I read with great bemusement your analysis of Tuesday’s primary results as a “push” for Senate President Mike Miller and that the “Take a Hike Mike” movement “largely failed.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only is that view starkly at odds with the postmortems from The Baltimore Sun and The Washington Post but rather, the opposite is true !
A- Democratic incumbents almost NEVER lose primaries; not a single one lost in 2014. It’s no coincidence that the last batch of incumbents to fall was in 2010 when the Service Employees International Union again led the way in targeting leadership cronies like Sens. George Della (D-Baltimore City) and Nat Exum (D-Prince George’s) who had lost their way. Winning four out of 11 races we targeted is an amazing rate of success given the forces arrayed against us and the exceedingly rare incumbent defeat rate. Mark McLaurin
B- We changed the conversation in many of those races with regards to Mike Miller. President Miller went from a largely unknown figure in most districts to an albatross around the necks of the incumbents. In Democratic debates and forums in Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore City and indeed in the governor’s race, one of the hottest topics, organically, became the candidates’ ties and/or loyalty to Mike Miller. If you didn’t know better — from Sen. Joan Carter Conway’s posturing in forums and at the WEAA debate — you’d have thought she was Mike Miller’s most bitter rival. Del. Cory McCray repeatedly pummeled Sen. Nathaniel McFadden over his ties to Mike Miller, and gubernatorial candidates fell all over themselves at the Leaders for a Beautiful Struggle debate in Baltimore City to denounce Miller and his leadership. This initiative is the tip of the spear in changing the conversation and educating the voters about what a roadblock to progress President Miller is. It’s working — it helped oust TWO committee chairs and the President Pro Tempore of the Maryland Senate, and has led independent analysts like Todd Eberly to call Miller’s presidency “vulnerable” for the first time. If that’s “largely failed,” we need more failure!
— Mark McLaurin Mark McLaurin is political and legislative director for the Service Employees International Union Local 500.