I’ve taken my fair share of shots at Adam Pagnucco over the past few months on the alcohol issue. I don’t agree with his position, nor with some of the political analysis that has come with it.
That said, when I read something that is good, and I agree with it, and it is something that I should have included in my critique of Bill Turque last night, I feel honor bound to point it out and praise it.
So break out the smelling salts and ready the fainting couch, boys and girls. Adam Pagnucco is exactly right in his assessment of the potential impact of David Trone on the CD8 race. There, I said it. Commence fainting.
1. The business community has money, but they don’t have a lot of loyal voters – especially in Montgomery County Democratic primaries. My hunch is that Matthews already has raised enough money to put on a competitive campaign. We will find out in a few days when the end-of-year finance reports come in. And her nationwide Democratic fundraising network, bolstered by her famous and well-connected husband, goes far outside the business community. As for Trone, he doesn’t need to compete with Matthews for money because he can self-finance.
2. If Trone gets in, that means Matthews would be the only woman running a competitive campaign against three men–Trone, Sen. Jamie Raskin and Del. Kumar Barve. Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez has so far not raised enough money to be a top-tier contender. (I am sorry for saying that, Ana!) There are many examples in recent MoCo political history of female candidates doing well against men, either one-on-one or facing groups of men. They include . . .
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Women are majorities in every single category of MoCo Democrats. When just one woman is running a competitive campaign against two or three competitive men, that matters. It also matters that Hillary Clinton is on the ballot and the possible departure of Donna Edwards from Congress could create an all-male federal delegation from Maryland.
All of these things bode well for Kathleen Matthews. If I were in her camp, I would say, “Mister Trone, welcome to the race.”
I’d add one point: the “woman” issue, always present as Adam notes, is going to be an even more enormous presence in this primary season. Donna Edwards, Joseline Pena-Melnyk and Kathleen Matthews have all been endorsed by EMILY’s List, which has already spent a lot for Edwards and can be expected to do the same thing for Pena-Melnyk and Matthews. Another man in the race will to some degree only help the one woman. The “split the business vote” crowd is missing the point.
One quibble I have with Adam: he states that Dana Beyer “lost badly” in 2014. I disagree - Dana got 42% of the vote against Rich Madaleno, more than any Senate challenger in the state, including several sitting delegates. Beyer may have “lost” but there was nothing remotely “bad” about it.
Adam is right, however, about my race - I lost badly. But if I hadn’t, y’all wouldn’t have all these great blog posts to read every day. So hey, silver linings and all that. Right? And hey, 2018 isn’t all that far away.