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Election 2022

Political Notes: Edwards’ Video, Anne Arundel GOP Poll, Jain’s Running Mate and More

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ashwani Jain announced LaTrece Hawkins Lytes as his running mate Friday. Campaign photo.

Former U.S. Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D) appears to be moving closer to running for her old congressional seat.

Edwards told Maryland Matters Wednesday that she wasn’t prepared to comment about her political plans but would have something to say before too long.

But a text obtained by Maryland Matters Thursday from Edwards to a political supporter suggests she is gearing up to announce very soon. She is inviting people to join her as she shoots a campaign video at the Sandy Spring Museum on Saturday.

“Donna Edwards here,” she wrote. “Hope you are well. I have decided to run for the new CD4, which now again includes Montgomery County. I hope to have your support.

“I am doing a campaign launch video filming on Saturday at Sandy Spring Museum at 8:30 a.m. Would you be able to join us?”

The text concludes by listing the address for the museum, site of a former plantation where Black people were enslaved.

Edwards held the 4th District congressional seat from 2008 to the end of 2016. She lost Democratic primaries for U.S. Senate in 2016 and Prince George’s County executive in 2018. But she’s expected to be formidable if she pulls the trigger on another congressional run.

The other Democrats in the race are former state Del. Angela Angel, former Prince George’s State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey, and state Del. Jazz M. Lewis.

Haire tops McMillan in GOP poll

Anne Arundel County Councilmember Jessica Haire has a solid lead over former state Del. Herbert R. McMillan in a test of the leading Republican candidates for county executive.

The survey, conducted for Haire’s campaign by the Tarrance Group, a national GOP polling firm, showed Haire with 38% of the vote compared to McMillan’s 24%. Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed said they were undecided.

The poll of 300 likely Republican primary voters, taken Monday through Wednesday, had a relatively high 5.8-point margin of error. A source close to Haire’s campaign shared the survey with Maryland Matters Thursday.

Haire and McMillan, along with business consultant Chris Jahn, and former county councilmember John J. Grasso, who filed to enter the race on Thursday, are competing for the right to take on County Executive Steuart Pittman (D) in the fall.

In a memo, pollster Brian C. Tringali noted that Haire leads the one-on-one matchup “despite the fact that the other Republican candidate is nearly as well-known.”

Fifty-nine percent of the Republicans surveyed said they were aware of Haire; 39% viewed her favorably, while 7% said they had an unfavorable view. Fifty-three percent of the Republicans said they knew of McMillan; 26% viewed him favorably and 10% viewed him unfavorably.

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) and former President Trump were about equally popular among Anne Arundel Republicans, the poll found. Hogan had a 73%-18% favorable-unfavorable rating, while Trump’s was 70%-24%.

The news that Grasso just entered the race should benefit Haire and is likely to cut into McMillan’s support. Haire has spent more than $60,000 a month for the past three months on digital ads and ads that air on the Fox News Channel, and is likely to keep the ad blitz going through the June primary, the source close to the campaign said.

The poll also contains some bad news for Pittman. Thirty-two percent of the Republicans surveyed said Anne Arundel is heading in the right direction, while just 57% said it is on the wrong track.

“That is a condition not likely to aid a sitting incumbent,” Tringali wrote.

Jain announces running mate

Ashwani Jain, an underdog gubernatorial candidate and former Obama administration official, is announced his running mate early Friday.

LaTrece Hawkins Lytes, who has worked as an advocate with the University of Maryland Medical Center, Maryland Endocrine, the First Baptist Church of Highland Park, and the American Diabetes Association, is Jain’s lieutenant governor pick, according to a news release.

Lytes is a mother of four and Juvenile Type 1 diabetes survivor who was born in Baltimore and raised in Landover in Prince George’s County, the campaign said.

“My family and I are really just your average, typical Maryland family. We work hard and try to make ends meet while taking care of each other,” Lytes said in a statement. “We don’t have fancy titles or big political connections. But we do best by our God, our family and our community.”

Lytes doesn’t have a political background, but said she felt “hopeful” after meeting Jain.

“His work in making our politics more inclusive and accessible — for regular people like you and me — is so inspiring and I’m honored to be his running mate,” she said.

Jain described Lytes as the “ideal choice” for his lieutenant governor candidate. He said Lytes “understands the everyday challenges that Marylanders across the state face and has experience working with individuals and organizations in community service roles.”

Brown’s Black Baltimore backers

Several leading Black political leaders from Baltimore City and Baltimore County have endorsed U.S. Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D) in his bid for state attorney general, the Brown campaign announced Thursday.

The list features Baltimore City Council President Nick J. Mosby, state Sen. Jill P. Carter, Sen. Charles E. Sydnor III, House of Delegates Majority Whip Talmadge Branch, Del. Chanel Branch, and Baltimore City Councilmembers Robert Stokes Sr. and Antonio Glover.

The endorsements aid Brown, who comes from Prince George’s County, in the Baltimore area as he competes in the Democratic primary with Baltimore-based Catherine Curran O’Malley. They also serve as a reminder that some Black leaders in Baltimore have an uneasy relationship with O’Malley’s husband, former Gov. Martin J. O’Malley (D) — whom Brown served as lieutenant governor.

“Anthony Brown has a moral compass and a penchant for justice,” Carter said in a statement. “Throughout his career, he has maintained integrity and humility while championing for marginalized, disenfranchised, and underserved people and communities.”

Brown touted the endorsement from Mosby on the day Mosby’s wife, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby (D), was indicted by federal prosecutors.