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Election 2024 Government & Politics

Political Notes: Ivey endorses Alsobrooks, Trone releases new ads, a potential 6th District move

A nighttime view of the U.S. Capitol is captured from the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building. Photo by the U.S. Architect of the Capitol.

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks received more support Monday in her run for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.

According to the Alsobrooks campaign, U.S. Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-4th) represents the county executive’s 100th endorsement.

“I’m really excited for her to have the chance to do this, and it couldn’t come at a more important time,” Ivey said at Alsobrooks’ campaign headquarters in Largo.

Rep. Glenn Ivey announces his endorsement Sept. 18 for Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, left, at her campaign headquarters in Largo. Photo by William J. Ford.

Ivey, who has been in Congress for eight months, said Alsobrooks has partnered with federal lawmakers on transportation and broadband projects.

She would also support, Ivey said, federal legislation such as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement and George Floyd Justice in Policing acts. Both votes stalled in the Senate due to a filibuster, which prevented debate on the Senate floor because 60 votes were needed.

“We need to make sure we got people in the Senate who can push to make sure that we get [those] things through…” he said. “Angela Alsobrooks is the right person to do that. Can’t wait for her to get [in the Senate].”

Alsobrooks so far faces two major Democratic opponents in Rep. David Trone (D-6th) and Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando to succeed long-time Sen. Ben Cardin (D).

Earlier this month, Anne Arundel County businessperson Juan Dominguez announced he will also enter the Democratic primary as the only Latino candidate.

Meanwhile, Ivey supported Alsobrooks’ work more than a decade ago.

In the same Largo office in 2010, Ivey urged county voters to select Alsobrooks when she sought the county’s state’s attorney seat. Ivey preceded Alsobrooks as the county’s top prosecutor, holding the post for eight years.

She called Ivey’s support “de ja vu.”

“It was true then and it is true now that it’s always an honor to partner with Congressman Ivey. He’s a person of very, very high integrity. He’s so well respected for his thoughtfulness and his diplomacy,” said Alsobrooks, who already received support from Ivey’s wife, County Councilmember Jolene Ivey, and their son, Del. Julian Ivey (D-Prince George’s).

With Ivey’s endorsement, she has now been endorsed by half of the state’s congressional delegation, with additional support coming from Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-5th) and Kweisi Mfume (D-7th), and the state’s junior senator, Chris Van Hollen (D).

Alsobrooks said Monday that she continues to work with Ivey and the state’s federal delegation to relocate the FBI headquarters from Washington, D.C., to one of two sites in Prince George’s.

Another possible site, which could be decided by the General Services Administration, is located across the Woodrow Wilson bridge in Springfield, Virginia.

A site selection could happen next month, Ivey said.

Trone releases more campaign ads

The same day Ivey traveled to Largo to support Alsobrooks, Trone released two television and digital campaign ads.

The first 30-second video entitled “Fair Shake” focuses on Trone’s background growing up on a family farm in Pennsylvania where he cleaned hog pens and trudged to an outhouse in the winter. The farm was later lost to foreclosure.

“You probably wouldn’t know David Trone grew up on a struggling farm,” the narrator says. “…Then again, when you see all the bills David has passed to help struggling working families, maybe you would.”

Trone, who went on to found a national chain of liquor stores, Total Wine & More, operating in 28 states, said in an interview with Maryland Matters that he is prepared to spend $40 million or more of his own money to fund his campaign.

The campaign ad reiterated that message.

“David will keep fighting to give everyone a fair shake, refusing to take a nickel from PACs [political action committees] and lobbyists who wield such an unfair influence,” the narrator tells viewers. “Unlike most politicians, David only answers to you.”

Trone’s second ad called “Advocate” details his support for abortion rights and expanded access in Western Maryland.

Lori Richards, a member of the Mountain Maryland Alliance for Reproductive Freedom, described an instance when Trone drowned out anti-abortion protesters.

“David Trone was there, stands up and he says in his big, booming voice: ‘Reproductive rights are human rights…’ [and] completely drowns out the protesters,” she said. “David has been an advocate for reproductive freedom right from the start.”

But Emily’s List, a national abortion rights group endorsing Alsobrooks, released a statement Monday criticizing the ad.

The group said that the company founded by Trone and his brother has contributed to Republican and anti-abortion candidates and officials nationwide, including Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Some of the donations to anti-abortion lawmakers were detailed in a story last month by Time.

“When Wisconsin Republicans stood by an 1849 law banning abortions or Georgia Republicans passed a 2019 trigger ban on abortions, it was with legislative majorities Trone funded,” said Jessica Mackler, senior vice president of campaigns with Emily’s List. “Congressman Trone stood for his personal profit, not abortion rights. Maryland voters won’t be fooled.”

Trone’s campaign told Time those contributions came from his business, not the congressman himself.

Trone has also donated millions of dollars to Democratic candidates and officials and he told Maryland Matters he donates about $10 million a year to philanthropy, including progressive organizations like the ACLU.

Meanwhile, Maryland lawmakers passed several pieces of pro-abortion legislation this year in the General Assembly, including House Bill 705, which will put a referendum on the “fundamental right to reproductive freedom” on next year’s general election ballot.

McClain Delaney to leave Biden administration post

April McClain Delaney, an attorney and philanthropist who is said to be planning a run for the open 6th Congressional District seat, is resigning her position as a top official at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

McClain Delaney emailed Commerce colleagues on Monday, informing them that she will step down next week from her posts as deputy assistant secretary of Communications in the Department of Commerce and deputy administrator of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration.

“While I cannot go into detail at this time about my next chapter, I do want you all to know that this was certainly a bittersweet decision for me,” McClain Delaney wrote in the letter, which said her last day with the Biden administration will be Sept. 27.

McClain Delaney, 58, is the wife of John Delaney (D), Trone’s predecessor, who held the 6th District seat for three terms.

MoCo 360 reported last week that McClain Delaney plans to announce her run for the Democratic nomination in October.

McClain Delaney has not begun raising campaign funds because of Hatch Act restrictions on federal employees’ political activities.

Collectively, the Delaneys are worth several million dollars, and that could become a factor in the race if McClain Delaney chooses to self-fund a campaign.

The open-seat 6th District race is expected to be the most competitive in Maryland in 2024 and one of the most competitive in the country.

And while more than a half-dozen candidates have already come forward in the Democratic and Republican primaries, several others are expected to enter the fray before the February candidate filing deadline.

The first candidate forum for Republicans seeking the seat will be held Wednesday in Germantown.


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Political Notes: Ivey endorses Alsobrooks, Trone releases new ads, a potential 6th District move