Teachers’ Union Airing TV Ads for Embattled Sen. Mathias

    As Democrats fight to prevent Republicans from flipping five state Senate seats — a circumstance that would make it much tougher for Democrats to override Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s vetoes, assuming he wins a second term — a powerful ally has begun airing TV and digital ads to protect one endangered lawmaker.

    The Maryland State Education Association is airing ads to support state Sen. James N. Mathias Jr. (D-Lower Shore), who is trying to fend off a challenge from Del. Mary Beth Carozza (R).

    The ad shows a grainy black-and-white photo of Carozza and images suggesting what the consequences of her policy positions might be. When it switches to a positive narrative about Mathias and his views, the images turn to color.

    “Mary Beth Carozza turned her back on our kids,” the narrator says in the 30-second ad. “Voting ‘No’ to more access to higher education. ‘No’ to improving the school construction process. And ‘No’ on more public school funding. After decades in Washington, D.C., Mary Beth Carozza turned her back on us. But Jim Mathias makes sure our schools get their fair share of funding. And supports new technical and vocational training to prepare our students for good jobs. Fighting for us. Jim Mathias.”

    The teachers’ union said the ad buy is “nearly six figures,” and is airing in the Salisbury media market.

    Mathias is a well-known and popular politician in his district, but the political headwinds are formidable for this Democrat. Hogan carried the district by 40 points in 2014 and is expected to do just as well this time. President Trump carried the district by 28 points in the 2016 White House election.

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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.