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Potomac Rising PAC Mobilizes Marylanders to Aid Va. Dems

Members of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers in Maryland send postcards into Virginia on behalf of Democratic legislative candidates. Photo courtesy of Brian Kildee

Over the past few weeks, leaders of the new political action committee Potomac Rising and their allies have been directing money and mailers into Virginia, where critical legislative elections are about to take place. On Election Day, the PAC will be sending volunteers into a swing district.

The new PAC, whose creation was first reported by Maryland Matters, was set up by Democratic and labor operatives earlier this year to help Democratic candidates in Maryland and Virginia. With control of the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates up for grabs this week, the focus so far has been on the commonwealth exclusively.

Since the PAC was launched, two fundraisers have been held in Maryland. The first one, in mid-September in Gaithersburg, focused on the possibility of passing the Equal Rights Amendment if control of the Virginia legislature flips; last week, the group’s second fundraiser, in Chevy Chase, was headlined by U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).

In addition to the fundraisers, the PAC organized three postcard-writing parties in Maryland this fall, one featuring Democratic activists and retirees from the Service Employees International Union Local 500, another with current SEIU Local 500 members, and a third with members of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers. The efforts produced more than 1,600 mailings overall — many in support of Democrat Larry Barnett, who is challenging Del. Roxann Robinson (R) in a Richmond-area district. The theme of those mailings was the ERA.

For Election Day, the PAC has been recruiting volunteers for J Walkers Action Group, a progressive organization in Montgomery County that dispatched campaign volunteers to 10 different states in the 2017 and 2018 election cycles.

On Tuesday, Brian Kildee, the Maryland-based co-founder of Potomac Rising, is driving a van of volunteers into Virginia’s House District 40 — the last district in Northern Virginia still represented by a Republican. The volunteers will be working to elect Democrat Dan Helmer, who is challenging Del. Tim Hugo (R).

The PAC plans to focus on Virginia congressional elections in 2020, state elections there in 2021, and Maryland state elections in 2022.

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Potomac Rising PAC Mobilizes Marylanders to Aid Va. Dems