Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sen. Brian Frosh's Attorney General Bid Draws Senate Interest from Susan Lee & Others // PLUS: Delegate Candidates Emerge

UPDATE: I've made a few corrections and additions to the article below. First, one of my sources noted that she expected Kyle Lierman to look at the Senate vacancy, not the potential Delegate vacancy we rumored about earlier today. There is a certain logic to this, given that Lierman raised a good chunk of money in 2010 and might see advantages to a potentially smaller field for State Senate. He did, after all, lose his 2010 Delegate race by only 356 votes in a crowded field of 13. 

Below, a D16 politico also expects several other 2010 Delegate candidates to take another shot at the race in 2014. In particular, he names Hrant Jamgochian (health policy attorney at United Way) and Charlie Chester (attorney and former State Senate nominee). Lastly, Scott Goldberg (attorney and former MoCo Young Dems President) has confirmed that he is exploring a run for Delegate in 2014.

D16 Delegate Bill Frick provided Maryland Juice the following fascinating comments about his own intentions:
DELEGATE BILL FRICK: I've got a strong interest in serving as Attorney General.  It is a job where one can make a huge difference in people's lives, particularly in protecting consumers from fraud and deceptive business practices.  As a practicing lawyer and a leader on consumer protection issues in the General Assembly, I think I am well qualified to serve.  Neither my passion for the job nor my qualifications are affected by the presence or absence of other candidates.

Last week we reported that State Senator Brian Frosh was plotting a run for Maryland Attorney General in 2014. At first, politicos pondered the impact his bid for statewide office would have on the Senate's leadership and committees. But speculation is quickly turning to what will happen to Frosh's State Senate seat if he seeks a promotion in two years.

POTENTIAL D16 SENATE & DELEGATE VACANCIES IN 2014: Based on what Maryland Juice is hearing, there may be a domino effect occurring in the near future. Specifically, if Frosh leaves his District 16 State Senate seat, there is a very real possibility that one or more of the three D16 Delegates will try to move up to the Senate. That in turn would create one or more open seats in the House of Delegates.

DISTRICT 16 BASICS: District 16 is one of Maryland's most liberal districts and is currently represented by Senator Frosh, along with Delegates Bill Frick, Ariana Kelly and Susan Lee. All four members of the delegation are Democrats.

Left to Right: Sen. Brian Frosh & Delegates Ariana Kelly, Bill Frick & Susan Lee

In 2010, Senator Frosh was unopposed in the Democratic Primary, but the race for the House of Delegates was extremely competitive. Two of the three incumbent Delegates (Bill Bronrott and Marilyn Goldwater) vacated their seats before the 2010 cycle hit, causing a stampede of 13 candidates for the 3 seats (see 2010 primary results below):

John AdamsDemocratic3740.94%

Charlie ChesterDemocratic13923.48%

Peter DennisDemocratic4191.05%

Bill FarleyDemocratic17324.33%

Bill Frick Democratic922723.09%

Scott GoldbergDemocratic12303.08%

Craig G. HerskowitzDemocratic3900.98%

Hrant JamgochianDemocratic32548.14%

Ariana Kelly Democratic512912.84%

Susan C. Lee Democratic923923.12%

Kyle LiermanDemocratic477311.95%

Michael David SriquiDemocratic6571.64%

Mark WinstonDemocratic21425.36%

The District sits in the DC suburbs in Montgomery County and consists of parts of Bethesda, Potomac, Chevy Chase, Glen Echo, Somerset, etc. See the newly redistricted boundaries below:

Maryland Legislative District 16 - 2012 Boundaries

POTENTIAL CANDIDATES WEIGHING THEIR OPTIONS: Maryland Juice has begun speculating about candidates who may run for D16 State Senate or Delegate in 2014. Below we highlight a few possibilities, but if you have additional names or are considering a run yourself, contact me: david@marylandjuice.com.

STATE SENATE CANDIDATES: First, Delegate Susan Lee has indicated to Maryland Juice that she is weighing a potential State Senate run: "Yes, I'm seriously thinking about it.  I will make my decision after speaking with my supporters and Senator Frosh." We haven't yet heard about plans from Lee's colleagues, Bill Frick and Ariana Kelly. But it seems unimaginable to me that at least one Delegate wouldn't seek the State Senate seat in the event of a Frosh departure. Additionally, at least one source thought we should leave open the possibility that former Delegate Bill Bronrott could return for a rare State Senate vacancy. Kyle Lierman, a 2010 Delegate candidate may also seek the State Senate nomination in 2014. He lost the 2010 primary by a mere 356 votes, but otherwise raised a large chunk of funds for his race.

Other names that politicos have floated are Lise Van Susteren and Reggie Oldak. Van Susteren is a psychiatrist and environmental activist who previously toyed with a U.S. Senate run in 2006. She is the sister of television Greta Van Susteren. Reggie Oldak ran for D16 Delegate in 2006 and is a women's rights advocate at Planned Parenthood and the National Women's Law Center.

DELEGATE CANDIDATES: We should expect at least a few of the 2010 Delegate candidates to take a look at the race again in 2014. Sources indicate Marc Korman is expected to throw his hat in the ring for Delegate. He is an attorney and a member of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee. He previously wrote for the Maryland Politics Watch blog. Other potential candidates include Hrant Jamgochian (health policy attorney at United Way) and Charlie Chester (attorney and former State Senate nominee). Lastly, Scott Goldberg (attorney and former MoCo Young Dems President) has confirmed to Maryland Juice that he is exploring a run for Delegate in 2014.

This list feels pretty light right now, but then again it has only been a few days since Senator Frosh dropped his bomb on MoCo politicos. It is also worth noting that D16 is a wealthy district with many politically involved residents. We expect to see some new names emerge on the scene in 2014.

COLLATERAL DAMAGE: One source made an astute observation about Senator Frosh running for Attorney General instead of District 20 Senator Jamie Raskin: "Second, and conversely, this shuts down D20 somewhat. Raskin stays in the Senate, which means Delegate Tom Hucker stays in the House, although Delegate Heather Mizeur remains a wildcard. Half of District 20 was thinking of running for one of those House seats. Some of those people are going to start thinking instead about Council, which might make the Council races a lot more interesting, particularly if D5 Councilmember Valerie Ervin pulls the trigger on an Executive run."

More on the developing D16 dynamics soon!

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