Progressive Md. Launching New PAC to ‘Move the State Leftward’

    The advocacy group Progressive Maryland has launched a new political action committee to elect progressive Democrats in races for the General Assembly and local offices.

    The New Era PAC is having an inaugural virtual fundraiser on Saturday. Benjamin T. Jealous, the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor and current president of the national civil rights group People For The American Way, will speak at the event.

    “This is not a time for ‘play-it-safe’ politics,” Jealous wrote in an email invitation to the event. “In Maryland, just like in our country as a whole, we are in a new age, filled with unprecedented challenges and unprecedented opportunities, ready to be met and seized with bold, progressive leadership.”

    Larry Stafford, executive director of Progressive Maryland, said the PAC has already raised more than $20,000 from about 200 individuals in the past few weeks.

    “This is our new political project,” he said. “The goal ultimately is to continue this progress we’ve made in moving the state leftward, both in the General Assembly and at the local level.”

    Stafford said candidates endorsed by the PAC would run together as a slate and would be “highly supportive of one another.”

    The program will work hand-in-hand with Progressive Maryland’s year-old People’s Leadership Institute, which is focusing on recruiting and training potential candidates for office.

    The organization also has an independent expenditure (IE) group, the Progressive Maryland Liberation Alliance, which also raises money for political activities. Stafford said the new PAC would likely focus on open-seat races, while the IE would target Democratic incumbents for defeat.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.