Maryland Democrats are making their pitch later this week to have more say in the presidential nominating process with an earlier primary in 2024.
Party leaders are scheduled to address the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and By-laws Committee on Thursday afternoon, as the DNC looks to shake up the nominating process across the nation and allow different regions to be represented at the start of the primary season in 2024.
Maryland is one of 17 states looking to get in on the early action, with the anticipation that some of the traditional early states in the nominating process — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — may be forced to hold their primaries or caucuses later in the cycle.
In a statement provided to Maryland Matters, Maryland Democratic Party Chair Yvette Lewis said the state would be an “asset” to the national party if it’s allowed to go early in the nominating process.
“We’re the big-tent party and Maryland is the most diverse state on the East Coast — it’s an ideal match,” she said. “Candidates would get a chance to campaign in the backyard of D.C., with a strong media market at their disposal and a chance to canvass a state that offers Marylanders from all walks of life. And our support from our leaders in the state legislature ensures that we could quickly and effectively move the election date to align with a new schedule.”
Lewis is scheduled to make the pitch to DNC leaders along with former Maryland Secretary of State John McDonough, Maryland Democratic Party Executive Director Eva Lewis (no relation to Yvette), and Brandon Stoneburg, the state party’s political director.
Other states will be touting their bids to go early at the DNC meeting later this week. State party representatives will be given 15 minutes to make their presentations, then will be expected to answer questions for up to 20 minutes.
Maryland has traditionally held its presidential primary in the spring, often after the nominating contests have been decided. One notable exception was in 2008, when Maryland, D.C. and Virginia held a “DMV primary” on Feb. 12, and it played a critical role in adding to Barack Obama’s momentum for the Democratic nomination.
Iowa officials are going to aggressively try to preserve the state’s status as the first-in-the-nation caucus, even though the 2020 caucus was plagued by technical difficulties that delayed the full count of results for three days.
But Iowa is 85% white, and that’s problematic in the eyes of many Democratic leaders. Scott Brennan, a former Iowa Democratic Party chair, said the state is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse, and that it already represents different variations in America’s population. Brennan pointed to economic diversity, and the variety of rural, urban and suburban voters who participate in caucuses.
With Democrats struggling to appeal to working-class rural voters nationally, Iowa is a good testing ground for candidates who hope to win in a general election, he said.
“We can’t just glom onto a pile of votes on the coasts and a couple big cities and hope that’s enough,” Brennan said. “It isn’t enough.”
The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee is expected to make a recommendation for the primary calendar in early August, then the full DNC will vote on that recommendation at a meeting in early September.
A big endorsement for a political tyro
Is it time to start taking Republican Matthew Foldi seriously as a possible challenger to U.S. Rep. David Trone (D) in Maryland’s 6th District?
Foldi, a 25-year-old former journalist and conservative provocateur with The Washington Free Beacon, won the endorsement Tuesday of U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the man almost certain to become speaker of the House in January barring some unforeseen GOP train wreck.
“Matthew Foldi’s campaign for Congress is critical to taking back the Republican majority and stopping the disastrous Biden agenda,” McCarthy said in a statement. “His experience as an investigative reporter will be crucial in helping our new majority hold this White House accountable. Matthew’s strong campaign has expanded the map and I’m confident he can oust another do-nothing Democrat.”
In response, Foldi wrote on Twitter: “Leader McCarthy has spent his entire career getting Republicans across the country elected to stop the radical left. I look forward to working with him to take our country back.”
Foldi has yet to show any campaign finance information, so the size of his war chest won’t be clear until mid-July. But at the Free Beacon he was good at drawing attention to himself, and his first 30-second ad of the campaign, which began airing last week, was also provocative.
“Meet Matthew Foldi, conservative reporter and outsider,” a narrator says at the top of the ad. “When D.C. Democrats and Joe Biden tried to cover up their failures, he exposed them.”
“Like this,” Foldi says, with an open laptop showing an appearance he made on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the hit Fox News opinion show.
The ad also spotlights Foldi’s work spotlighting Trone’s decision to keep his district offices closed for extended periods of time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ll stop this madness and I’ll actually show up for work,” Foldi says.
The ad ends with several young people cheering Foldi on as he walks down a street.
Meanwhile, Del. Neil Parrott (R-Washington), the 2020 GOP nominee against Trone who is trying again this year, announced Tuesday that he has been endorsed by the Family Research Council PAC, the political arm of the evangelical activist group and think tank.
The PAC called Parrott “a staunch defender of life, family, and religious liberty.” It praised the lawmaker for pushing “for the right of chaplains and business owners alike to fulfill their duties according to their deeply held religious convictions without fear of government repercussion.”
Robin Opsahl of the Iowa Capital Dispatch contributed to this report.