No Republicans hold office in Montgomery County at the county, state, or federal levels. However, in the bluest facet of this sapphire, a challenger of some credibility has emerged. In District 20, former Takoma Park City Councilman Dan Robinson has filed to run in the general election on the Green Party line. If there is a legislative district in Maryland where the Green Party is viable, it would be the ultra-progressive district home to nuclear free Granola Park.
How serious a challenger Dan is remains to be seen. Most Green Party targeted campaigns raised $20,000-$30,000. Dan will probably be able to exceed that amount. Like any third party candidate, this is a long shot. But conditions will likely be as good as ever this November for an Emerald takeover.
Robinson could try to make the case that powerful Ways and Means Chair Sheila Hixson is a tool of a Democratic Leadership that is too moderate for the District 20 electorate.
If Jonathan Shurberg wins the Democratic Primary, Robinson could try to make the race about Shurberg’s ethics issues.
Robinson could attack Will Smith, who is a Homeland Security consultant, on the premise that he’s part of the military industrial complex and therefore not truly progressive.
These issues are typically irrelevant in state legislative elections but Jamie Raskin had some success attacking Ida Ruben over a non-binding resolution regarding the Iraq War in 2006. Robinson would have to make corporate welfare for Lockheed Martin a central issue in this line of attack.
Will Jawando is a corporate lobbyist. Robinson could probably ding him on that but I don’t see how he can turn it into the kill shot he needs in a region almost as full of lobbyists as lawyers.
David Moon, the most progressive candidate in the race, is squeaky clean as far as I can tell. Robinson would be foolish to target him.
Whoever the Democratic nominees are, they will have depleted their resources in the primary. They will also likely take the general election for granted. More than likely they, will have difficulty raising additional funds in the general–most donors will likely choose to devote their resources to tough races in other parts of the state–and I doubt many volunteers will be fired up about knocking doors.
Perhaps Dan Robinson can catch the sleeping giant and become the first Green Party State legislator in Maryland. I don’t expect it to happen. But I wouldn’t be totally surprised if he did.