New Raskin Endorsements

Nine former presidents of the Woman’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County endorsed Jamie Raskin for Congress today. Press release from the Raskin campaign:

Raskin Announces Endorsement from 9 Former Presidents of the Woman’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County

 SILVER SPRING – With fewer than 100 days left until the April 26th Primary Election, Maryland Senator Jamie Raskin announced the endorsement of nine former presidents of the region’s leading woman’s political group in Montgomery County. (PHOTO ATTACHED)

“The support of these key Democratic leaders is big news and shows Senator Raskin’s broad and deep support among women in the 8th District,” said Raskin’s Deputy Campaign Manager Christa Burton. “Jamie has been endorsed by the Sierra Club, Attorney General Brian Frosh and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, but it’s hard to think of a more important grassroots endorsement in this campaign than from the women who’ve led our local Democratic forces for over four decades and created one of the strongest county Democratic parties in America.”
Dorothy Barthelmes, Madeleine Sigel, Roberta Hochberg, Anne Healy, Susan Messitte, Daphne Bloomberg, Carole Brand, Jane Merkin, and Beth Tomasello, all of whom served as president of the Woman’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County, have enthusiastically endorsed Raskin’s surging campaign for Congress in the 8th District. Their collective leadership over the largest and most active Democratic club in Montgomery County spans four decades, dating back to 1973.
Carole Brand, who served two terms as President (1999-2001, 2001-2003), said, “Jamie is an effective, proven legislator, responsive to constituents’ concerns, and with a strong record of working hard to make life better for the citizens of Maryland. That’s why Jamie Raskin is my choice for Congress!”
The former presidents’ backing of Raskin’s congressional candidacy underscores a groundswell of endorsements he has received from women political leaders across the 8th Congressional District. More than 550 women have enlisted in the Women Win With Jamie team, a grassroots effort to spread his message of effective progressive leadership to woman voters throughout the Congressional District.
Another former president, Jane Merkin (President 2011-2013), stated that Senator Raskin “knows how to work across the aisle, how to build coalitions and how to compromise. These are the skills which we all know are currently lacking in the U.S. Congress — and which Jamie will bring to a Capitol Hill that sorely needs them.” Merkin pointed to Raskin’s leadership in the successful fights for marriage equality, voting rights, gun safety and environmental protection.
The Woman’s Democratic Club, formerly known as the Woman’s Suburban Democratic Club of Montgomery County, is an activist group of political women and men, including those in the legislature and prominent in state and county government. Founded in 1956 by women who ran Adlai Stevenson’s Bethesda campaign office, the club began its tradition of hosting stellar speakers in 1957 by featuring Eleanor Roosevelt. Senator Raskin has been a dues-paying member of the club, as well as a featured speaker, for nearly 15 years.
Among Raskin’s most recent supporters is Town of Chevy Chase council member Kathy Strom, a three-term former mayor of the Town of Chevy Chase. Strom joined 11 other female elected officials within the 8th District who support Raskin’s campaign, including Senators Susan Lee and Karen Montgomery, Delegates Sheila Hixson, Kathleen Dumais, and Karen Lewis Young, Glen Echo Mayor Debbie Beers, Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart, Chevy Chase Board of Managers member Minh Le, Board of Education current and former members Patricia O’Neill, Judith Docca, Rebecca Smondrowski and Shirley Brandman.
“This news is enormously gratifying,” said Senator Raskin. “These endorsements are worth their weight in gold because serious grassroots support like this is earned over years of hard work, common struggle and public service and cannot be bought. I look forward to continuing to work with these great activists for victory in April and November and for big progress in Congress and in America.”

BREAKING/EXCLUSIVE: CWA Endorses Pena-Melnyk in CD4

Breaking news just in to the Maryland Scramble newsroom:

Maryland/DC State Council and Local 2108 of the Communications Workers of America Endorse Joseline Peña-Melnyk

LAUREL, MD – The Communications Workers of America announced today that they will be supporting Joseline Peña-Melnyk in the highly competitive Democratic Primary for Maryland’s 4th Congressional District. This is the first major endorsement of 2016 and fourth major labor endorsement for the Joseline Peña-Melnyk for Congress Campaign.

“I’m am honored to have the support of the Communications Workers of America,” said Peña-Melnyk. “Working families are the back bone of Maryland’s 4th Congressional District and this country. I am ready to fight for the future of our hard working families in Congress.”

Marilyn Irwin, President of the Communications Workers of America Local 2108, released the following statement, “Whether as our local representative or as our Delegate, Joseline has always made working families her first priority. We are happy to put our support behind such a tremendous advocate for our members and their families.”

Echoing the statement of her colleague, Communications Workers of America President of Maryland/DC State Council, Jenny Sylvester, released the following statement, “The CWA Maryland State Council and Local 2108 of the Communications Workers of America are proud to stand with Joseline Peña-Melnyk. We need a new generation of leadership who will fight for working families not corporations. Joseline’s record and tireless work ethic made her the natural choice to represent the CWA and our workers in Congress.”

Sol-Gutierrez Endorsement

Delegate Ana Sol-Gutierrez today received the endorsement of leading immigration reform advocate Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois for the CD8 primary. Here’s the press release:

MD Candidate Ana Sol-Gutiérrez Endorsed by Top Leader for Immigration Reform: Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Chevy Chase, MD–Maryland Congressional Candidate Ana Sol-Gutierrez today announced receiving the endorsement from Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois).

“I am honored to have received the endorsement of my hero, Congressman Luis Gutierrez, for my Congressional campaign to represent Maryland’s 8th Congressional District,” stated MD Delegate Ana Sol- Gutierrez. “For the past decade, we have been fighting together to change the inhumane U.S. immigration system that impacts the lives of millions of hard working immigrant families every single day. His endorsement validates my long-standing record of actions in support of fair and just immigration policies. I am encouraged that I do not stand alone in opposition to the racism and xenophobia being promulgated by Trump, Cruz, and other Republican hopefuls.”

In addition to this important endorsement from Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Democratic Candidate Ana Sol-Gutiérrez has been endorsed by a number of national, state, and local organizations, including: BOLD PAC, the political arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus representing its 26 current Latino members; the Executive Board of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL), which represents over 300 state legislators nationwide; a number of Congressional Latino leaders including Congressmen Tony Cardenas, Chair of BOLD PAC, Xavier Becerra, Ruben Hinojosa, and Congresswoman Norma Torres ; WAND PAC, WAND PAC, a national organization of women legislators, activists, and leaders promoting peace and security worldwide; CASA en ACTION, the political arm of Maryland’s largest Latino immigrant organization CASA DE MARYLAND; and many more.

NOTE: Candidate Sol-Gutierrez was the first Latina elected in the State of Maryland and the FIRST Salvadoran- American elected in the United States. Congressman Gutierrez and Del. Gutierrez have been arrested together four times while protesting immigration policies at the White House.

BREAKING: Sierra Club Endorses Van Hollen [UPDATED]

Third breaking story of the day and it’s only 3:00. John Fritze has the story:

Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s campaign for Senate picked up the endorsement Monday of the Sierra Club, the latest nod to the role climate change and the Chesapeake Bay could play in the Democratic primary to replace Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski.

“We have seen his record for the past decades,” the group’s president, Aaron Mair, said on the shore of the Anacostia River in Bladensburg. “Chris is a climate champion and he has shown that he has the fortitude to craft and pass legislation to combat” climate change.

Donna Edwards didn’t let the moment pass without highlighting a dissenting opinion from within the Sierra Club board.

Shortly before the event began, Van Hollen’s opponent, Rep. Donna Edwards of Prince George’s County, highlighted two Sierra Club members who questioned the group’s decision.

“Donna Edwards is the clear choice for Marylanders concerned about our environment,” Bonnie Bick, political chair of the Southern Maryland group, said in a statement released by the Edwards campaign. “These dangerous trends cannot be reversed unless we choose brave and bold leaders who are committed to a better future.”

In the end, however, another significant endorsement for Van Hollen.

UPDATE: Informed sources advise that the vote for Van Hollen was “overwhelming,” and that Ms. Bick was the only member of the Sierra Club board to dissent from the endorsement.

BREAKING: Matthews Endorsements

Big news from the Matthews campaign. Franchot, Townsend, Boxer, and Markey all endorse Kathleen Matthews.

Top Maryland and National Politicos Endorse Kathleen Matthews for Congress

As the race for the Democratic nomination for Maryland’s 8th Congressional District nears the final 100 days, Kathleen Matthews kicked off a new round of national and local endorsements. Two of the country’s progressive heroes, Senator Barbara Boxer (CA) and Senator Edward Markey (MA) are announcing their support for Matthews. Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot and former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who will headline events in Takoma Park and Bethesda in the coming weeks, have also announced they will endorse Matthews in the April 26 primary.

Senator Boxer, who has served in the House and Senate since 1982, and is the country’s leading pro-choice advocate for women said, “Having served in the House of Representatives for 10 years, I know that starting on day one, Kathleen Matthews will have the clout, passion, and effectiveness to deliver on the issues that matter, which is what the people of the 8th district need and deserve.”

Senator Markey, who is Congress’ leader on clean energy and environmental policy said, “Having known Kathleen for 30 years, I have long admired her deep and enduring commitment to her local community as a journalist and through her service on many charitable boards. For the past 9 years as a global business executive at Marriott International, she has been a transformational progressive leader and effective advocate for the environment as she lead the company’s efforts to combat climate change.”

“As a proud resident of Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, I am happy to announce my support of my friend, Kathleen Matthews, in her campaign for Congress,” said Peter Franchot. “Having known Kathleen for many years, I believe she will bring to Congress a fresh perspective, new talent and a sensible approach to the challenges facing our state and country. She is a proven advocate for equality and social justice, and one who is also capable of reaching across the aisle to achieve meaningful results at a time when toxic partisanship has crippled Washington and alienated countless Americans from our political process.”

“I’ve known Kathleen since her early days as a news reporter for ABC-7 where she kept politicians honest, advocated for better schools and safer communities,” said Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who was Lieutenant Governor from 1995-2003 and is a co-chair of Chris Van Hollen’s campaign for the U.S. Senate. “She’s been a tireless advocate for working women and working families as a journalist, and in her business career at Marriott International, where she was a powerful voice for women, minorities and the LBGT community.”

Edwards Endorsed By NWPC

Donna Edwards has received the endorsement of the National Women’s Political Caucus, reports John Fritze in the Sun.

A national women’s group endorsed Rep. Donna Edwards’ campaign for Senate on Tuesday as the two Democratic candidates are working to appeal to female voters.

The National Women’s Political Caucus said in a statement that Edwards, of Prince George’s County, has an “impeccable record on women’s rights and a strong track record for effective leadership.”
The group is the latest national women’s organization to back Edwards. Her opponent for the Democratic nomination, Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Montgomery County, has by contrast received the backing of several prominent female lawmakers in the state.
It’s unlikely the NWPC is in a position to have a significant impact on the race: The group, founded in 1971, spent less than $1,000 on campaigns across the nation in the 2014 cycle. In a brief interview, the group’s president said it has chapters throughout the nation, and that it requests that its members donate directly to the candidates they support.

More Van Hollen Endorsements

Four members of the Baltimore County Council endorsed Chris Van Hollen’s campaign for US Senate Monday, reports the Sun.

U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen on Monday picked up endorsements from four Baltimore County officials in his bid to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

County Council members Vicki Almond, Cathy Bevins, Julian Jones and Tom Quirk — all Democrats— offered their support to Van Hollen during an event in Towson.
Van Hollen is competing with Rep. Donna F. Edwards for the Democratic nomination in the race to replace Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, who is retiring. Van Hollen is from Montgomery County and Edwards hails from Prince George’s County.
“I think he’s not only a leader for the state, I think he’s a leader nationally,” Quirk said of Van Hollen. Almond praised Van Hollen’s work on education issues, while Bevins said she thinks he is the best choice to help bring more jobs to the region.

BREAKING: Raskin Endorsed By CPC

The Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus in the House at 72 members, announced today that it is endorsing Jamie Raskin in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District. Here’s the press release:

Progressive Action PAC Endorses Jamie Raskin for Congress in Maryland’s 8th, Citing His “Effective Progressive” Leadership in Annapolis

SILVER SPRING, MD – Progressive Action PAC, the political arm of the 72-Member Congressional Progressive Caucus, announced today that it has endorsed State Senator Jamie Raskin in his campaign for Congress in Maryland’s 8th District.
“Jamie is a passionate progressive, has a proven record of legislative accomplishment, and has put together an impressive grassroots campaign that engages in serious policy discussion about the critical issues of our time, including gun safety, criminal justice reform, and environmental change,” said Congressman Raul Grijalva, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “I am endorsing Jamie because I know he will be an effective progressive leader for the people of Maryland when he comes to Congress.”
“I’m honored to endorse Jamie Raskin for Congress. He’s not just a progressive activist but a national thought leader and a seasoned legislative actor who gets things done,” said Congressman Keith Ellison, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
“With Jamie Raskin, Maryland Democrats have the chance to send to Congress one of the country’s most effective progressive leaders,” said Congressman Mark Pocan, First Vice-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “Whether it is voting rights, campaign finance reform, gun violence prevention, environmental progress or civil rights and liberties, Jamie has delivered time and again as a Maryland State Senator and a respected professor of constitutional law. I’m endorsing Jamie because we need him to stand up in Congress for the American people against big-money special interests and to defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights against the Tea Party.”
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus and consists of 72 Congressional members. Founded in 1991, the CPC is a diverse and powerful caucus that advocates for a strong progressive agenda. Progressive Action PAC is the political arm of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and endorses candidates for Congress across the country who champion progressive change in America.
“What an honor,” said Senator Raskin. “I want to thank the Progressive Action PAC and Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for their support. I’m inspired and fortified by great leaders like Congressman Grijalva, Ellison and Pocan, and I will work with all the Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to go out and elect a Democratic Congress and a progressive agenda.”
Senator Raskin added: “I’m running on a decade-long record of effective progressive leadership in Annapolis. I want to go to Congress take on the NRA to pass common-sense gun reform, to combat climate change and break from the carbon barons, and to address the striking economic and political inequality in America that is eroding the middle class and thwarting opportunity for millions of people.”

“The Candidate To Beat”

“Beep. This is a recording. Joseline Pena-Melnyk got another endorsement. Beep.”

This time from the Latino Victory Fund.

¡Sí, Se Puede! Peña-Melnyk Endorsed by Latino Victory Fund

LAUREL, MD – Despite making up 17% of the population, Latinos represent only one percent of all elected officials. Righting that imbalance is the goal of the Latino Victory Fund and today they endorsed Joseline Peña-Melnyk for Congress. Co-founded by actress Eva Longoria and businessman-activist Henry Muñoz III, the organization helps to ensure that the voices of Latinos are reflected at every level of government.
“The Latino Victory Project is making a positive difference in American politics and I am deeply grateful for their support. In Congress I will continue to fight for all of our neighbors, especially the underserved, as I have throughout my many years in public service,” said Peña-Melnyk.
“We are proud to endorse Joseline Peña-Melnyk for Congress,” said Cristóbal Alex, Latino Victory Fund President. “Joseline will be the first Dominican-American to serve in Congress; she is a great leader who will fight for our community and the issues that matter to Latinos. As a city councilor and Maryland delegate, Joseline has demonstrated a strong record of putting her community first, and we know she will continue to do that in the halls of Congress.”
Communications Director Michelle García adds, “with the recent support of EMILY’s list, several national progressive organizations, and now the Latino Victory Project, Joseline is enjoying national recognition and support. Coupled with the strong support she is receiving locally in the district, the volunteers and financial support that a national profile brings will help her win on Election Day.”
Joseline Peña-Melnyk continues to outpace her opponents in fundraising and endorsements (the complete list can be viewed here). In a crowded field, she is emerging as the candidate to beat.