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Election 2024 Government & Politics Uncategorized

Political notes: Alsobrooks makes inroads in MoCo, Moore’s picks for new labor board, Sayles moves closer to congressional run

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks speaks in Silver Spring Tuesday after picking up endorsements for her Senate bid by (left to right) state Sen. Jeff Waldstreicher, state Sen. Ben Kramer, former Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, former Attorney General Brian Frosh, Del. Charlotte Crutchfield, Del. Jheanelle Wilkins, former lieutenant governor nominee Susan Turnbull, and state Sen. Will Smith. Photo by Josh Kurtz.

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks’ two principal opponents in the 2024 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, David Trone and Will Jawando, hail from Montgomery County, the state’s largest jurisdiction.

But Alsobrooks, who is emerging as the Democratic establishment favorite in the May 14 primary, continues to pick off Montgomery County elected officials’ endorsements.

On Tuesday, Alsobrooks was joined at the Silver Spring Civic Center by eight current and former officials, including former Attorney General Brian Frosh, who are backing her bid. Also present: former County Executive Isiah Leggett, who endorsed Alsobrooks on the day she announced her candidacy in May; state Sens. Ben Kramer, Will Smith and Jeff Waldstreicher; Dels. Jheanelle Wilkins and Charlotte Crutchfield; and Susan Turnbull, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 2018.

Kramer and Crutchfield had announced their intention to back Alsobrooks following her appearance last week at Leisure World, the giant retirement village in their district, according to the website MoCo360.

“We need someone to represent us who has wisdom,” Frosh said Tuesday. “Somebody with courage. We need somebody with empathy. We need someone to stand up for us, and for the least fortunate among us.”

Wilkins and Smith both mentioned the historic nature of Alsobrooks’ candidacy — she would be the third Black woman to serve in the U.S. Senate — and said it’s about time that Maryland send a Black woman to the Senate.

“I can’t wait for the moment when my daughters get to see themselves reflected in our delegation and our leadership in the state,” Smith said.

Even though Alsobrooks is facing Trone, a three-term congressman, and Jawando, a Montgomery County council member, in the Senate primary, she is holding her own against them on the endorsement front.

Alsobrooks said she has worked closely with Montgomery officials, especially during the early days of the pandemic, and expects to rack up more endorsements from county leaders and make a strong showing among rank-and-file voters.

“It has always been my belief that relationships matter, and what you see today is proof positive,” Alsobrooks said. “And these are not new relationships for me.”

Asked why they were picking Alsobrooks over their fellow local elected officials, the Montgomery officeholders appeared to freeze. Leggett, who no longer puts himself before the voters, stepped forward.

“We have three wonderful candidates,” he said. “But this is about the future of Maryland…Ms. Alsobrooks is the best candidate to win, the best candidate to serve in the U.S. Senate.”

For now, eight of Jawando’s 10 fellow county council members appear to be keeping their powder dry when it comes to Senate endorsements (Councilmember Kristin Mink is backing Jawando, while Councilmember Dawn Luedtke has endorsed Alsobrooks). The same is true for County Executive Marc Elrich. An endorsement from U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-8th), who decided to run for reelection recently rather than seek the vacant Senate seat, would be especially meaningful in the primary.

Sayles takes the next step in District 6

Speaking of Montgomery County council members, Laurie-Anne Sayles, who was elected to an at-large seat last year, took a step closer to running for Trone’s congressional seat this week. Sayles filed statement of organization papers Monday with the Federal Election Commission, which will enable her to raise money if she decides to make a congressional run. Victoria Perrone, a national Democratic consultant, is listed as the treasurer for the nascent campaign.

Sayles told Maryland Matters this week that she will decide later in August whether she will become a candidate in earnest.

The Republican and Democratic fields in the 6th District, Maryland’s one true competitive congressional district, remain fluid.

Moore’s picks for the Public Employee Relations Board

Gov. Wes Moore (D) on Tuesday announced his five appointments to the new Public Employee Relations Board, which will oversee collective bargaining activities for many public employees in Maryland. The board was created by legislation enacted this year that changed certain aspects of labor relations in state government and repealed the State Labor Relations Board, the State Higher Education Labor Relations Board, and the Public School Labor Relations Board, consolidating their duties under the new board.

“State employees dedicate their lives to improving the delivery of public services for all Marylanders,”Moore said in a statement. “The Public Employee Relations Board will streamline the labor laws that impact these vital employees to make sure state workers receive the protections they deserve.”

Moore has nominated Michael J. Hayes, who most recently served as attorney/advisor to the chair of the National Labor Relations Board, to be chair of the new board. He also served for nearly four years as director and deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. He is a member of the University of Baltimore School of Law faculty and serves as a labor arbitrator in Maryland.

The other nominees are:

— Harriet E. Cooperman, a partner in Saul Ewing L.L.P. and past chair of the firm’s labor and employment group. She was a member and former chair of the Maryland State Higher Education Labor Relations Board and has taught labor law and employment discrimination law as an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law.

— Richard Steyer, a labor lawyer who worked in private practice for 38 years and previously was an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board. He is a former chair of the State Labor Relations Board, where he served for more than four years.

— Judith Rivlin, is the impartial umpire for the Seafarers International Union Appeals Board and is a mediator for cases for the AFL-CIO. She previously served as general counsel for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.

— Lynn Ohman, now retired, directed collective bargaining and advocacy services for the National Education Association for 25 years.

All five of Moore’s picks must win approval from the state Senate during the 2024 General Assembly session.

Additionally, Moore announced that Erica Snipes, who previously served as shared executive director of the Public School Labor Relations Board, the State Higher Education Labor Relations Board, and the State Labor Relations Board, has been selected to serve as acting executive director of the new board.

This story has been updated to correct the number of Montgomery County Councilmembers who have not endorsed in the U.S. Senate race.


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Political notes: Alsobrooks makes inroads in MoCo, Moore’s picks for new labor board, Sayles moves closer to congressional run