Richard DeShay Elliott to Run for House of Delegates

    With less than eight weeks before the 2020 election, candidates are beginning to emerge for 2022.

    Richard DeShay Elliott, a progressive activist and strategist who was a leader in Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Maryland campaign and has worked for a host of other candidates in recent years, announced Thursday that he plans to run for a House of Delegates seat, in Prince George’s County’s 24th District.

    Elliott, who has written a few provocative commentaries for Maryland Matters, often attacking the Democratic establishment, says he’ll offer voters a bold agenda.

    Richard DeShay Elliott

    “Overcrowded schools. Long commutes and endless traffic. Inefficient and costly mass transit. A lack of well-paying jobs or affordable housing in our district. These problems have persisted for years, and I will combat them every day in Annapolis with real policy solutions,” the candidate says in a campaign document.

    Elliott pledges to introduce legislation to address mass transit, climate change, tenants’ rights, worker wages, tax fairness, police brutality, and more.

    “Higher wages and union protections will allow District 24 residents to earn a living wage in our backyard,” Elliott writes. “Rent control and social housing will stabilize the cost of housing for renters. Higher teacher pay and smaller class sizes will improve our quality of education. Universal healthcare, cradle-to-career education, and new school
    construction will give the next generation more opportunities to succeed. I propose these ideas, and I’d love to hear more ideas from my neighbors to implement in the Maryland General Assembly.”

    Elliott is a political science graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, but he has already worked on scores of campaigns. In his campaign document, he touts his membership in the Maryland NAACP, Our Revolution
    Maryland, Progressive Maryland, Prince George’s County Young Democrats, and the Democratic Socialists of America.

    The three Democratic House incumbents in District 24 are Dels. Erek L. Barron, Andrea Fletcher Harrison and Jazz S. Lewis. In his statement, Elliott endorses Barron for reelection — along with several progressive candidates running in other races.

    Between redistricting and potential political developments, it’s hard to say exactly what the political landscape will look like in District 24, which currently takes in a sliver of Bowie and runs south to Mitchellville and Suitland.

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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.