End of the Month Summary

To think that a month ago, Maryland 2016 was going to be a sleepy little remote outpost. Hillary Clinton or another Democrat would win the state’s 10 electoral votes, Barbara Mikulski was going to be reelected for another term, and everyone would be focused on reclaiming the governor’s seat in 2018.

Well. Wherever we are now, it ain’t that place. It being the end of the month, here’s a summary post of every race that Barbara Mikulski’s March 2 retirement announcement has spawned. Not to mention the very existence of this humble and nefarious nest of rumors and whispers. Thank you, Senator Barb.

If a candidate has declared themselves not running, I’m not going to keep listing that. I’m only listing the ones with “??” who have been identified as interested and haven’t said no. I’m also leaving out CD3, CD6 and CD7 – for now – because the incumbents haven’t definitively declared for the Senate race yet.

The candidates are listed in alphabetical order in each race. No favoritism should be assumed or implied. Not valid in Indiana, Oklahoma, Alabama or where prohibited by law (didja catch the very topical LGBT references there? Y’all have to stay sharp to keep up with just how damn witty I am).

U.S. Senate

Elijah Cummings IN*
John Delaney ??
Donna Edwards IN
Heather Mizeur ??
Dutch Ruppersberger ??**
John Sarbanes ??
Chris Van Hollen IN


Anthony Brown IN
Glenn Ivey IN
Anthony Muse ??
Joseline Pena-Melnyk IN
Ingrid Turner IN (thanks, Mollie Byron, for pointing out my oversight)
Jay Walker ??


Kumar Barve IN
Valerie Ervin ??*
Nancy Floreen ??
Bill Frick ??***
Ariana Kelly ??
Kathleen Matthews ??
Jamie Raskin IN
Hans Riemer ??

* Both Cummings and Ervin are expected to declare their candidacies in the very near future.

** I don’t actually believe Ruppersberger is running. But certain national publications persist in listing him, so what the hell, right?

*** Bill Frick has been rumored to be considering both the CD6 race and more recently, the CD8 contest.

So 2021 candidates, 3 races. The prospect of a bunch more if CD1, CD2, CD3, CD6 and CD7 all open up (yes, I hate the Oxford comma. Sue me). All of the candidates thus far – other than Kathleen Matthews – are either present or former officeholders. If they all run, the reverberations of this earthquake will be felt for an entire generation – the last time something like this happened was 1986. How long ago was that? I was 23 years old, a year out of college and still had some hair on my head. Yeah, that long ago.

392 days until the primary. This is gonna be one crazy, insane and AWESOME ride. Hang with me and let’s have some fun.

Job Vacancy

I don’t need to tell anyone hanging out in this establishment that 2014 was a bad, bad year for the Democratic Party in Maryland. Lost the governor’s race, lost a net 7 seats in the House of Delegates and 2 in the State Senate, and came within a whisper of losing CD6, as John Delaney squeaked out a win that wasn’t confirmed for several days after Election Night.

So the fact that the chair of the Party, Yvette Lewis, has decided to step down is not a surprise. The most interesting question is not simply who will replace Lewis, but who decides? Normally, this is the purview of the governor, but obviously that doesn’t work this year. Who will have the most influence? Barbara Mikulski is retiring, various congresscritters are considering running for Senate, leaving . . . . who?

Party chair is not a glamorous job, but it’s an important one. Fundraising, representing the party in public, and trying to keep everyone from killing each other in private (good luck with that this year!). And it’s totally unpaid. Finding someone both qualified and interested is not going to be easy. Let’s keep an eye on this situation, shall we?

UPDATE: Apparently, this appears to have been decided before Yvette Lewis even resigned, and the answer to “who decides” turns out to be the Mikes. Not a surprise.  Josh Kurtz had his usual good analysis of the story yesterday. Go read it. Bruce Poole was a moderate delegate from Hagerstown from 1987-99, and has been a well-known insider since his legislative career ended. Thanks to Alan Brody for flagging this for me.

Susan Lee – Ready to Run?

According to my sources, District 16 Senator Susan Lee may have been the last CD8 candidate to appear on the map, but she is moving fast. It appears she may be the next candidate formally into the race in the very near future.

Two candidates who started fast in terms of the conversation appear now to have cooled in their interests: District 16 Delegate Ariana Kelly and Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Floreen. If either one has something she wants to say, I’m sure my readers would love to hear it. Hint. Nudge. Poke.

Exclusive Audio – Chris Van Hollen, John Sarbanes and Phil Andrews on Campaign Finance Reform

Hot off the presses audio you won’t find anywhere else!

Maryland PIRG had an event in College Park last night to discuss campaign finance issues. Scheduled to appear were Chris Van Hollen, Donna Edwards, John Sarbanes and former Montgomery County Councilman Phil Andrews (author of the county’s public financing law passed last year).

Van Hollen gave opening remarks and then left for another engagement. Sarbanes and Andrews spoke at length and stayed for questions and answers. Donna Edwards did not attend.

Courtesy of this establishment’s chief research minion, here is audio of Van Hollen, Sarbanes and Andrews discussing campaign finance issues. The first file is Van Hollen speaking. The recording starts about a minute into his speech.

The second file contains the remainder of the panel’s opening remarks. Sarbanes’ remarks start at about 13:35. Andrews’ speech begins at 32:05.

It’s an interesting discussion of a vitally important issue.

In Which I Tease Some More

Tomorrow morning I will have truly exclusive material that I assure you cannot be found anywhere else.

Boy, I’ll pretty much do anything for page views, huh?

But y’all responded so well today I can’t help it. By the time the clock strikes midnight, over 240 people will have viewed well over 700 site pages today alone. The previous highs were 132 and 298.

Whatever I’m selling, you’re buying. Thank you for that. See you in the morning.

House Act Blue Numbers

Most of the candidates in the emerging House races haven’t, I suspect, even formed FEC entities to receive money yet (let’s remember that it was just four weeks ago that Senator Mikulski announced her retirement), much less created Act Blue accounts. But two candidates in CD4 are up and running on Act Blue.

Anthony Brown: 24 contributions, $5,230 (average $218)
Joseline Pena-Melnyk: 11 contributions, $2,020 (average $184)

No CD8 candidate is active on Act Blue yet.

Not much of a sample to reach any conclusions, but hey, it’s there, and I saw it. So I’m sharing.

Senate Act Blue Update

A while back, before this establishment of low morals and ill repute existed, I posted on Facebook a comparison of the online fundraising efforts of Senate candidates Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards. For those who came in late, here’s what we saw:

Van Hollen: 250 contributions, $176,378 (average $706)
Edwards: 2,309 contributions, $83,149 (average $36)

Slightly over 2-1 advantage for Van Hollen, with an enormous disparity in average contribution.

With the FEC cutoff looming tomorrow (March 31), it seems like a good time to check back in.

Van Hollen: 623 contributions, $503,137 (average $808)
Edwards: 3,335 contributions, $205,476 (average $61)

Since the first update, both candidates have stepped up their game. Here’s what has happened since March 17:

Van Hollen: 373 contributions, $326,759 (average $876)
Edwards: 1,026 contributions, $122,327 (average $119)

While Edwards has made considerable progress in her average contribution, Van Hollen’s overall fundraising edge has increased from just over 2-1 to just under 2.5-1. We’ll see what the total numbers look like in about two weeks, but for now, we can say this: Advantage Van Hollen.

Go Badgers!

Rumors are swirling that the proprietor of this blog is rooting for Wisconsin at the Final Four (assuming you’re not boycotting the whole thing, way to go, Indiana). Those rumors are true. On Wisconsin! 


Shit’s About to Get Real

First the news, then an opinion.

News: Multiple sources report that Elijah Cummings will this week declare his candidacy in the Senate race.

Opinion: The Cummings declaration will break this race open, with potentially as many as 3-4 additional top-tier candidates jumping in. John Delaney, John Sarbanes. Heather Mizeur – the phone is ringing.

Six open congressional seats? Be still my heart.