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Election 2024 Government & Politics

Political Notes: Ruppersberger endorses Trone, Alsobrooks wins straw poll, Cardin questions move by ‘Coach’

A view of the U.S. Capitol. Photo by Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom.

Although U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-2nd) hasn’t formally announced his future political plans, he did announce support for one of his colleagues.

In a video released Monday, the congressman who has been in office since 2002, endorsed Rep. David Trone (D-6th) in his bid to seek the Democratic nomination to replace longtime Sen. Ben Cardin (D). Cardin doesn’t plan to seek reelection next year.

“Believe me, when I tell you, I know an ally when I see one,” Ruppersberger said. “David Trone has been an ally to Baltimore City and the county since his first day in the House of Representatives. Experience matters and David is ready to hit the ground running. His sleeves are already rolled up.”

Ruppersberger represents the first person from Maryland’s congressional delegation to back Trone for Senate. U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D) and Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-5th), Glenn Ivey (D-4th), and Kweisi Mfume (D-7th) have endorsed Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) in the race.

Trone celebrated Ruppersberger’s support.

“He is homegrown Baltimore, and he’s been an incredible partner in the House while we fight to deliver results on addiction, mental health, criminal justice reform and more,” Trone said in a statement. “I made the same promise to Dutch that I’ll make to every Baltimorean and Marylander: As Senator, I will always put you first and fight to deliver progress and opportunity for you and your communities.”

On Thursday, Trone received a separate major boost in his campaign with the support from the Maryland State Education Association’s representative assembly.

The state teachers’ union, which doesn’t formally vote on federal elections, will forward Trone’s name to the National Education Association. The group’s political action committee council is scheduled to vote this month.

Top Senate candidates traveled to Cambridge this weekend to participate in an Eastern Shore Democratic Summit.

After a forum on Friday, Alsobrooks won in a straw poll with 125 votes. Trone came in second with 98 votes and Anne Arundel County businessman Juan Dominguez with 15.

In a message on X, Alsobrooks said she was “humbled” to win the straw poll.

Cardin: Tuberville needs to ‘pick a different play’

In a weekly letter to constituents, U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D) suggested that Sen. Tommy Tuberville — the retired college football coach and lawmaker from Alabama — should take a “time out” from his blockade on military appointees.

“For the last eight months he has singularly had a hold on a growing number of hundreds of military promotions for senior nonpartisan officers from all service branches. It’s wrong and Senator Tuberville is the only person who won’t admit it and change course,” Cardin wrote.

Tuberville has led a blanket freeze on Senate confirmations for military appointees in protest of a Pentagon abortion policy.

Local commands stuck in the freeze include key positions at Fort Meade, as well as the superintendent of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis.

Tuberville objected in June to the confirmation of Admiral Yvette Davids, who would be the first woman to fill the role. And last week Tuberville objected to more than five dozen military promotions brought to the Senate floor by fellow Republicans, all veterans.

“Coach Tuberville — because he likes to be called Coach and not Senator — what else can we do or say to make you understand the seriousness of what you are doing? If you will not listen to Democrats, listen to your own party. Listen to the Pentagon,” Cardin wrote in his letter. “What started as a misdirected block is truly creating scoring opportunities for the other side. Our rivals, China, Russia and Iran, are sitting back and laughing at the self-inflicted fouls we are committing. Coach, you need a time out.”

“…No coach would keep their best players on the sidelines during a bowl game. As a nation, as a global power, we cannot afford to keep our best military men and women on the sidelines during one of the most volatile periods this nation has faced in decades,” Cardin continued.

The retiring senator said he would continue to work with colleagues “on both sides of the aisle to find the second-most efficient and expeditious way to end this senseless blockade. The best way is for Senator Tuberville to stop this absurdity and pick a different play.”

More than 350 military promotions are currently in limbo. If Tuberville’s blanket hold continues until the end of the year, the Department of Defense has estimated that 89% of all senior officer positions will be affected.

Cardin promised to keep constituents updated “as this crisis continues.”


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Political Notes: Ruppersberger endorses Trone, Alsobrooks wins straw poll, Cardin questions move by ‘Coach’