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Election 2022

Political Notes: Gardner Backs Perez, O’Malley Releases Ad, 4th District Endorsement News and More

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner (D) endorsed former U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez (D) for governor on Monday. Campaign photo.

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner came out in support of former U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez’s bid for governor on Monday.

“Tom Perez has a proven track record of impressive accomplishment, understands the critical importance of working collaboratively with local leaders, and — maybe most importantly — has never forgotten where he came from or the challenges our families face,” Gardner (D) said in a statement endorsing Perez, who is also a former chair of the Democratic National Committee.

“Put simply: he is ready to Get Stuff Done,” Gardner continued.

On the campaign trail, Perez regularly boasts that he is from the “GSD wing” of the Democratic Party.

A second term — and term-limited — executive in one of Maryland’s largest counties, Gardner said Perez “has the vision, the plan, the experience and the capability to deliver for Marylanders and to hit the ground running on day one.”

Perez said he was “proud to have the earned support of a historic and accomplished leader like County Executive Jan Gardener, who has done so much for our state and shares our vision to deliver jobs, justice and opportunity for every Marylander.”

Gardner served on the Frederick County Board of Commissioners during the years Perez served on the County Council in neighboring Montgomery County.

On Saturday, the Baltimore Sun endorsed Perez and his running mate Shannon Sneed. The ticket had previously captured the endorsement of the Washington Post.

>> READ MORE: Endorsements in the 2022 race for governor. 

First out of the gate with an abortion rights ad

Speaking of Perez, he was the first of the leading Democratic candidates for governor out with a TV ad on abortion rights since the U.S. Supreme Court killed Roe v. Wade on Friday (Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot aired an ad on the topic last month featuring his wife, Anne Maher, after a draft court opinion doing away with Roe was leaked).

Perez’s 30-second ad, which is running in the Washington, D.C., market, opens with home videos of his daughters at a very young age. The images continue to include still photos of Perez at work during the Obama administration.

“These are my daughters, and for the first time they’re poised to have fewer reproductive rights than generations before them,” Perez says in the ad. He goes on to talk about his career as the head of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department, where “we prosecuted extremists who bombed clinics and murdered doctors.”

Perez continues: “I want you to know, as governor, I’ll work to amend the state constitution to guarantee abortion services. So all our daughters are protected.”

O’Malley releases new ad, Brown responds

Retired Baltimore City District Court Judge Katie Curran O’Malley released a campaign ad last week questioning Democratic rival Rep. Anthony Brown’s qualifications to be attorney general.

It was the first negative ad in the race.

The ad opens with O’Malley touting her 30 years of courtroom experience in Maryland, first as a prosecutor and then as a judge.

“Now I’m running to be Maryland’s first woman attorney general. To keep us safe, to protect our rights, and to fight for equal justice,” O’Malley said.

She goes on to say that Brown, who was lieutenant governor to her husband Martin O’Malley (D), is a “fine congressman, but he’s never tried a criminal case in Maryland and he doesn’t have the right experience for this job.”

“I’ll be ready to fight for you on Day One,” O’Malley says as the ad concludes.

The Brown campaign responded to the ad with a statement, noting that he has experience with multi-party, class-action and complex legal cases in state and federal courts, and in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

“For more than 30 years I have fought for justice — for my clients, for the people of Maryland and for our country. It is disappointing that my opponent in the eleventh hour is trying to diminish my experiences,” Brown said in a statement to Maryland Matters. “I am proud of my record of delivering results — taking on cases against big tobacco and big business, advocating to change a broken criminal justice system and successfully strengthening our domestic violence and gun laws in Annapolis and in Congress.”

His campaign added that Brown also brings “unmatched experience in both the executive and legislative branches of government.”

Engineers for Ivey

The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, which represents thousands of workers living and working in the 4th congressional district, mainly at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, endorsed Glenn Ivey last week in the Democratic primary for the open seat.

Ivey, a former Prince George’s County state’s attorney, is competing in the primary against former Rep. Donna Edwards, who held the seat from 2008-2017, and former Del. Angela Angel.

“Make no mistake, the occupant of the seat in the House representing 4th congressional district of Maryland has a special responsibility to fight for our nation’s civil servants, as this congressional district is the home to more federal workers than just about any other in the nation,” said union president Matthew Biggs. “It is critically important that the candidate who fills this seat live up to the responsibility of leading on federal worker issues in the House.”

Biggs went on to say that when Edwards was serving in Congress, union leaders brought her office “data and evidence regarding a longstanding racial bias in the performance rating system at NASA — including at NASA Goddard in Prince George’s County — only to have their concerns go unaddressed, even though she had a top subcommittee position on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

“In Glenn Ivey, we have a proven leader who puts the interests of his constituents at the top of the priority list,” Biggs said. “He doesn’t just state his commitment to working families, unions, and union members. He delivers.”

Edwards’ campaign shot back by arguing that she has several key endorsements, including from leading labor unions, and criticizing AIPAC, the pro-Israel political action committee, which is funding an independent expenditure campaign criticizing Edwards.

“Congresswoman Edwards is proud to have the support of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Secretary Hillary Clinton, and the majority of organized labor in this race — including the MD AFL-CIO, 1199 SEIU, AFGE, the Machinists, AFSCME, ATU and MSEA,” campaign manager Amy Weinstock said in an emailed statement. “Rather than re-litigating 2016 grievances, it’s worth asking why Glenn Ivey’s campaign is being funded by Republican mega donors and an organization that has also endorsed more than 100 insurrectionists…”

Tales of Hoffmann

Susan Hoffmann, a fixture in Montgomery County government and politics, who served as mayor of Rockville, is retiring after 35 years in county government. Her last day on the job, as marketing manager of the county’s Silver Spring Regional Center, is Thursday.

In addition to her own political career — which includes stints on the Rockville City Council and Rockville Planning Commission — Hoffmann served as campaign manager to former County Executive Sid Kramer (D) and was a legislative analyst for Montgomery County in Annapolis. And in her role in the county government, she helped create the Silver Spring Jazz Festival and the Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade.

Hoffmann has also had a long history of civic and community work. She serves on the Judicial Inquiry Board of the Maryland Judicial Disabilities Commission; is president of the Spirit Club Foundation Board, which provides fitness scholarships for people with disabilities; is board vice president of the Theatre Consortium of Silver Spring; is a member of the Annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival Committee; and is a new board member of the Sunflower Bakery, which provides skilled job training in pastry arts and in hospitality for people with learning differences.


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Political Notes: Gardner Backs Perez, O’Malley Releases Ad, 4th District Endorsement News and More