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Election 2022

Political notes: Teachers on the air in Frederick, candidates in breweries and a celebrity in our midst

Former Del. Heather Mizeur, the Democratic nominee in the 1st Congressional District, addresses a party unity rally in Silver Spring. Photo by Bruce DePuyt.

The state teachers’ union is on the air with a TV spot backing Frederick County Councilmember Jessica Fitzwater (D) for county executive.

The 30-second ad intersperses pictures of families and classroom scenes with pictures of Fitzwater at work.

“Frederick County families face real struggles every day,” a female narrator says at the top of the ad. “Jessica Fitzwater understands. As a mom raising two kids after the tragic loss of her husband, she’s committed to leading our communities through challenges.

“Jessica helped upgrade our schools, improve pay for our teachers, and she fought for affordable housing without increasing our taxes. And as our county executive, Jessica will keep putting us first, building a better future for Frederick County by investing in all of our families today.”

The Maryland State Education Association’s Fund for Children and Public Education Political Action Committee is investing $72,900 to air the spot on Frederick County cable channels and digital platforms.

The ad should be a welcome boost to Fitzwater, who is trailing state Sen. Michael Hough (R) on the financial front in the race to replace term-limited County Executive Jan Gardner (D). Through Aug. 23, Fitzwater had about $118,000 in her campaign treasury compared to $434,000 for Hough.

Fitzwater, who faced a contested primary while Hough ran unopposed, will also be getting a financial boost soon from her neighbors in Montgomery County. State Dels. David Moon (D-Montgomery) and Marc Korman (D-Montgomery) are hosting a fundraiser for Fitzwater on Thursday evening at Silver Branch Brewing in Silver Spring. Another 16 state lawmakers from Montgomery are listed as co-hosts for the event.

Hough is using Fitzwater’s Montgomery County event to attempt to score political points.

“Jessica Fitzwater really wants to turn Frederick County into Montgomery County North — look who is raising money for her — a bunch of Montgomery County liberal politicians,” he wrote on Facebook this weekend.

Trone not alone

Speaking of Democrats holding fundraisers in breweries, U.S. Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) has a fundraising event scheduled for Wednesday evening at the 1812 Brewery in Cumberland.

Why does Trone, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, who has seeded his campaigns with tens of millions of dollars of his own money, need to be holding a fundraiser? Ticket prices for this one begin at just $5, so it should probably be viewed as more of a “people-raiser.”

Co-hosting the event: Former U.S. Rep. Ron Klink (D-Pa.), who represented a district in the 1990’s that abuts Trone’s Western Maryland district, and Al Delia, a Frostburg State University administrator who focuses on regional economic development issues. Klink, who is now a Washington, D.C., lobbyist, might be a familiar name to some older Western Maryland residents, since he was a TV news personality in the Altoona, Pa., and Pittsburgh media markets in the 1970’s.

Trone is squaring off against Del. Neil Parrott (R-Washington) in November. Parrott has a happy hour fundraiser scheduled for Sept. 14, with former Gov. Robert Ehrlich (R) headlining, at the rooftop lounge at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda.

An old friend lending a hand

As she has during Heather Mizeur’s other campaigns for public office, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge is headlining a fundraiser for the Democrat’s congressional campaign.

Etheridge will perform at the STAR Centre in Havre de Grace on Oct. 8, with proceeds to benefit Mizeur, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Andy Harris (R) in the 1st District.

“Melissa is like a sister to me,” Mizeur said. “It’s thrilling to be able to bring such a dear friend and amazing musician to perform here in the First District.”

Bringing home the Bacon

Republicans can also have fundraisers in breweries — and bring in out-of-town celebrities.

On Sept. 22, Del. Reid Novotny (R-Howard), who is challenging Sen. Katie Fry Hester (D) in one of the most competitive legislative races of the election cycle, is bringing in Nebraska Congressman Don Bacon (R) for a fundraiser at Manor Hill Brewing in Ellicott City.

Bacon is a retired Air Force officer who serves on the House Armed Services Committee (Novotny also served in the Air Force). An ad for the fundraiser says he and Novotny will be discussing national security issues and their impact on Maryland.

Bacon also represents a swing district in the Omaha area, so he may be able to advise Novotny on how to win a competitive seat.