We conclude with the remaining five Council At-Large candidates who have qualified for matching funds in public financing.
Wilhelm, an MCPS teacher, is becoming a progressive darling of the Council At-Large race with endorsements from MCEA, the Laborers, Progressive Maryland and the Democratic Socialists. His contributions are heavily tilted towards the very liberal areas of Downtown Silver Spring and Takoma Park. The question for Wilhelm is whether he can hang with the other strong competitors going for those same votes, especially Hans Riemer, Evan Glass, Will Jawando, Danielle Meitiv and Seth Grimes and find a way to break into the top four. Wilhelm is a smart and passionate campaigner so don’t count him out.
Jawando is the leading fundraiser in Silver Spring East County, which we define as zip codes 20903, 20904 and 20905. This area overlaps with the section of District 20 in which he performed best in his 2014 race for Delegate. Jawando has put together a long list of institutional endorsements that exceeds even the race’s sole incumbent, Hans Riemer, and includes the Apple Ballot. (He was also endorsed by the Laborers Union shortly after we published the latest list.) Now Jawando has to raise enough money to get the word out and finish the job. If he does, he will become just the second Council Member of color to win an At-Large seat after Ike Leggett left in 2002.
Meitiv, the famous Free Range Mom, is so far the only female at-large candidate who has qualified for public matching funds. (Shruti Bhatnagar came close but has been ruled ineligible by the State Board of Elections. Brandy Brooks says she has enough contributions to qualify but has not yet filed with the state.) Meitiv’s contribution geography resembles the all-candidate average and is largely based in the Democratic Crescent that is so critical to winning countywide elections. If she continues to raise money, her status as one of the few competitive at-large women will help her in a primary electorate that is nearly 60% female.
The good news is that Siddique is the second-leading fundraiser in Gaithersburg ($5,515) after George Leventhal ($6,808). The bad news is that he has a minimal presence in Democratic Crescent areas like Chevy Chase, Downtown Silver Spring and Takoma Park that are critical to countywide performance.
Grimes, a former Takoma Park City Council Member, has collected a majority of his contributions from the city with relatively little money coming from elsewhere in the county. Takoma Park is not a big enough base from which to win a countywide election by itself. Grimes needs to pick it up elsewhere to have a chance for victory.
We have entered the thick of endorsement season and a big one just came out: a partial decision by MCEA, holder of the mighty Apple Ballot. We have updated our institutional endorsement matrix and offer some comments below.
First, a note. Many of the listed endorsing organizations have not finished their processes and may be announcing more decisions in the future. Other important organizations (like the Washington Post, the Realtors and the Volunteer Fire Fighters) have not endorsed yet at all. So this list is a work in progress.
That said, here are a few impressions.
Senator Roger Manno, who might be the most pro-union member of the entire General Assembly, is sweeping labor endorsements in his run for Congress District 6. How far will that take him against Delegate Aruna Miller and Total Wine co-owner David Trone?
Council Member Marc Elrich, who is running for Executive, has put together an impressive string of progressive endorsements and he will be getting more of them. He is definitely the favored Executive candidate of the left.
Ben Shnider, who is challenging District 3 County Council candidate Sidney Katz, has also become a darling of the left. Will that be enough to take out Katz, who has been the most prominent politician in Gaithersburg for decades? We will have an opinion on that in the near future.
Will Jawando, who is running for Council At-Large, has had a great six weeks. He is the only non-incumbent who has assembled four influential institutional endorsements, including the Apple. (Chris Wilhelm has three and Danielle Meitiv and Brandy Brooks have two each.) Combine that with Jawando’s fundraising success, electoral experience and natural charisma and he is looking strong right now.
The good news for Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher, who is running for the District 18 Senate seat being vacated by Rich Madaleno, is that he is dominating the institutional endorsements over Dana Beyer and Michelle Carhart. The bad news is that his dispute with House candidate Helga Luest is escalating. Women are 60% of MoCo Democrats and this is a particularly bad cycle to run afoul of them.
While MCEA has made some county-level endorsements, it has postponed its decision on the incumbents (except for Sidney Katz). The teachers are unhappy with recent MCPS budget decisions made by the County Council, especially with the breaking of their collective bargaining agreement two years ago. With Ike Leggett’s recommended budget coming next week, we will learn more about what might happen to MCPS this year and that will affect the union’s thinking. The remaining non-incumbents in the Council At-Large race will be paying rapt attention!
Speaking of the At-Large race, we wrote last April that the sole incumbent running, Hans Riemer, was going to be reelected. We still believe that will happen and so do most of the folks running in his race. But what happens if he is passed over by both the Apple Ballot and the Post? The Apple is skeptical of council incumbents right now. As for the Post, the newspaper endorsed Riemer in the 2014 primary in part because it said challenger Beth Daly was “dead wrong.” But it dumped Riemer for a no-name Republican in the general election, saying he was “a first-termer with modest achievements.” The Post has a lot more options in the 2018 At-Large field than it did last time. Then throw in the facts that there are a lot of good folks in the At-Large race and Riemer’s name will be appearing near the end of a VERY long ballot. If Riemer loses both the Apple and the Post and the hungry field of non-incumbents continues to impress, is he still a lock to win? (Disclosure: your author used to work for Riemer.)
That’s it for now. We’ll have more when the next wave of endorsements comes in!
At-Large: Brandy Brooks, Will Jawando, Danielle Meitiv and Chris Wilhelm
District 1: Ana Sol Gutierrez
District 3: Ben Shnider
District 4: Nancy Navarro
District 5: Tom Hucker
Progressive Maryland has previously endorsed Marc Elrich for County Executive and Ben Jealous for Governor. Brooks is an employee of the organization. Hucker founded the group’s predecessor, Progressive Montgomery.
Two things strike us as interesting here. First, this is the first major institutional endorsement not received by at-large incumbent Hans Riemer. (SEIU Local 500 has endorsed three non-incumbents in the at-large race but left a spot open for Riemer contingent on further events in Rockville.) Second, Progressive Maryland’s affiliates include MCGEO, UFCW Local 400 (grocery store workers), the SEIU Maryland/D.C. council, NOW and ATU Local 689 (WMATA), all of whom play in MoCo elections. Does Progressive Maryland’s decision provide insight on which candidates may be endorsed by these other groups?
SEIU Local 500, one of the largest unions in Maryland, will be endorsing five candidates in MoCo races soon. The local’s membership of more than 8,000 is concentrated among MCPS support staff, adjunct college faculty and child care workers. It has one of the most aggressive political operations in the state and its endorsement is highly valued in MoCo.
At this time, the local will be endorsing:
Marc Elrich for County Executive
Gabe Albornoz, Ashwani Jain and Will Jawando for Council At-Large
Ben Shnider for Council District 3
The union has not decided on an endorsement yet in Council District 1 and may announce one later. It has postponed endorsement decisions for incumbent Council Members outside District 3 pending further actions of the council. Since MCPS accounts for a significant portion of the local’s membership, budget decisions on the schools may impact the union’s thinking.
Congratulations to the endorsees. To be continued!
The Montgomery County Sierra Club has endorsed Roger Berliner for County Executive as well as several council candidates. With a brand commonly recognized by progressives around the country, the Sierra Club’s support is valued in MoCo. Many expected this endorsement to go to Marc Elrich, so this is a blow to him and a boost for Berliner. It’s also a big pickup for District 3 challenger Ben Shnider, who is starting to get traction against incumbent Sidney Katz. We reprint their press release below.
Sierra Club endorses Berliner for County Executive; and several outstanding candidates for County Council
ROCKVILLE, MD – The Sierra Club, representing 6000 members across Montgomery County, announced today that it is endorsing Roger Berliner for County Executive and several outstanding candidates for the County Council.
Those endorsed for the four At-large Council seats are Evan Glass, Will Jawando, Danielle Meitiv, and Hans Riemer. In addition, Sierra Club is endorsing Ben Shnider for District 3; Nancy Navarro for District 4; and Tom Hucker for District 5.
With all the open seats in this election, 2018 provides an historic opportunity to elect a county government committed to forging significant and measurable solutions to addressing climate change through a variety of new and enhanced programs and policies.
Dave Sears, chair of the Montgomery County group of Sierra Club said, “We are excited about the prospects of our endorsed candidates focusing their skills, experience, and knowledge on making our county a national model for how local governments address the climate emergency facing our planet.”
Will Jawando, who ran for District 20 Delegate in 2014 and Congress District 8 in 2016, has filed to run for County Council At-Large. Following is his statement.
Today, I filed to run for Montgomery County Council, At-Large. Montgomery County is an amazing place. I was born and raised here and have had great opportunities in my life. Opportunities which afforded me a quality education, the chance to work for great leaders and public servants, and with my wife, Michele, the ability to raise our three daughters in a safe, friendly and diverse community.
But as Montgomery County has grown, not everyone has been given the same opportunities that I had growing up here. That needs to change. At this critical moment in the history of both our county and our nation, we need new leaders in Rockville who will bring fresh ideas to the many challenges and opportunities we face. This is our county, and our future together, and that is why I am asking for your vote.
If I earn the honor of serving you on the county council, I promise I will fight for affordable and accessible child care, to make sure our students have access to the best education and training, to support small businesses and grow our local economy, and to keep the promises to our aging Americans and give them the support, dignity and respect they deserve.
We will officially launch our campaign in September. But I am already at work on these issues, talking to fellow county residents and leaders, and I look forward to more discussions with you in the weeks and months to come.
In the meantime, if you are interested in becoming more involved or learning about my positions on the issues before us, please visit my website at www.willjawando.com. Please note, I plan to opt into Montgomery County’s new public campaign finance system, the first of its kind in Maryland designed to limit the influence of special interests. I believe we can run a campaign driven by the small donations of everyday people – people like myself and my neighbors – who want to chart a new course for Montgomery County.
In Part One, we spotlighted five losing candidates who went on to be elected to multiple terms on the Montgomery County Council. That illustrates a key point: candidates with electoral experience often come back stronger in future races, even if they lose their first elections. The top tier of potential at-large council candidates includes the following people who have earned lots of votes in prior races for council and the General Assembly and presumably know how to earn them in the future.
49,932 votes in the 2014 at-large primary, third place
Your author admits to being partial to Riemer as a former member of his staff. That said, he is the only incumbent in the race as his three current colleagues have been tossed out by term limits. Back in 2010, we ran a series on why MoCo incumbents lose and identified four reasons: they were Republicans, they were lazy, they made lots of enemies (especially in their districts) and they had great challengers. Riemer is not a Republican, he’s not lazy and he has no more enemies than most other local politicians. Great challengers are rare, and because Riemer is the only incumbent running for one of four seats, four great challengers would have to get in to knock him out. That’s just not going to happen. The only certainty in this race is that Riemer will be reelected.
39,642 votes in the 2014 at-large primary, fifth place
Dickerson activist Beth Daly ran a solid at-large campaign in 2014. Her support crossed over with incumbent Marc Elrich and she got many valuable endorsements from the labor and environmental communities. Daly’s problem had less to do with her and more to do with the field as she was running against four incumbents. So did Riemer in 2010, but he benefited from incumbent Duchy Trachtenberg’s blowing up her relationships with labor and sitting on a huge unspent campaign balance. None of the 2014 incumbents committed mistakes of that magnitude, and Daly, despite all the things she did right, could not break through. We don’t know if she has any interest in running again, but if she does, she would be a strong contender in a wide open race.
7,667 votes in the 2014 District 5 primary, winner
If Hucker stays in District 5, he will be defending a safe seat. Pay no attention to his close victory in 2014; Hucker and his super-duper staff led by MCDCC Chair Dave Kunes have locked down the district. But there are rumors that Hucker could run at-large. If he does, he would be formidable. Hucker has a true-blue progressive voting record in both Rockville and Annapolis, and with more than 20 years of political experience, he knows how to win. Labor and the environmentalists will be there for him, too. Note: it’s misleading to compare the vote totals of Hucker and his 2014 opponent, Evan Glass, to the other candidates on this list. Hucker and Glass ran in a vote-for-one race whereas most of the others ran in multiple-vote races.
7,445 votes in the 2014 District 5 primary, second place
Former journalist and uber-activist Evan Glass nearly shocked the world by coming close to beating heavy favorite Hucker in 2014. Since then, he has kept busy by running youth film non-profit Gandhi Brigade and serving on Committee for Montgomery’s board. He has well-wishers in many parts of the county’s political community and could be a consensus candidate in whatever election he enters. It’s important to note that Glass and Hucker won’t be in the same race. One will run in District 5 and the other will run at-large. Our prediction: there is a strong possibility that the two former rivals will be council colleagues in December 2018.
5,620 votes in the 2014 Legislative District 20 primary, fourth place
5,634 votes in MoCo in the 2016 Congressional District 8 primary, fifth place
Former Obama aide Will Jawando is the kind of candidate you could fall in love with. He’s handsome, well-spoken and ridiculously charismatic. He’s also good at raising money. But after running strong for a District 20 House seat in 2014, he inexplicably ran for Congress in 2016. Our prediction is that Delegate Sheila Hixson, who just gave up a committee chair she held for more than twenty years, will retire and Jawando will run for her seat. But if Jawando runs for council at-large instead, he will get more than his fair share of votes.
4,896 votes in the 2014 Legislative District 39 primary, first place
That’s the top tier. The second tier is everyone else. There are some noteworthy candidates stepping forward. Chris Wilhelm is a progressive MCPS teacher who has worked for Delegate David Moon (D-20) and is off to a fast start. Marilyn Balcombe, President/CEO of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce, is well-known in the business community and is smart and pragmatic. School board members Rebecca Smondrowski and Jill Ortman-Fouse have not publicly said they’re interested in the council – yet – but both of them ran against MCEA-endorsed opponents and won. Would any of them, or any of the many other people thinking about running, be top-notch candidates? There’s no way to tell right now. But given the number of at-large openings and the high probability that some of the top-tier people won’t get in, at least one new candidate will probably win.
The battle to replace Jamie Raskin in the State Senate is currently the object of much speculation but the logical and likely appointment by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee (MCDCC) seems obvious: Del. Will Smith.
All three sitting Montgomery senators who gained that office via appointment were already delegates: Craig Zucker in District 14, Brian Feldman in District 15, Nancy King in District 39. Each had served at least one full term in the House before moving to the Senate.
Beyond experience, selection of a delegate also make sense because the exact same constituency has already elected them to the General Assembly. The three delegates are not just the most obvious but most democratic choices.
Among the three delegates, Del. Sheila Hixson could have it if she wanted it but doesn’t. That leaves Del. David Moon and Del. Will Smith. Both are former campaign managers for Sen. Jamie Raskin’s past campaigns and won election in 2014.
Prior to their election, highly diverse District 20 had an all white state legislative delegation. The election of Korean American Moon and African American Smith changed that. Beyond personal ties, Sen. Raskin and Del. Hixon’s desire to diversify the delegation no doubt played a role in their joint endorsements of Moon and Smith.
The Montgomery County Democratic Party remains interested in promoting greater racial diversity in the delegation. MCDCC will be under enormous pressure to take this into account during its deliberations.
This factor weighs heavily against David Moon. No African American has ever won election or appointment to the Senate from Montgomery County. According to the Census, African Americans now form roughly 19% of the County’s population.
There are currently three African Americans (Dels. Al Carr, Pam Queen and Will Smith) and four Asian Americans (Dels. Kumar Barve, Aruna Miller and David Moon along with Sen. Susan Lee) in the entire Montgomery state legislative delegation, so African Americans have less overall representation in terms of absolute numbers and percentages.
David Moon has advocated for increased minority representation in the General Assembly. He has promoted minority candidates and helped to pass along his considerable campaign skills. Nonetheless, the logic of these very ideas will work against him in a jurisdiction and party attuned to racial balance, especially since District 20 has the highest share of African Americans in the County.
Other African Americans have thrown their hat into the ring, notably former County Councilmember Valerie Ervin and Will Jawando. Both are well qualified but have political strikes against them that mitigate against an appointment over Smith.
Ervin has touted that her appointment would be a double win, as her appointment would bring the share of women in the Senate delegation to parity. However, she abandoned her seat on the County Council before the end of her term to take up another job, which annoyed many activists.
Additionally, Ervin supported Edwards for Senate–not the popular position in Montgomery. While this is not nearly as problematic as her resignation, Ervin’s quotes in the media expressing ambivalence about endorsing Van Hollen in the immediate aftermath of the election are much more damaging.
Jawando faces an uphill climb for different reasons. Smith beat him for a delegate seat in 2014. Why should MCDCC second guess the choice of the voters? Second, after losing that race, he made a quixotic bid for the congressional seat against Raskin.
If Jawando had supported Raskin, he would have been very well positioned for the delegate seat. Opposing Raskin, who has long had very strong support among this same constituency, has made winning that seat far more difficult, especially since he received even fewer votes in his congressional bid than his delegate race.
For the sake of posterity, here are a few thoughts on The Aftermath of the historic race for Congress in District 8.
Senator (soon-to-be Congressman) Raskin is now the King of MoCo Progressives, a title he would have gained even if he had lost the election. Raskin is the King because of the kind of campaign he ran, which mixed liberal issues with a record of accomplishment, a dose of passion and a lot of inspiration. The fact that he had two well-financed opponents, one of whom was self-funded, played into his narrative. For progressives, he appealed to both their hearts and their brains. His vote percentage, currently about a third of the electorate, came from high-information voters, super-liberals and Downcounty residents, a desirable base for almost any MoCo candidate. It would not be a stretch to imagine that he had the support of 90% or more of the party activists who often play outsized parts in deciding County Council and state legislative races.
All of this gives Raskin enormous potential influence over county politics. Chris Van Hollen was the most popular elected official in MoCo during his tenure in the U.S. House, but he was rather cautious about using that asset. He endorsed sparingly in primaries, and even then with great care. Examples include safe picks like County Executive Ike Leggett in 2014 and the incumbent state legislators in District 18, where he served as a State Senator and Delegate. Van Hollen never took chances on endorsing unknown or controversial candidates. Raskin will soon be approached by many politicians, incumbents and non-office holders alike, seeking his support. Will Raskin follow the Van Hollen model and stay out of most races? Or will he actively try to get very progressive candidates elected down the ballot? Lots of politicians and activists would like to know the answer to this question!
Ninety days ago, few voters had any idea who David Trone was. Many millions of dollars later, Trone finished six points behind Raskin, a margin that could tighten a little bit as absentee ballots are counted. As David Lublin has noted, Trone ran a competent, professional campaign that put batters on all the bases – advertising, mail and field. He bested Kathleen Matthews, who had been running for many months, and smoked the rest of the field.
Trone should be encouraged by his showing in Carroll and Frederick Counties, where he finished with 53% and 52% of the vote, respectively (and that is before absentee counts come in). If Congressman John Delaney runs for Governor, Trone’s performance in the two Western Maryland counties suggests that he has potential in Congressional District 6. If Trone would like to run for office again – and he is considering it – one weakness that he should consider addressing is the allegation that he has not been involved in local affairs. Trone would be a great champion for the local business community, and he could also be a patron for Democratic Party activities and institutions. Projects like these would shore up his hometown credibility and set him up well for Round Two, whatever that might be.
Along with U.S. Senate candidate Donna Edwards, Matthews was the biggest disappointment of the night. She ran a well-funded, female-oriented campaign against two leading opponents who were men. She had great fundraising and solid TV ads. The electorate is sixty percent female. Hillary Clinton won the presidential primary in Maryland by thirty points. And yet Matthews finished third with 24% of the vote. How does that happen? One theory is that Trone won over many of the more moderate voters who might have found Matthews appealing, and there is something to that. Another theory is that Matthews’s campaign, along with that of Donna Edwards, illustrates the limitations of pure identity politics. And finally, her generic campaign had little local dimension to it and did not create sufficient distinction from her opponents.
Ana Sol Gutierrez
Trailing badly in fundraising, mail and television, Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez still finished fourth. When the precinct results come in, she will probably have significant vote totals in Wheaton, Long Branch, Glenmont and areas near University Boulevard, all places with significant Latino populations. This will firmly entrench her as the Queen Mother of MoCo Latinos and also shows the latent political potential of that community. That’s not a bad consolation prize.
When is it a candidate’s time, and when is that time past? That is the key question with Will Jawando. His talent, charisma, intelligence and presentation skills are undeniable. He’s a very good fundraiser and came close to winning a District 20 Delegate seat two years ago. And MoCo needs more young leaders of color. But Jawando was never going to win this race and now he has two losses on his record. Yes, candidates can come back from that – Marc Elrich, for example, lost four times before being elected to the County Council. But Elrich is an exception and repeated losses tend to reduce both support and fundraising capability for most candidates. Our hunch is that Jawando has one more good election in him that he would very much need to win.
Another factor is the upcoming District 20 appointment process. The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee will appoint a successor to Jamie Raskin’s Senate seat when he vacates it. The appointee will most likely be one of the two freshman Delegates, David Moon or Will Smith. That will then open a Delegate seat vacancy. Jawando, who finished fourth in the House race in 2014, would have had a significant claim to that appointment. But running unsuccessfully against the King of MoCo Progressives – a man who has been the undeniable King of District 20 for a decade – hurts his chances. This was a missed opportunity all around.
If voters voted on resumes, Delegate Kumar Barve would have won. He has been in office since 1990 and has adroitly climbed the Annapolis ladder to House Majority Leader and standing committee chair. He has been involved in every major policy debate at the state level for many years. And he’s whip-smart, well-spoken and funny as hell. But Barve couldn’t get traction in the race as he was drowned out by the better-funded candidates. Barve didn’t get what he wanted, but MoCo residents will get something valuable as he goes back to Annapolis: a dedicated, substantive leader on environmental and transportation issues.
That’s about it for now. We will be following up with data on this election as it becomes available. In any event, one thing is sure: this race will be remembered around here for a long, LONG time.
The Democratic primary in the Eighth Congressional District is fierce. And no wonder. Whoever wins is virtually assured of becoming a new Member of Congress in this safely Democratic territory.
Adam Pagnucco has done a good job outlining the strength and weakness of the three leading candidates (Matthews, Raskin and Trone), so I thought I’d look at how the other candidates may impact the race even if they don’t win.
Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez has run a somewhat quixotic campaign that has mainly been about advancing her progressive point of view in debates. Her campaign lacks to money to be competitive even though she has loaned it money from personal funds.
Despite the lack of funds, I heard from one voter that saw a television ad. Unfortunately for Gutierrez, advertisements have to play a lot in order to have an impact and her budget is simply not large enough to buy that hefty an ad buy.
She has sent out one bilingual piece of mail in the form of a newspaper. Voters may pick it up and take a peek because it’s original. But it has a lot of small print and many photos of the candidate in the style of the North Korean Central News Agency‘s coverage of Kim Jong Un.
Despite these limits, Gutierrez may have an impact. She had volunteers at the Lawton Center early voting center in Chevy Chase. Moreover, she has been in public office for 25 years as a candidate for the School Board and then the House of Delegates.
Gutierrez’s final political move has been to endorse Bernie Sanders. This seems more likely to do her more good than Bernie, as she links her campaign to a popular progressive and appeared on stage to endorse him at a rally in Baltimore.
As the first Latina elected in Montgomery County and a known name, I expect Gutierrez to pick up a good chunk of the Latino vote. Indeed, it seems likely to propel her into fourth place even if she loses much of her past non-Latino support to Jamie Raskin.
Raskin seems most likely to be hurt by Gutierrez’s presence in the race. He represents a large Latino community in District 20 and has advocated strongly on a variety of issues from immigration to social justice that Gutierrez also emphasizes. It would certainly be ironic if Gutierrez, who ran to advance progressive issues, ended up costing the leading progressive candidate the nomination.
Del. Kumar Barve is a former majority leader of the House of Delegates who represents Rockville and Gaithersberg. Smart and quick, he’s one of the funniest members of the House of Delegates. Like the other state legislators in the race, he has ended up heavily on the liberal side of most issues.
Barve has more money than any candidate outside of the top three but remains out of their financial league. He has attempted to gain notice through strong criticisms of Raskin’s ads but my assessment is that these efforts have gained very limited traction.
At the risk of making Barve sound far older than he is, Barve was the first Asian American elected in Montgomery County and, indeed, is often highlighted in descriptions of pioneering elected officials. This would seemingly be an advantage in a county with a large and growing Asian American population.
Unfortunately for Barve, most Asian Americans identify less as Asians and more by their national origin. As Barve likes to note somewhat ruefully, he has the Hindu vote nailed down with the implication being that just won’t get him far.
Barve is one of those candidates who I could well have imagined breaking through but it hasn’t happened for him for a variety of reasons, including Trone’s money attracting so much attention. It would be nice for Barve if he finished well in the portions of the district he represents in the House of Delegates.
Will Jawando ran a good but losing campaign for the House of Delegates in District 20, home to Jamie Raskin. Two years later, he has jumped into the congressional race. Jawando is young attorney with a family who is also running on progressive platform and is easy to imagine winning public office in Montgomery County.
Jawando’s decision to enter this race surprised many. The safer bet would have been to help Raskin win election and then angle to win appointment to the state legislative vacancy. Jawando would have been a very strong candidate due to his own abilities, respectable finish last time, and links to the congressional winner.
While Rep. Elijah Cummings has stayed out of the U.S. Senate race, he has endorsed Jawando for the Eighth District. As the only African American in the race with support from a prominent African-American Democrat, albeit not from around the area, Jawando has the potential to attract some votes.
As with Gutierrez, this could hurt Raskin. However, Jawando is less well-known that the long-established Del. Gutierrez, so it’s unclear how big a splash he will manage to make in the race.
Joel Rubin is a friend and neighbor. He’s a nice, personable guy who, like many in Montgomery County, has been active in federal politics but at the local or state level until now. Rubin has raised a nice sum of money and run a good campaign even though he just lacks the funds or previous support base to be competitive.
Even though this is his first race, he’s shown some good clever, campaign abilities, including producing these excellent YouTube videos on Trone and and his own family story:
Like Will Jawando, I would not be surprised to hear more from Joel Rubin in the future.
Finally, I know little about Dan Bolling and David Anderson. Bolling is running as the anti-partisan candidate and Anderson appears to be a well-meaning progressive. I do not expect either to have a major impact on the outcome of the race. Click on the links to learn more about them.