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Here’s how fundraising is shaping up for potential Alsobrooks successors in Prince George’s

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy (D) speaks Nov. 28, 2023, at a community forum on juvenile justice at Bowie State University. Photo by William J. Ford.

Only one Maryland county is electing an executive in 2024.

That’s in Cecil County, where voters choose their executives in presidential election years instead of in gubernatorial years like their counterparts across the state. This year, Cecil County Executive Danielle Hornberger (R) is battling for a second term.

But depending on the outcome of this year’s U.S. Senate election, there could be a special election in Maryland for a county executive position in early 2025. If Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) wins the race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D) in November, there are three scenarios for replacing her in county government.

If Alsobrooks chooses to resign before she hits the second anniversary of the date she was sworn in for a second term, which is Dec. 5, a special election would be held to replace her in early 2025, with the winner serving until the end of her term in December 2026. If Alsobrooks resigns after that date — members of the next Congress will take office on Jan. 3, 2025 — the 11-member county council will choose one of their own as the interim county executive. But if the council deadlocks on that vote for two weeks, the person who is county council president at the time would ascend to the top job.

So in the Prince George’s version of the hit series “Succession,” there could be a few different campaigns taking place. Even if she loses the Senate race, Alsobrooks will serve as county executive through December 2026, when she is termed out of office. So that could be one election to replace her.

Then there is the prospect of a potential special election, and then there is the possibility of a council vote, which would have its own “Survivor”-like qualities. Nothing is certain, and depending on the timing and circumstances of a race to replace Alsobrooks, the cast of characters could change.

Still, if there is a special election next year — or a regular election in 2026 — State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy (D) and Councilmember Calvin Hawkins (D) are seen as the likeliest candidates to run to succeed Alsobrooks. Both have raised money at a steady clip and both are regularly making the countywide political scene; as the county’s top prosecutor, as Alsobrooks was before her, Braveboy has an especially high profile.

Also mentioned as possible Democratic candidates: Bowie Mayor Tim Adams, who is personally wealthy; former two-term County Executive Rushern Baker; state Treasurer Dereck Davis; and County Council President Jolene Ivey. Others could eye the succession scramble depending on when it happens and who’s involved.

If succession came down to a council deadlock, Ivey could have the upper hand. But council presidents’ terms often only last a year, so someone else could be in the job by the time a hypothetical council vote takes place to replace Alsobrooks. It’s all very complicated.

As of the latest campaign finance reports, which were filed two weeks ago showing activities between mid-January of last year and Jan. 10 of this year, Hawkins had the tiniest edge over Braveboy in cash on hand. He reported $275,817.45 in the bank on Jan. 10, after raising $332,869.79 over the previous year and spending $113,130.44 during that period.

Hawkins reported 57 contributions of $2,000 or more, many from development and real estate interests, law firms and county businesses. Former Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) chipped in $2,000.

Braveboy banked $269,232.94 on Jan. 10. She reported raising $170,425.88 in the previous year and spending $82,686.44 during that period. A dozen donors gave Braveboy $2,000 or more — including U.S. Rep. David Trone (D-6th), who is competing against Alsobrooks in the Democratic Senate primary, and June Trone, the congressman’s wife.

Ivey was next, with $132,349.03 in the bank as of Jan. 10. She raised $122,310 during the previous year and spent $24,488.87 in that time. Ivey reported receiving 23 contributions of $2,000 or more — including from her husband, U.S. Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-4th), who “maxed out” with a $6,000 donation.

Davis, who became treasurer in January 2022 after 27 years in the House of Delegates, raised eyebrows by scheduling a fundraiser last summer and keeping his campaign account open. State treasurers are appointed to the office by the General Assembly and do not have to run traditional campaigns for the job.

When he scheduled a fundraiser for a rooftop bar in Annapolis last summer, Davis told Maryland Matters that he had no political campaign in mind but wanted to keep his options open.

“It’s not necessarily that I’m eyeing something or I’m making plans to leave. I’m not,” Davis said. “I am extremely happy and grateful for this opportunity that I have but I think I’m still young enough, not young anymore, but still young enough that I don’t know what my future holds. But I do want to be prepared.”

But while he did collect some funds over the past year, pulling in donations from lobbying firms and some entities that might have business before the Board of Public Works, he did not raise nearly as much as the two other board members, Gov. Wes Moore (D) and Comptroller Brooke Lierman (D). Davis reported $43,750 in contributions in the past year, and doled out $59,560.77, finishing with $45,488.73 in the bank. A substantial amount of his campaign cash went for a reception in Ocean City for attendees of the Maryland Association of Counties summer conference.

Adams, a wealthy federal contractor, reported $41,276.30 in a state political account left over from his unsuccessful run for comptroller in 2022 and a run for state Senate in 2018. Adams largely self-funded those efforts and was carrying almost $4 million in campaign debt as of Jan. 10. He was just elected to a second four-year term as mayor Bowie, but that wouldn’t preclude a run for county executive.

Baker, who served as county executive from 2010 to 2018 and then unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for governor twice, is pondering a political comeback, according to several political and civic leaders. Baker has two political committees open with the Maryland State Board of Elections, but neither has been active recently. One account had $1,473.13 in it, and the other had a cash balance of zero.

Cecil County fundraising

In conservative Cecil County, the Republican primary is tantamount to election. Unless any last minute contenders come forward, Hornberger, the incumbent, is facing a challenge in the May 14 primary from Adam Streight, a sergeant in the Cecil County Sheriff’s Department and former president of the Friends of the Police Lodge 2, the local police union. The filing deadline is Feb. 9.

Hornberger reported $142,021.79 in her campaign account as of Jan. 10 after raising $123,230 in the previous year. She spent $25,553.83 during that period.

Streight ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the House of Delegates in 2022, losing by just 116 votes to Del. Kevin B. Hornberger (R) — the county executive’s estranged husband — in a three-way primary. He’s far behind the incumbent on the fundraising front, with $18,742.66 on hand on Jan. 10 after raising $31,644.17 and spending $13,728.08.

Democrat Bill Kilby, a retired farmer and husband of former Cecil County Commissioner Phyllis Kilby (D), reported raising just $1,025 last year — $1,000 from his wife. But he didn’t spend a penny, and had $1,025 in the bank as of Jan. 10.


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Here’s how fundraising is shaping up for potential Alsobrooks successors in Prince George’s