Moves Up or On. . .

No one is saying Donna Edwards is going anywhere after working hard to get a firm hold on the Fourth Congressional District but I thought it would be fun to speculate if she left her seat open, say, during a bid for higher office. We’d have an incredibly interesting Democratic Primary on our hands. I believe that the following would likely be tempted to  run:

  • The Hon. Rev. Bishop Senator C. Anthony Muse (District 26).
  • Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III.
  • Either former Delegate and Lt. Gov. Candidate Jolene Ivey (District 47) or Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey. Since they’re married, they’d have to flip a coin.
  • Anne Arundel County Councilman Jamie Benoit.
  • State Senator Victor Ramirez (District 47).

Each of these candidates bring there own strengths, bases and weaknesses to the race.

Senator Muse has a rock solid base in southern Prince George’s County and would be an incredibly dynamic candidate with an inspiring story of homeless to state house. I think he could raise over $300,000 but I’m not sure how much more. However, that doesn’t go far on a congressional race in the DC media market. And his quixotic challenge to Sen. Ben Cardin went nowhere.

County Executive Baker is very popular in Prince George’s County, which makes up two-thirds of MD-04. He would start out the heavy favorite. It would be interesting to see how he departs from his usual donor base of developers who care much less about the next freshman member of Congress than County Executive. However, I think he could raise if not $2 million dollars, close to it.

Jolene Ivey was an incredibly dynamic and impressive running mate for Doug Gansler. She would be an immensely strong candidate and could raise around $1 million. She has a solid base in the 47th Legislative District, which would be completely fractured if both she and the Senator from that district, Victor Ramirez, ran.

Glenn Ivey was a popular prosecutor and an immense political talent. He also has a thick political rolodex stretching from Capitol Hill to Prince George’s to Annapolis and Baltimore. I think he could raise an even million. His short-lived congressional bid in 2012 may hurt him and his wife’s profile is much higher. Likely neither will have Anthony Brown’s support.

Jamie Benoit is a popular County Councilman, a veteran and the Chief Executive of a rapidly growing business. He was heavily recruited by state Democrats to run for Anne Arundel County Executive but bowed out (and retired from the Council) to focus on his business. He also toyed with the idea of running for Congress in MD-04 in 2012. If he could galvanize his base in Anne Arundel County and appeal to white voters in Northern Prince George’s, he might have an outside  shot. But without self funding he wouldn’t have the resources to get his message out–perhaps a quarter million dollars. If he self funded, he could perhaps get that number up to 500k-750k.

Victor Ramirez is a popular and charismatic State Legislator. He is also the undisputed voice of Prince George’s County’s (and perhaps Maryland’s) rapidly exploding Latino population. If he could mobilize that constituency, he’d have an outside shot at winning a plurality victory in this crowded primary.

Rating: Lean Baker

And who knows who else might run? Maybe an Al Wynn comeback bid? Did I miss anyone? Did I miss you? Email johnga.ems@Gmail.com with tips.