Veteran Operative Returns to Coordinate Democrats’ Statewide Push

A veteran political organizer who helped lead Maryland Democrats to victory earlier this decade is returning to run the party’s coordinated campaign, officials said. David A. Sloan Jr., a former aide to Gov. Martin O’Malley, starts work today. He will lead the party’s efforts to coordinate field operations and boost turnout in local, state and federal races, but the main focus will be to help Benjamin T. Jealous, the Democrats’ gubernatorial nominee, in his uphill fight against the popular incumbent, Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R). “He’s trusted, he’s organized, and he knows what it’s going to take to get this done,” Travis Tazelaar, Jealous’ campaign manager, told Maryland Matters. “I’m excited to be working with him again.” David A. Sloan Jr. Sloan will work out of the state party headquarters in Annapolis to start. “At some point in time, soon, we will open a central coordinated campaign office, location to be determined,” Sloan said. “And we’ll end up hiring a network of staffers, somewhere between 30 and 60.” Democrats are determined to avoid a repeat of what happened in 2010, when a lack of enthusiasm for Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown sank his bid to succeed two-term Gov. Martin J. O’Malley. “In 2014 we saw a drop-off of around 120,000 Democrats,” Sloan said. “I think Ben Jealous, and a focused Democratic Party, and a really robust and well-invested-in coordinated campaign, can get us back to levels of turnout that we saw in 2010.” O’Malley steamrolled over former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) that year, attracting more than a million votes en route to a 14-point win. A former special assistant to O’Malley, Sloan spent four years as executive director of the state party, including two years running the coordinated campaign. He has just finished a stint in the not-for-profit world, where he ran No Kid Hungry. His bid for a House of Delegates seat in the June 26 primary fell short. A native of Prince George’s County, Sloan also helped generate support for ballot questions legalizing same-sex marriage and the Dream Act. Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman Kathleen Matthews called Sloan a “seasoned” and “homegrown political organizer.”  “When we announced David [at a staff meeting Friday], they all applauded. They adore him,” she said. “We believe we have a great candidate, and we believe there will be a blue wave in November, but we are taking nothing for granted,” she continued. Tazelaar said efforts to reach and motivate the Democrats who stayed home four years ago will not be limited to the state’s largest subdivisions. “Those 120,000, they don’t just live in Prince George’s and Montgomery and Baltimore city and Baltimore County,” he said. “They live in Allegany, they live in Worcester, they live in Somerset and Cecil. David’s going to fight like hell in counties that we know we’re going to lose, and that’s what it’s going to take. “We’re not going to run an I-95 campaign.” Sloan added, “If we can turn out pure Democrats in a way that we saw in 2010, then the support naturally for any Democratic candidate, especially one as progressive as Ben Jealous, will push us over the top.” 
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Bruce DePuyt
Bruce DePuyt spent more than two decades on local television, including 14 years as host of News Talk on NewsChannel 8 in the D.C. metro region. He has served as reporter, anchor and producer/host of 21 This Week in Montgomery County, as well as a reporter/anchor at NBC affiliate WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, VA. Bruce also is the host of the weekly The Bruce DePuyt Podcast.

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