Union Opposing Senate President Backs Candidates Likely to Annoy Him

One of the unions that made a splash by holding a rally opposing Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (D-Calvert) on the last day of this year’s General Assembly session has taken the next step in its campaign to tweak the veteran lawmaker by endorsing 11 state Senate candidates in the June 26 Democratic primary.

 

Service Employees International Union Local 500 said Monday that the candidates it is endorsing will go to Annapolis and change the leadership in the state Senate and change the way things are done in the legislature.

 

“We need to elect people who will stand up against the status quo in the state Senate. That is why, today we are announcing our support for a team of Senate candidates who will do what it takes to get the people’s business done” said Merle Cuttitta, president of SEIU Local 500.

 

 

SEIU Local 500 President Merle Cuttitta (right) with Aletheia McCaskill, who was endorsed by the union Monday.

 

 

“We will be supporting this team of candidates with our trademark boots on the ground, digital, paid mail and earned media. We intend to send the message loud and clear that a vote for these candidates is a vote for progress in Annapolis,” Cuttitta said.

 

Some of the candidates the union endorsed are longshots — including Tommi Makila, who is challenging Miller in the District 27 Democratic primary. Others are in the thick of competitive races — in many cases, against incumbent senators.

 

Besides Makila, the Local 500 endorsements go to:

 

District 10 (Baltimore County) – Attorney Rob Johnson, who is challenging six-term Sen. Delores G. Kelley.

 

District 11 (Baltimore County) – Attorney Sheldon Laskin, who is challenging Senate Judicial Proceedings Chairman Robert Zirkin.

 

District 18 (Montgomery County) – Dana Beyer, a former Montgomery County official in a three-way open seat primary.

 

District 23 (Prince Georges County) – Businessman Tim Adams, who is challenging Senate Majority Leader Douglas J.J. Peters.

 

District 25 (Prince Georges County) – Del. Angela Angel, who is running in a three-way open seat primary.

 

District 40 (Baltimore City) – Del. Antonio Hayes, who is challenging Sen. Barbara A. Robinson.

 

District 41 (Baltimore City) – Newly-appointed Sen. Jill P. Carter, who is in a three-way primary as she seeks a full term.

 

District 43 (Baltimore City) Del. Mary Washington, who is challenging Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Chairwoman Joan Carter Conway.

 

District 44 (Baltimore City and County) – Union organizer Aletheia McCaskill, who is challenging Sen. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam.

 

District 45 (Baltimore City) – Del. Cory V. McCray, who is challenging Senate President Pro Tem Nathaniel J. McFadden.

 

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Josh Kurtz
Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.

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