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Election 2024 Government & Politics

Political notes: Jawando’s headed to the Vineyard too, plus District 6 news and new Bd. of Elections leaders

Gay Head in Martha’s Vineyard. photo by Cornfield.

Turns out Will Jawando is raising money on Martha’s Vineyard, too.

The Montgomery County councilmember, who is competing for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination against Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and U.S. Rep. David Trone (D-6th), has a fundraiser scheduled in the wealthy Massachusetts enclave on Aug. 14 — one day before Alsobrooks is set to raise money there.

Like Alsobrooks’ event, which has an array of powerbroker co-hosts, Jawando’s fundraiser is also being sponsored by leaders in the corporate, nonprofit and political worlds, according to an invitation obtained by Maryland Matters. The co-hosts are:

  • Lisa Osborne Ross, the U.S. CEO of Edelman, the international public relations and marketing giant
  • Christal Jackson, who runs a consulting firm dedicated to building wealth in communities of color and is chair of the Africa-America Institute, a U.S.-based organization dedicated to improving the lives of Africans
  • Debra Kraft, the former executive director of the Choral Arts Society of Washington, and her husband, Robert Liberatore, a retired DaimlerChrysler executive, Democratic donor and policy expert who is treasurer of the National Democratic Institute
  • Judith Batty, the first Black woman to lead Girl Scouts of America, who is now on the board of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
  • Nasir Qadree, founder and managing partner of Zeal Capital Partners, a Washington, D.C. investment firm
  • Robin Leeds, founder and managing director of Winning Strategies LLC, a D.C.-based public affairs and political consulting firm
  • Shawna Watley, a senior policy adviser at Holland & Knight, a D.C. law and lobbying firm

In addition to raking in the campaign cash, Jawando in recent days has racked up endorsements from a handful of elected officials: state Del. Julie Palakovich Carr (D-Montgomery), Laurel City Councilmembers Martin Mitchell and Carl DeWalt (Mitchell is running for mayor there this year), Colmar Manor Mayor Monica Casañas and Mount Rainier Mayor Celina Benitez.

Palakovich Carr called Jawando “one of the brightest progressives in our state,” and added, “I strongly believe that in order for our country to succeed, we need a new generation of progressive leaders that are dedicated to addressing the pressing issues facing our collective future: climate change, racial justice, economic inequality, and so much more.”

State elections board picks new leaders, welcomes new members

The five-member Maryland State Board of Elections elected a new chair and vice chair Thursday.

Michael Summers, a Democrat, was unanimously elected chair, succeeding William Voelp, a Republican. Voelp was unanimously elected vice chair.

The panel also welcomed new members, Janet Millenson, a Democrat, and Carlos Ayala, a Republican, to their first meetings. The pair replaced two Republican members, Sky Woodward and Severn Miller.

The addition of the new members changes the composition of the panel from a majority Republican to majority Democratic board. The party that controls the governor’s office holds the majority of seats on the board, according to state law.

Dist. 6 news

Some developments in the wide-open race to replace Trone in the 6th congressional district seat:

Del. Joe Vogel (D-Montgomery) picked up the endorsement Thursday of the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, a national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ+ leaders to public office. The group noted that Vogel would be the first openly gay member of Congress from Maryland, if elected.

“We are confident Joe’s positive vision for America, political chops and grassroots support will resonate with voters come Election Day,” said former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, the president and CEO of the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund. “As anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice legislation moves through legislative bodies across the country, including Congress, we must elect leaders like Joe who will go to bat for our rights. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment.”

Vogel, one of seven Democrats currently in the race in a field that is expected to grow, said he was “honored” to have the group’s support.

On the Republican side, former Del. Brenda J. Thiam (R-Washington), who filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission last month to become a candidate, has converted her old legislative campaign website into a website for her congressional bid. The website calls Thiam “an educational and conservative leader who has exactly what it takes to fight corrupt politicians in Washington, D.C.”

A biography of the candidate says: “She set high but attainable goals for herself because her mother required it. As a Delegate, Dr. Thiam worked with the leaders through Maryland 6th Congressional District.”

“As a District, our community stands ready to embark upon a prosperous, safe, and healthy future for everyone. Delegate Thiam always put the people of Hagerstown first and will do the same for the people of Maryland 6th Congressional District. Great leadership is not afraid to challenge the existing status quo. Delegate Thiam understands that there is value in thinking outside of the box. As a Delegate in Annapolis, Brenda had the reputation of being a dedicated and focused problem solver. Brenda believes that the hyper partisan political games in session only serve as a distraction from the people’s work.”

Thiam is one of a half dozen Republicans currently in the race, but that field is also expected to grow.


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Political notes: Jawando’s headed to the Vineyard too, plus District 6 news and new Bd. of Elections leaders