Wednesday, September 4, 2013

MOCO RUMBLES: Candidates Line Up for Del. Brian Feldman's D15 Seat // PLUS: Hopefuls Open Campaign Accounts in D18

UPDATE: A few sources have weighed in with additions and corrections to the lists below. We are scratching Aaron Kaufman from the D18 list, as he's likely to seek an MCDCC post instead of jumping into a Delegate race. Meanwhile, in District 15 sources indicate that we may have two additional potential candidates: Venattia Vann and Jinhee Wilde.

Over the last few weeks and months, Maryland Juice has met with, talked to, and heard about scores of potential candidates for the House of Delegates. But I think it's about time to drip out some of the information I've gathered with candidate round-ups for two of Montgomery County's legislative districts. Some of the information below came straight from candidates, while some of it came from trustworthy sources. Even still, you are hereby duly warned that there is hearsay published below! As always, I doubt this list is exhaustive, so if I've excluded anyone (or included anyone that shouldn't be on one of the lists), please shoot me at note at: or through my anonymous information dropbox.

LIST #1: CANDIDATES LINE UP FOR DELEGATE APPOINTMENT IN DISTRICT 15 // ONE CANDIDATE MAY SKIP MCDCC & RUN IN PRIMARY - The surprise resignation of District 15 State Senator Rob Garagiola looks like it will be triggering political dominoes in Montgomery County. At this point in time, D15 Delegate Brian Feldman looks poised to be appointed by the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee to replace Garagiola in the Maryland Senate. If that happens, Feldman's House seat will also be filled by the MCDCC, likely in October. At least one candidate is rumored to be planning to skip the appointment process and try and run for D15 Delegate in the June 2014 primary instead (details below). Below I've listed a few people who may seek appointment to a vacant District 15 Delegate seat, but note that some of these candidates may no longer be interested, while others have suggested they would only pursue the seat if they thought they were likely to win an appointment:

The following candidates listed above have filed committees with the Board of Elections: Hamza Khan filed a campaign committee on 7/23/13. Saqib Ali has an existing, active committee. David Fraser-Hidalgo has an existing committee from a prior campaign that is currently inactive but updated as recently as 8/20/13. There is at least one more potential candidate for a D15 Delegate appointment that I am trying to track down.

KEVIN MACK (AIDE TO REP. JOHN DELANEY) MAY RUN FOR D15 DELEGATE AFTER MCDCC APPOINTMENT - A few Maryland Juice sources have indicated that Kevin Mack, an aide to Congressman John Delaney, is planning to run for District 15 House of Delegates in the June 2014 primary but will skip the MCDCC appointment process. If true, this would be an interesting move to skip the possibility of being appointed to a vacant seat and instead try to message directly to voters in the Democratic Primary. The incumbent District 15 Delegates Kathleen Dumais and Aruna Miller are almost certain to be running for re-election but may be in a scenario where they are facing an appointed colleague seeking election alongside a crop of newcomers. In any case, hold on to your hats, folks -- Democratic politics in District 15 are going to remain interesting for awhile!

LIST #2: CANDIDATES PREPARING FOR POSSIBILITY OF A RETIREMENT IN DISTRICT 18, BUT WILL IT ACTUALLY MATERIALIZE? - Maryland Juice has been monitoring some very interesting events transpiring in District 18. I previously managed the successful 2010 Democratic Primary campaign for the four incumbents in D18: Sen. Rich Madaleno and Delegates Al Carr, Ana Sol Gutierrez and Jeff Waldstreicher. But over the course of the last few months, I've been meeting with and talking to potential candidates for D18 Delegate in the June 2014 Primary.

You may be wondering why there are potential candidates preparing for a District 18 Delegate run, and the answer would be that they are getting ready in case Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez decides to retire next year. Note that right now there is no clear indication that this will happen, but some are eager to be prepared in case such a scenario emerges. I decided to write about this possibility because some potential candidates have begun opening campaign committees, while others are clearly making motions to prepare. Below you can see a few names of Democrats who may jump into a race for a vacant D18 seat:
  • Rafael Alfonzo, senior consultant at Sol Systems (business)
  • Dana Beyer, executive director at Gender Rights Maryland
  • Natali Fani-Gonzalez, political & communications director at Matea Group (business)
  • Rick Kessler, president/partner at Dow Lohnes Government Strategies (business)
  • Emily Shetty, senior director of legislative affairs at Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The following candidates listed above have filed committees with the Board of Elections: Rick Kessler (formed 8/20/13) and Emily Shetty (6/11/13). Dana Beyer has an existing, active committee from her prior run for office. Note that both Aaron Kaufman and Emily Shetty are currently non-voting members of the MCDCC, so it is quite plausible that they would run for any future vacant MCDCC positions instead of a Delegate vacancy. At least two candidates mentioned above stated that they would not be running without a retirement from Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez, so if she announces for re-election, we may see a reshuffling of activity in D18 and a few disappointed candidates. Indeed, in 2010 Del. Gutierrez came in first place for the three Delegate seats in D18, so a run for the House would be an uphill challenge without a vacancy. But hopefully we'll soon know more about the future of Democratic politics in D18!

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