Rep. David Trone (D-6th), right, chats with former state Sen. Victor Ramirez on June 6 at the Riviera Tapas Bar. Prince George’s County Councilman Edward Burroughs is in the back. Photo by William J. Ford.
In his continuing push for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate, Rep. David Trone (D-6th) sought to galvanize a growing demographic bloc in the state to support him. And he did it on the turf of one of his main rivals.
Trone served as the guest speaker Tuesday evening at a meeting of Prince George’s County Latino Democrats at Riviera Tapas Bar in Riverdale.
Trone outlined her platform, highlighting her support for women’s rights, improving mental health and creating jobs for returning citizens. He noted that his company, the national chain of liquor stores Total Wine & Wore, has hired about 1,400 people who were previously incarcerated.
But Trone’s voice echoed a little louder inside the restaurant when he talked about immigration.
“Immigrants have built this country,” Trone said to applause from the dozens in attendance. “The diversity of this country … is our strength.”
Although the Democratic primary isn’t until next year, Trone is trying to seize an opportunity to get Latino votes in Prince George’s County, the state’s majority-black jurisdiction. Latino leaders have felt that diversity in local leadership has been lacking since County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D), also running for Senate, began her term.
The former Del. State Rep. Carlo Sanchez (D) serves on the county’s Police Accountability Board, and Alison Flores is deputy director of the county’s Office of Community Relations. But the county’s main government body, the County Council, has no Latinos.
“Representation is important and I understand the frustration of the Latino community,” said Prince George Councilor Edward Burroughs III (D), who attended the event and supports Trone. “We need to support someone who is willing to support diversity to include all people.”
Regional data shows that the Latino population has increased to nearly 24%, an increase of more than 9% from the 2010 census.
“I believe [Alsobrooks] he’s going to have a lift in that community,” said Del. Deni Taveras (D-Prince George’s), who attended the event but has not made an endorsement in the Senate primary.
Meanwhile, Alsobrooks already received more than three dozen endorsements from current and former elected officials, most recently from U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-5th) and Comptroller Brooke Lierman (D).
The other top Democrat in the Senate race is Montgomery County Councilman Will Jawando.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-8th) plans to announce on July 4 whether he will join the race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D).
Jerome Segal, a former college professor who has run for several offices, is also seeking the Democratic nomination.
Anne Arundel County businessman Juan Domínguez could enter the Democratic primary race. And one poll has been asking voters in recent days about the possibility of John Angelos, the attorney and part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles, running.
The Prince George Latino Organization, chaired by former state Sen. Victor Ramirez, has not endorsed any candidates, but welcomes them to speak before the group.
“We’re open to anyone who wants to come,” he said. “We look forward to other Senate candidates coming to share their vision and their ideas.”
6th District News: Sayles Studies, Mason Mission
He adds Montgomery County Councilwoman Laurie-Anne Sayles (D) to the list of potential candidates mulling a run for the 6th District congressional seat, which Trone is giving up to run for the Senate.
Sayles told Maryland Matters Wednesday that he has been encouraged to consider seeking the seat and has begun deliberating and talking with key advisers and supporters. Sayles was elected to an at-large seat on the county council last year and previously served on the Gaithersburg City Council.
Sayles said that in the coming weeks, he will consider whether he can raise adequate funds for a congressional race, the political history of the district, which includes parts of Montgomery County and most of western Maryland, and the possibility of ‘add diversity to the mix of candidates considering the Democratic primary.
“I know it’s a challenging race,” he said. “I know the landscape is different than Montgomery County. But I’ve never run a hard race.”
Sayles said ultimately his decision will come down to “making sure my congressional district has the best possible representative.”
Meanwhile, another Democrat formally entered the 6th District contest this week. Mia Mason, a military veteran who was the Democratic candidate for Congress in Maryland’s 1st District and briefly tried again in the 2022 cycle before dropping out of the race, is now running in the 6th District.
Mason announced her candidacy this week, noting the possibility in campaign materials that she could be the first trans woman to serve in Congress.
“My story is like so many that made me decide to run for public office,” Mason wrote in a fundraising appeal. “So many people in so many communities feel left behind, unseen and unheard. “I am committed to the visibility of the LGBTQIA community and to the advancement of rights for all of us. We deserve a voice in Congress that gives us the opportunity to be seen and heard for who we are. I know we all have a lot more in common than the radical right would have us believe, and when we work together, we can make sure our needs are met and that our representatives are doing the job they were sent to Washington. But it’s not enough to say you’re going to get the job, it starts with action.”
Mason saw five tours of combat duty over two decades in the military and later worked to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine in Maryland. He won 36.4% of the vote against U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, the only Republican in the state’s congressional delegation, in 2020.
Mason told Maryland Matters on Wednesday that he bought a home in Frederick, in the 6th District, in 2021 after previously living on the Eastern Shore. A handful of Democrats have already entered the race to replace Trone, and many more are expected to follow. Republicans will also try to compete for the 6th District seat, by far the most competitive in Maryland.
The scoreboard to tell the players
With key decisions coming soon to fill vacancies in the House of Delegates in Montgomery County’s District 17 and Baltimore City’s District 41, here is a list of all the applicants for both seats.
There will be one online public forum for District 17 candidates Wednesday evening, with the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee expected to name a replacement for former Del. Kumar P. Barve (D) next Tuesday evening. The 41st District candidates, who are vying to replace former Del. Tony Bridges (D), will appear before the city’s Democratic Central Committee Thursday evening, and District 41 representatives are expected to nominate a candidate later that evening.
Bridges left the legislature to become an assistant secretary at the Maryland Department of Transportation. Barve resigned to take a position on the Maryland Public Service Commission.
The applicants in District 17 are:
David Fallick, Montgomery College Humanities Professor Josh Fischer, who works for the Montgomery County Division of Child Welfare Services and serves on the board of the Montgomery County Tenants Alliance. Julian Haffner, attorney, former Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee member, former chief of staff to Del. Julian Ivey (D-Prince George’s) Susan Hoffmann, former Rockville Mayor Jennifer Guzman Hosey, Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee member, policy aide and policymaker Tiffany Kelly, activist and community consultant Matthew Lee, technology executive, Board member Montgomery County Economic Development Executive and former core committee member Johvet Lopez, organizer of the Montgomery County Education Association Kevin Redken, attorney and member of the Montgomery County Juvenile Justice Commission Rebecca Smondrowski, member of Montgomery County Board of Education Ryan Spiegel, attorney, Gaithersburg City Councilman and former president of the Maryland Municipal League Sabrina Still, youth and human rights advocate, former aide to Montgomery County Councilman Will Jawando (D) Keith Vance, Software Engineer Karl Van Neste, Software Executive, Vice President, Muddy Branch Alliance
The applicants in District 41 are:
Marvin Briscoe, community activist Angela Gibson, former state delegate, worked for 30 years for Baltimore City Mayor’s office Tracie Guy-Tucker, social justice advocate and consultant Roya Hanna, attorney, led an aborted campaign for 2022 Baltimore City State’s Attorney Kevin Harris. , biographical information not immediately available Lisa Hodges, biographical information not immediately available Thomas Phillips, biographical information not immediately available David Rodwin, senior attorney for the Employment Justice Project Malcolm Ruff, attorney at Murphy, Falcon & Murphy
Public funding comes to Anne Arundel
Anne Arundel County is poised to become the sixth jurisdiction in the state to adopt some form of public funding for local elections. The County Council voted in favor of the party Monday night, 4-3 a bill by Councilman Pete Smith (D), on behalf of County Executive Steuart Pittman (D), to create the public financing system in time for the 2026 election.
The Anne Arundel program will require participating candidates to accept only contributions of $250 or less. These donations will then receive matching funds, with smaller contributions matched at the higher rate.
Similar programs have been established in Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Howard County, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County, although they have not been fully implemented everywhere. Maryland has had a publicly funded system for gubernatorial candidates since the 1970s that was modernized and fully funded by 2021. It has used some election cycles more than others.
“In our democracy, the depth of your pockets should not dictate the volume of your voice,” said Maryland PIRG Director Emily Scarr. “Anne Arundel County just dealt a major blow to the role of big money in elections and is building on Maryland’s national leadership in campaign finance reform.”
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