Democrat Jazz Lewis, a former top aide to U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, has withdrawn from the 4th District congressional primary and will seek re-election to the House of Delegates instead.
The 33-year-old Lewis launched his bid for the U.S. House in October, following Rep. Anthony Brown’s decision to run for Maryland attorney general. He was part of a four-candidate primary field that included former congresswoman Donna F. Edwards, former county prosecutor Glenn F. Ivey and former state delegate Angela Angel.
Starting in January, the 4th District will include the northern part of Prince George’s County and a sliver of Montgomery County.
Members of the General Assembly are prohibited from fundraising for any office from early January through mid-April, and in an interview Lewis acknowledged that fundraising was “a challenge.” He said many of his donors had already given to candidates for governor, attorney general and comptroller by the time he launched his congressional bid.
In addition, Lewis said the boundaries of the 4th Congressional District, which were changed by a recent court order, no long overlap with his legislative district, the 24th, as much as they did before the ruling.
Lewis chairs the House Democratic Caucus and he said he hopes to return to Annapolis in January. “We have an opportunity to keep building and make sure all of the stuff I was working on, we keep doing.”
“I have a great relationship with Speaker [Adrienne A.] Jones,” he added. “She was ecstatic to hear of the pivot. So was my state Senator, Joanne Benson.”
In a statement, Ivey said, “Del. Lewis ran a strong campaign and I wish him well. I know he’ll continue to be a leader for our community in whatever he chooses to do next.”
On Twitter, Edwards called Lewis “a progressive champion in the Maryland General Assembly.”
“We both agree that change in our communities can’t wait and I look forward to working with him in the future to deliver for Prince George’s County,” she added.
Friday is the candidate filing deadline for the 2022 elections.
Dels. Andrea Harrison (D) and Faye Martin Howell (D) have filed for re-election in the 24th District and there are seven other Democratic challengers in the race, many no doubt drawn by the apparent vacancy created by Lewis’s decision to run for the U.S. House. He acknowledged that his decision to seek another term in Annapolis may complicate their plans.
“I am sure my decision is going to cause a little bit of heartburn for those who were looking to follow behind me,” he said. “I wish the best to everyone.”
Mizeur claims another fundraising record
Democratic 1st Congressional District candidate Heather R. Mizeur will report raising more than $370,000 during the first quarter of 2022 — marking a total of $1.7 million raised during this election cycle, her campaign announced Thursday.
The campaign also said that figure is a record for the district at this point in the election cycle. Mizeur, a former state delegate, now has $1.1 million cash on hand in her bid to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. Andrew P. Harris, Maryland’s lone congressional Republican.
The vast majority of donations to Mizeur during the first quarter of 2022, 80%, were $100 or less, and 77% came from Maryland, according to the campaign. Those donations rolled in even amid uncertainty over the 1st District lines, which were recently shifted as part of a state court challenge to be more favorable to Harris.
“Every day, our campaign grows stronger, as we continue to hit historic milestones that show the First District is hungry for change,” Mizeur said in a release.
Two other candidates have filed to be on the ballot in the Democratic primary, including R. David Harden, a foreign policy strategist.
The deadline to report first-quarter fundraising numbers for all congressional candidates is Friday at midnight.
Bennett Leckrone contributed to this report.