Reproductive Freedom for All, the group formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America, announced its endorsement of Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) in the race for U.S. Senate this week.
“Maryland needs a senator who will defend their freedoms and fight for all of us, and we know she is just the person for the job,” the organization’s president and CEO Mini Timmaraju said in a statement. “We look forward to working alongside Angela to elect our first Black woman senator from Maryland.”
Alsobrooks’ campaign held a press conference about the endorsement in Montgomery County, home territory to her chief opponent in the May 2024 primary, Rep. David Trone (D-6th).
“I was two years old when Roe was decided. Here we are 50 years later and now my daughter is being forced to fight a battle that should have been won by her mother and grandmother,”
Alsobrooks said in a statement. “As a Senator, I will fight so that Marylanders have what I want for my own family; safe communities, access to a quality education, jobs and economic opportunities, and that women all across this nation can make their own decision about what to do with their body.”
Trone’s campaign challenged the endorsement, saying the organization didn’t hold an open process to garner the support and didn’t engage with the entire field of candidates.
Trone has faced criticism during the campaign from groups like Emily’s List, which released a statement last month noting that the company founded by Trone and his brother has contributed to Republican and anti-abortion candidates and officials nationwide.
His campaign has pushed back, saying those contributions came from his business, not the congressman himself.
“The facts are simple: David Trone is the only candidate in this race with a proven, 100% track record in support of abortion rights. He has fought for women, abortion patients and abortion providers every step of the way – advocating for key abortion rights legislation in the House and working closely with abortion providers to expand abortion access in Western Maryland,” the campaign said in a statement. “And he stood with those fighting to protect the privacy of biometric data – shielding them from prosecution by anti-abortion extremists; and opposed assistance to ‘crisis centers’ that provide false information to those seeking abortion care.”
On Friday, Trone announced that he will hold a roundtable discussion on women’s health in Montgomery County on Dec. 9.
Anne Arundel County businessman Juan Dominguez (D) is another leading candidate in the race.
Scott launches reelection campaign as Dixon nabs endorsement
Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott (D) will launch his reelection campaign on Saturday.
Scott is expected to be joined by supporters at Cahill Recreation Center in West Baltimore.
The mayor will address supporters and lay out his vision for a second term in office, while highlighting his accomplishments during his first term.
A half-dozen candidates have already emerged to challenge the incumbent in 2024.
On Thursday, former Mayor Sheila Dixon (D) was endorsed by Councilmember Eric Costello (D).
Costello is the first sitting councilmember to make an endorsement in the May primary.
“City Hall has reached a level of dysfunction that I never thought was possible and our residents and small businesses deserve better,” Costello said during an endorsement event at Mount Vernon Place park.
Another one for the 3rd
Another sitting state legislator appears to be gearing up to run for the vacant 3rd District congressional seat.
State Del. Mike Rogers (D-Anne Arundel) on Friday filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to open a congressional campaign committee. He has not put out any statements about his political plans and did not respond to a message left on his personal email.
Rogers, 59, would become the fourth state lawmaker in the race to replace U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-3rd), who announced his retirement plans last month. Already in the race: Del. Vanessa E. Atterbeary (D-Howard), the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee in Annapolis; Sen. Sarah K. Elfreth (D-Anne Arundel) and Del. Terri L. Hill (D-Howard).
Rogers, who was first elected to a seat in northern Anne Arundel County in 2018, is a retired Army colonel who spent almost 30 years in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps.
The 3rd District has several active military personnel and veterans, so Rogers’ candidacy could hold some appeal for those voters. His presence in the race could also cut into Elfreth’s desired hegemony in Anne Arundel.
None of the state lawmakers in the race has to sacrifice their seats to run for Congress in 2024.
On the Republican side, Jordan Mayo, a real estate agent, filed papers with the Maryland State Board of Elections Friday to become a candidate in the race.
Senate veterans in new roles at USM
Two Maryland Senate veterans have found new roles in government affairs within the University System of Maryland.
Susan F. Lawrence was named as University System of Maryland vice chancellor for government relations. Lawrence joins the system office from the University of Maryland Baltimore, where she has served as director of government affairs and helped lead government relations efforts since 2019.
Lawrence joined UMB in January 2019 after 24 years in the Maryland Senate, including as chief of staff to the Senate Finance Committee chair and as legislative assistant for the Budget & Taxation Committee.
As vice chancellor for government relations, Lawrence will be the chief adviser to Chancellor Jay A. Perman and the Board of Regents on governmental relations policies and strategies, on both the state and federal levels.
Lawrence succeeds Patrick J. Hogan, who served USM in the position since Nov. 2015 and recently joined Cornerstone Government Affairs as principal.
Her first day in the new role is Dec. 4.
“I’m so happy that Susan will join the USM leadership team,” Perman said in a statement. “She brings an insider’s knowledge of the Maryland General Assembly to this role, as well as significant experience within the University System itself. That’s a powerful combination, and I know it will serve the System well. We look forward to working with her.”
One day after Lawrence starts her new gig, Senate veteran Yaakov “Jake” Weissmann will join the University of Maryland Baltimore County as associate vice president of government relations and community affairs.
Weissmann, who served as chief of staff for two state Senate presidents, has worked since 2021 as assistant chief administrative officer for Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich (D).
Weissmann was also recently named as a member of the State Board of Elections.
“I’m excited for the opportunity,” said Weissmann, a UMBC graduate, who said he’s looking forward to being in Annapolis again but will miss his colleagues in Montgomery County government and learned a lot while he was there.