Six Months Out – Primary Day 2022 Update
The Democratic Primaries in Maryland are only six months away, June 28, 2022. There is a lot riding on them.
Congress- Control of the House will be hanging in the balance. The party in power generally loses seats in a mid-term election and the Democrats don’t have much of a margin. In Maryland there is at least one possible gain, defeating Andy Harris on the Eastern Shore. Heather Mizeur is a great choice for the seat and has already been endorsed by Rep. Hoyer. This will be a tremendous victory if we can defeat Harris and, hopefully, prevent the loss of the House majority. There is also a race to replace Congressman Anthony Brown, who is running for Maryland Attorney General, with several good candidates in the race. Senator Van Hollen and the other Congressional Representatives from Maryland will likely get easily reelected, including New Yorker “Person of the Year” Congressman Jamie Raskin.
Governor- With Hogan term-limited there is a chance to finally elect a Democratic Governor again who won’t be a stumbling block to progressive change from the Legislature. There are about 10 Democrats running in the primary. Several have good progressive records and would make good candidates. But we can’t get overconfident. Despite the Democratic leanings of the state and registrations, we’ve elected Republican Governors several times and Hogan remains quite popular (which I still don’t understand). We will have to work hard for whomever wins the nomination. And we will work hard to help you sort out the candidates and endorse the one we believe is the most progressive and the best chance to win.
Other State Races- We will also be closely watching the races for Attorney General and Comptroller. Brian Frosh did a great job standing up to the Trump Administration and Governor Hogan. We’re looking for a candidate who will follow in his footsteps. For Comptroller, we’re looking for someone unlike their predecessor who will support infrastructure projects that prioritize transit and won’t waste money and time adding luxury lanes to our roads.
Legislature- There is a lot of change coming to the Maryland Legislature with several key departures, through retirements and promotions. A few Senators and Representatives have progressive challengers that we will be supporting, though most will sail towards reelection easily. It’s good to see several Montgomery County legislators moving into leadership positions, like Delegate David Moon, a champion of criminal justice reform, becoming Vice Chair of Judiciary.
County Executive- Marc Elrich will have three challengers in the June Primary. David Blair is running in a rematch of 2018 where he came awfully close to winning (just 87 votes behind Elrich). Hans Riemer, term-limited, has entered the race after 12 years on County Council. Tom Hucker, after only two terms on the Council, has also entered the race, which could split the vote providing an opening for Blair. This will be an uphill battle for the incumbent, who has made significant progress on many progressive agenda items, despite having to deal with the pandemic during most of his term.
County Council- The Council primaries offer the greatest opportunities for progressive change. With the addition of two new seats on the council and the vacating of three seats due to term limits, and the possibility of another open seat if Hucker runs for County Executive, there could be 6 open seats on the County Council! There are lots of great candidates running already, two months before the filing deadline. We have developed a questionnaire for Council candidates in conjunction with Our Revolution and Takoma Park Mobilization which we will be distributing to candidates next month so we can make our endorsements by the end of February, soon after the filing deadlines.
State’s Attorney- Nationally, there is a movement to elect progressive prosecutors in many cities like Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles. It is an important response to the George Floyd murder and many other such incidents. In Montgomery County, the State’s Attorney John McCarthy has been in office for many years and has been slow to respond to the demands for criminal justice reform. He has three challengers this time: Perry Paylor, Bernice Mireku-North and Tom Degonia, all of which would create significant positive change in the office. We will be looking closely at these candidates in the coming months and making an endorsement soon.
Bottom line, this election could create significant change towards a more just and equitable county and state. It could produce a progressive majority on the County Council. There is a lot of opportunities in the June primary. We will do our best helping you make good choices. We have a lot of work to do. It will be a busy six months and then a busy summer/fall leading to consequential elections next November. As Congressman Raskin has noted, while every year we always say that this year’s elections will be the most important in a generation, in fact for next year’s elections it actually could be true. Keeping the House and Senate Democratic, electing a progressive Democratic Governor, electing a progressive majority on the County Council are just some of the important goals we have to achieve in the next 11 months.