Sen. Smith, Afghan War Vet, Backs Afghan War Vet Buttigieg for President

    With Friday being the candidate filing deadline for the 2020 elections in Maryland, we’ll have some sense of who is lining up with which presidential candidate, as people sign up to run to become delegates at the political conventions.

    This endorsement feels a little more significant, at least symbolically, than others: State Sen. William C. Smith Jr. (D-Montgomery) announced that he is backing former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg for president, and will seek to become a Buttigieg delegate at the Democratic convention in Milwaukee.

    In a statement, Smith said Buttigieg is “ready to confront the challenges that did not exist decades ago.”

    “Our country is changing and we need a leader that is prepared on day one to not only lead but unite Americans from all walks of life,” Smith said. “It’s more important for my president to have a vision and a plan for the next generation than to have spent a generation in a broken and polarized Washington.”

    Smith, who chairs the Judicial Proceedings Committee in Annapolis, served in Afghanistan as a Naval intelligence officer for about eight months last year. Buttigieg also served in the Navy in Afghanistan, in 2014.

    Smith will run as a Buttigieg delegate in the 3rd congressional district.

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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.