Tuesday, July 16, 2013

HMM: Saqib Ali Running for Something & Sen. Forehand Seeks Re-Election // PLUS: Young Dems, MCDCC & Labor Talk It Out

ALSO: Del. Heather Mizeur weighs in on recent Supreme Court Voting Rights Act ruling

Below Maryland Juice provides a few tidbits of news that may be of interest to those tracking 2014 campaign developments:

JUICE #1: FORMER DELEGATE SAQIB ALI SEEKS RETURN TO ANNAPOLIS - Numerous politicos forwarded us news that former District 39 Delegate Saqib Ali is planning a campaign for the General Assembly in 2014. Ali posted the news to Twitter yesterday, including a link to a new campaign website:

Interestingly, Saqib Ali's website does not mention what district he is running in or even whether he is running for House or Senate. It should be noted that though Ali previously served in District 39 before running for State Senate against Nancy King. But he has now been redistricted into District 15, where there is currently a Senate vacancy (and potentially a future House vacancy). Based on the welcome text on Ali's new campaign site, we have some hints as to how he is beginning to frame his candidacy:

SAQIB ALI: I'm Saqib Ali and I'm running for the Maryland State Legislature from Upper Montgomery County in the Democratic Primary Elections in June 2014.

I served for four years (2006-2010) as a State Delegate representing Montgomery County. During that time, I was an outspoken supporter for civil rights, government transparency and consumer protections. I believe that government should improve public health, safety, education etc -- while at the same time respecting our privacy and civil liberties. I'm looking forward to returning to Annapolis to continue persuing such reforms.

Since leaving the legislature, I have remained active in local politics and have become deeply engaged in advocating for civil rights and human rights in America and around the world. My writings have appeared in the Baltimore Sun, the Washington Post and multiple other places.

JUICE #2: DISTRICT 17 STATE SENATOR JENNIE FOREHAND TO SEEK RE-ELECTION IN 2014 - The 2014 race for State Senate in District 17 has been percolating for a few months now, as we recently witnessed some early moves for the seat by Delegate Luiz Simmons and former Delegate Cheryl Kagan. But a big question-mark has been whether the incumbent Senator Jennie Forehand would be retiring or running for re-election. The Washington Post's John Wagner recently reported that Forehand has settled on the latter (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: Maryland Sen. Jennie M. Forehand (D-Montgomery), one of the General Assembly’s longest-serving members, survived a tough primary challenge in her last election. She could be in for another one next year. Forehand, 77, said in an interview this week that she is planning to run again and attributed recent speculation about her possible retirement to “people who want my seat.”

At least two other Democrats are considering the District 17 race: Del. Luiz R.S. Simmons (D-Mongtomery) and former delegate Cheryl Kagan, who narrowly lost to Forehand in 2010. Forehand said Simmons has been “going absolutely apoplectic about wanting to be in the Senate”....

FOREHAND'S IMPACT ON THE 2014 FIELD: If Forehand does indeed seek re-election, it is unclear what impact this will have on the number of contenders in the race, or the number of open D17 House seats in 2014. Indeed, in the last week, insiders have been buzzing that at least three serious candidates would be looking at the race. We mentioned Kagan and Simmons above, but Delegate Jim Gilchrist has been rumored to be considering a 2014 Senate run, too. All three potential Senate candidates will now need to start thinking through the math of what a race with Forehand in it looks like. How this battle shapes up will also dictate what happens in the D17 House race, because if Simmons and/or Gilchrist seek a promotion, there will be one or two vacancies in the House of Delegates. Maryland Juice is already aware of a small number of potential D17 candidates for Delegate in 2014, but that's a story for another day.

In any case, based on her Facebook page, it is probably fair to say Cheryl Kagan is looking at the Senate race:

JUICE #3: LIFE AFTER THE LABOR PICKET OF MOCO DEMOCRATS? // MOCO YOUNG DEMS, MCDCC & LABOR ACTIVISTS TO MEET NEXT WEEK - Maryland Juice was very intrigued to see an event invitation from the Montgomery County Young Democrats (MCYD). At a meeting next Tuesday, the Young Democrats will be hosting a conversation on labor and the economy, and I suspect that the event is a direct outcome of the group's recent picketing of the Montgomery County Democratic Party's spring fundraising ball.

BURYING THE HATCHET? - The Young Dems have invited Montgomery County Democratic Party Chair Gabe Albornoz to participate in a conversation with Delegate Bonnie Cullison and Democratic activist Cory McCray. Notably, Cullison previously led the MoCo teachers union, and McCray works with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).  If that's not enough to pique your interest, the moderator of the event is Maricé Morales -- an aide to Senator Roger Manno who also happens to be trying to replace Delegate Sam Arora in the State House. The panel discussion will take place Tuesday, July 23rd from 7-8:30 pm at the Silver Spring Civic Center (One Veterans Plaza). Check out the MoCo Young Democrats event invitation below or online at Facebook.
Dear Juice,

Please join MCYD for the 2nd installment of our Better American Dream series focused on Labor and the Economy.The discussion will be moderated by MCYD member Maricé Morales, and feature State Delegate Bonnie Cullison, MCDCC Chair Gabe Albornoz, and BEST Democratic Club founder Cory McCray

Attend MCYD's Labor & the Economy Panel Discussion
Bonnie Cullison
State Delegate
Gabe Albornoz
Cory McCray
BEST Democratic Club Founder
Maricé Morales
Panel Moderator & MCYD Member

We will be discussing private and public sector labor unions, and their role in our county's economy and our party. We will also discuss current proposals, local economic justice issues, and what Young Democrats can do to fight for income equality and greater opportunity.

See you there on Tuesday, July 23rd at 7:00pm in the Silver Spring Civic Center. Click here to RSVP!

Dave Kunes, President
Montgomery County Young Democrats

JUICE #4: HEATHER MIZEUR WEIGHS IN ON SUPREME COURT VOTING RIGHTS ACT RULING - Maryland Juice recently caught a Baltimore Sun oped from Delegate Heather Mizeur, a likely candidate for Governor in 2014. In the piece below, Mizeur calls on those who fought for marriage equality and DOMA to direct their efforts to counter the recent Supreme Court gutting of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Much as we saw with Mizeur's Trayvon Martin commentary, I expect we will be seeing more issue-based messaging from her campaign. My hunch is that it seems likely she will be aggressively campaigning for votes from the Democratic activist base ahead of next year's primary. Getting out front on issues is one way to do that at this stage in the race. Here's a clip from her Baltimore Sun piece (excerpt below):
HEATHER MIZEUR: There was much to celebrate when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last month....

While we celebrate, we must not forget that just one day earlier the court also struck a major blow to equality, tearing down key parts of the Voting Rights Act, which ensures that minority communities have a voice in America's legislative bodies.

The Voting Rights Act prohibits state and local governments from enacting voting restrictions or procedures that discriminate based on race. To enforce these protections, the act requires jurisdictions with a history of race-based voting discrimination to clear any changes in voting laws with the Department of Justice. But the Supreme Court struck down the formula that determines who needs clearance, meaning these jurisdictions are free to enact discriminatory laws. Any federal oversight will come after the fact when the damage has already been done. Since the ruling, seven states have announced plans to enact stricter voting rules....

All of us who celebrated this great victory on DOMA must now join together to work and to organize until all forms of injustice are eradicated from our society.


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