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Election 2024 Government & Politics

Political notes: Reunion on the airwaves, Johnny ‘O,’ Parrott snags CPAC nod, Martinez’s theory of the case

Hagerstown Mayor Tekesha Martinez. Campaign photo.

Political lieutenants to Gov. Wes Moore (D) and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) have insisted in recent days that Moore was going to boost his effort to promote Alsobrooks’ Senate candidacy, and here’s further evidence: He’s appearing in a new radio spot ahead of the May 14 Democratic primary.

The 60-second ad opens with jaunty music as Moore introduces himself and says, “Let me tell you why I’m supporting Angela Alsobrooks for U.S. Senate.” He ticks off some of his policy victories, and adds, “Angela Alsobrooks has been a partner every step of the way. Raised in a working family, Angela gets the challenges that Marylanders faced, and she’s delivered.”

Moore goes on to list some of Alsobrooks’ accomplishments as Prince George’s state’s attorney and county executive on crime, building schools, and economic development. He ends his part of the ad by urging listeners to support “my friend” for the vacant Senate seat.

In a postscript, a narrator comes on and mentions that Alsobrooks recently won the endorsement of The Washington Post in the Democratic Senate primary.

Johnny O takes us out to the ballgame

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. (D), running to replace U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-2nd), launched a new TV ad this week that uses a nostalgic look at Olde Tyme baseball fandom and Orioles fans’ penchant for yelling “O” during the “Star Spangled Banner” to promote his message.

The 30-second spot, part of a six-figure buy across TV and digital platforms, opens with the image of an old radio that’s broadcasting a ballgame while three fans wearing baseball caps with a cursive “O” “talk stats” — then extoll Olszewski’s background and record in office. They toast twice with their plastic red beer cups as Olszewski himself walks through the door during the second toast, also wearing a baseball cap and a baseball shirt.

“They pretty much covered it,” he says, sitting down and joining the amiable crew.

Olszewski is the strong favorite in the Democratic primary and in the general election.

A third way in CD-6?

It’s widely assumed that the two leading contenders in the Democratic primary in the 6th congressional district are former U.S. Commerce Department official April McClain Delaney, who has establishment support, access to big donors, personal wealth and a husband who once held the seat, and Del. Joe Vogel (D-Montgomery), who has benefited from identity politics and hustled his way into contention.

But the race between the two is turning nasty, and sometimes in a race when the two leading candidates beginning slugging it out, that presents an opportunity for a third candidate who is staying out of the fray. Could that present an opportunity for Hagerstown Mayor Tekesha Martinez?

Of the dozen Democrats on the ballot not named Delaney or Vogel, Martinez, has run a solid, grass-roots campaign, and somewhat improbably has been a pretty good fundraiser, too. She seems best equipped to take advantage of any frontrunner discord, as two other elected officials in the race, Del. Lesley J. Lopez (D-Montgomery) and Montgomery County Councilmember Laurie-Anne Sayles (D), never quite put together robust campaign operations.

The Martinez campaign put out a memo Wednesday saying she had cemented her status as the top grass-roots candidate in the race. It touted her fundraising — $519,000 through 25,506 individual contributions with an average contribution of $25 — and her endorsements from SigmaPAC1914, the National Organization of Women PAC, Higher Heights for America PAC, and Progressive Neighbors.

The memo says, in part:

“Mayor Tekesha Martinez stands out amongst the MD-06 primary field in a number of ways:

  • Mayor Tekesha Martinez’s campaign has raised more money from contributions under $200 than any other candidate in this race and every other Democrat combined, to date.

  • Nearly 90% of Mayor Martinez‘s donations to date were donations <$200, compared to every other Democratic candidate sourcing a majority of their contributions from $200+ donations.

  • This district is a swing district. Mayor Tekesha Martinez is the only Democratic candidate who has been elected to serve in a purple area. She has faced serious conservative opponents both on the ballot and in day-to-day life as a Black woman in a red county.

  • Born and raised in Hagerstown, Martinez is the only major candidate outside of Montgomery County.

  • Martinez has a track record of tackling the issues faced by many in her community. She stayed in her hometown and became a trained mediator to confront conflict head-on — building bridges between police and communities, landlords and tenants, and next-door neighbors.

  • Martinez made history with a unanimous appointment to become Hagerstown’s first Black Mayor. She currently oversees a historical boom of economic development in one of the district’s largest cities.”

“My time as mayor and my focus on this campaign for Congress has been centered on the development of our people here in Western Maryland,” Martinez said. “As someone who has overcome broken systems aiming to prevent Black and brown communities from accessing social mobility, I am devoted to fighting to transform these systems for all communities here in Maryland’s 6th district.”

CPAC for Parrott

Meanwhile, in the fight for the Republican nomination in the 6th District, former Del. Neil C. Parrott picked up an endorsement Wednesday from the Conservative Political Action Committee, the political arm of the American Conservative Union that has become closely associated with former President Donald Trump. That has got to be a blow for one of Parrott’s GOP rivals, former Del. Dan Cox, who has sought to present himself as the Trumpiest candidate in the race — and won the former president’s support during his 2022 campaign for governor.

CPAC has previously praised Parrott for “fighting for secure elections, the right to life, and less government interference.”

Parrott, the two-time Republican nominee in the 6th District, said he was honored to receive the group’s support.

“They work diligently to promote common-sense conservative ideals,” he said. “I look forward to working to support families and individuals by defending and expanding their freedoms in Congress like I did when I serving in Annapolis.”


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Political notes: Reunion on the airwaves, Johnny ‘O,’ Parrott snags CPAC nod, Martinez’s theory of the case