By Josh Kurtz
Samuel W. Bogley last served in elective office in 1983.
He spent four uncomfortable years as lieutenant governor under then-Gov. Harry R. Hughes (D) after eight years on the Prince George’s County Council. President Reagan later appointed Bogley to a seat on the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.
Say hello to your newest candidate for Prince George’s county executive.
Bogley, 76, submitted papers to enter the Democratic primary late Tuesday afternoon, just hours before the candidate filing deadline. The Bowie resident will be one of nine Democrats running for county executive – State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks, former congresswoman Donna F. Edwards and state Sen. C. Anthony Muse are the leading contenders for now.
Bogley was hardly alone. As Tuesday progressed, a glance at the candidate rolls produced waves of nostalgia, as waves of former Democratic officeholders stepped forward to attempt political comebacks. The candidate deadline – and the few days preceding it – began to feel a little like the Night of the Living Dead.
And with all the old Democrats emerging, there is also a doozy of a Republican comeback bid: Former Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold (R) seeking a seat in the House of Delegates.
Baltimore County’s Legislative District 6, which Republicans swept in 2014, was a hive of old-school activity. On Tuesday evening alone, former state Sen. Diane DeCarlo, former Baltimore City Councilman Nicholas C. D’Adamo Jr., and former Del. Jacob J. Mohorovic Jr. filed for House seats.
DeCarlo, 72, represented the district in the House from 1995 to 2002, and was then appointed to the Senate through early 2003. After district lines changed, she lost a Senate bid in the 7th District in 2002 to now-U.S. Rep. Andrew P. Harris (R).
Mohorovic, 67, represented the 7th District in the House from 1995 to 2003, but lost a Democratic primary in the 6th District in 2002. He ran for the 6th District seat again in 2014 but lost the general election in the all-GOP sweep.
This year, Mohorovic filed to run as a Republican.
D’Adamo, 60, is making his second bid for a 6th District House seat, also losing the 2014 general election on a ticket with Mohorovic. He served on the Baltimore City Council from 1987 to 2011.
Harford County’s 34th District Senate race features two Democrats seeking political comebacks: former Del. Mary-Dulany James, who served in Annapolis from 1999 to 2015, losing a Senate bid in 2014, and former Del. Barbara Osborn Kreamer, who served in the House from 1983 to 1991 after four years on the Harford County Council. Her political career ended after an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 1990.
James and Kreamer will be competing for the right to take on first-term Sen. Robert G. Cassilly (R), who defeated James by almost 15 points in the 2014 Senate election.
Another noteworthy comeback is in Baltimore City’s 43rd District, where former City Councilman and two-time mayoral contender Carl Stokes (D) filed Tuesday for a seat in the House of Delegates. Stokes, 67, served on the Council from 1987 to 1995 and again from 2010 to 2016. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1999 and 2016.
Other comeback kids who filed in recent days:
- Former Prince George’s Del. Tiffany T. Alston (D), who spent two years in the House before being removed from office on embezzlement charges, filed to challenge Sen. Joanne C. Benson (D) in the 24th Everett C. Browning Sr., a government contractor, is also running in the Democratic primary.
- Former Baltimore County Del. Jon S. Cardin (D) is trying to get his old job back in District 11. Cardin represented the district for a dozen years and then ran unsuccessfully for state attorney general in 2014. With one of the district’s 3 House incumbents, Del. Dan K. Morhaim (D), retiring, there is an opportunity for Cardin’s comeback. His principal competition in the primary appears to be longtime activist Amy Blank, though others are running.
- Former Baltimore City Del. Jill P. Carter (D) filed to run for state Senate in District 41. Incumbent Sen. Nathaniel T. Oaks (D), who is seeking re-election, is under federal indictment on corruption charges. Former teacher J.D. Merrill is also competing in the Democratic primary.
- Former Frederick County Del. Galen R. Clagett (D) filed to run for an at-large seat on the County Council. Clagett, 76, served 12 years in the House and a decade on the old Board of County Commissioners. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Frederick in 2013.
- Former Frederick Mayor Jennifer P. Dougherty filed to challenge an old nemesis, state Sen. Ronald N. Young, in the 3rd District Democratic Senate primary. Dougherty served as Frederick mayor from 2001 to 2005, but Young, who had previously held the job, defeated her in the 2005 Democratic primary. Dougherty and the Young family have bumped into each other repeatedly since then, as Dougherty has sought several offices through the years. Jennifer M. Brannan, a research scientist, is also seeking the Senate seat in the primary – and Republicans, who hope to make a serious play for the seat in the fall, have a competitive primary of their own.
Also of note: two-term Prince George’s Del. Tony Knotts (D) decided Monday to run for his old seat on the County Council, which he held for eight years, rather than seek re-election.
That Council seat is being vacated by Obie Patterson (D), 79, who is termed out. Patterson, who also spent a dozen years in the House, has been running for several months for the vacant Senate seat in District 26, which Muse is giving up to run for county executive. Patterson will face Jamila J. Woods, a minister and social justice advocate, in the Democratic primary.
All the old Democrats are emerging, but don’t forget about Leopold’s comeback attempt in Anne Arundel County. Leopold, 75, who was county executive from 2006 to 2013 before resigning in scandal, also spent 18 years in the House and six years in elective office in Hawaii. He’s running for a House seat in District 31B, his old turf. No one is likely to knock on more doors than he will.
So watch “Night of the Living Dead” on Netflix – the 1968 original, preferably, not the 1990 remake. Or start humming Prince’s “1999.”
It’s always “Back to the Future” in Maryland politics.