Notes: Poll Shows Blair Coming Closer to Elrich, Mizeur Launches Ad, Perez Campaign Syndicates, and More

The flags of Maryland and Montgomery County fly in downtown Rockville. Photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

Four years ago, Marc Elrich and David Blair finished 77 votes apart in the Montgomery County executive race.

A poll released on Friday shows that – with the all-important Democratic primary just days away – the pair could be heading for another photo-finish.

According to Data for Progress, a San Francisco-based firm, Elrich and Blair are tied at 34%, with county councilman Hans Riemer at 20% and 11% undecided. Candidate Peter James, who ran for Congress as a Republican in 2012, has 1% support. Early voting ended Thursday and the primary is July 19.

If the poll is an accurate reflection of the electorate, it suggests late momentum for Blair, who is trying to thwart Elrich’s bid for a second term. A late May/early June survey by the same firm showed Elrich with a commanding lead, 41% to 20%, with Riemer at 18% and 20% undecided.

Since the first poll, The Washington Post has endorsed Blair. In addition, voters received many letters and the airwaves were saturated with advertisements. Blair has loaned his campaign $4.8 million, according to the latest campaign finance report. Independent groups funded by commercial interests — including the provocatively named Progressives for Progress — have spent millions more on anti-Elrich ads.

Elrich, who has never been a prolific fundraiser, participates in the county’s public funding system for candidates.

The new investigation was funded by Jonathan Robinson, an affordable housing advocate who told Maryland Matters last month that he “personally isn’t a fan of Marc Elrich but I don’t endorse any candidate.” He donated to Riemer.

At the start of June, Elrich had a favorable/unfavorable rating of 55/26. In the new poll, his numbers fell to 48/42. It retains strong support among women but is underwater (44% favorable, 51% unfavorable) among men.

In an email Monday, Mason-Dixon manager and Elrich supporter Larry Harris said Blair had “failed to make the case for change because Marc receives high marks for his handling of major issues. of concern”.

“Blair’s millions and the millions brought in by billionaire real estate tycoons equates to petty oligarchs buying that seat and I believe that’s not suitable for a critical mass of Democratic voters,” he added. .

Riemer’s campaign manager Aziz Yakub said the poll suggests “voters are clearly calling for change.” He called the race “smooth”.

“[M]Most voters are still deciding. I would be shocked if progressive voters actually vote for a former Republican trying to buy himself that seat,” he added, a reference to Blair.

On July 7, a survey of 504 likely Democratic voters by Blair pollster Garin-Hart-Yang showed Elrich’s one-point lead, 29% to 28%, with nearly a quarter of the undecided electorate. Blair’s campaign manager, Adrienne Christian, said the poll showed “Montgomery County voters expect better and know that David is the only candidate who can deliver.”

Data for Progress surveyed 446 Montgomery Democrats between July 8 and July 12. The survey has a margin of error of 5%. The company has a “B” rating from fivethirtyeight.com. He boasts that he correctly predicted this year’s hotly contested New York mayoral primary.

Mizeur launches targeted advertising on January 6

Heather Mizeur, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House in the 1st District, released a new ad following news that incumbent Rep. Andy Harris (R) was part of a White House planning meeting before the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol.

The ad, titled “Come Clean,” states that Harris “secretly plotted to mount an insurrection, nullify a legal election, and keep Trump in power.”

Mizeur and Dave Harden, a former foreign service officer, are running for the Democratic nomination in the district in Tuesday’s election. Both condemned Harris’ involvement in the meeting earlier this week.

“Andy Harris conspired in secret to thwart the will of the voters, undermine our democracy and overthrow our freely elected government,” Mizeur said in a statement Friday. “He is a traitor to our nation, and when I retire him in November, First District residents will once again have the dignified leadership they deserve.”

Noting that Harris said he didn’t watch the hearing because he was working on “important issues,” Mizeur said in a statement, “I personally can’t imagine anything more important than maintaining and to defend our democratic system.But as his actions before, during and after Jan. 6 show, Andy Harris clearly has no respect for American ideals.

Perez campaign workers unionize

Workers for a second Maryland gubernatorial campaign have unionized.

Tom Perez and Shannon Sneed’s campaign ratified a contract with the Campaign Workers Guild on Thursday, according to a union announcement.

Perez is among the leading candidates for governor of Maryland. Other favorites include VR controller Peter Franchot and former nonprofit CEO Wes Moore.

Franchot’s campaign workers announced they had organized earlier this month.

The agreement reached by Perez campaign workers includes wage increases and a weekly holiday guarantee, as well as unique provisions including after-employment support from campaign management and protections for workers regardless be the outcome of next week’s primary elections.

If Perez wins the primary, the contract would remain in place until the November general election.

The guarantee that Perez and Sneed will support workers in identifying future employment opportunities is the first of its kind in any Campaign Workers Guild agreement, according to the group.

“I am very proud of our unit’s unique severance package. Tom and Shannon’s vast networks in public service and the Democratic Party provide both security and immense opportunity for unit members and our families. The unit’s ability to come to a creative bargaining agreement is a testament to the strength of this union,” bargaining team member Daniel Sagrera said in a statement.

Union members who have ratified the contract include ten campaign staff.

District 39 shipper sparks anger

Democratic groups in Montgomery County this week condemned a letter recently sent in support of a slate of candidates for the General Assembly in District 39.

The Montgomery County Association of Black Democrats, the Montgomery County Latino Democratic Club and the Asia-Pacific American Democratic Coalition of Maryland spoke out against the mail, which was sent to voters by the list of voters. district 39 team.

The mail includes a photo of the four candidates, above a list of accomplishments in Annapolis by “the District 39 team,” listed as “Senator Nancy King, Delegates Lesley Lopez, Kirill Reznik and Clint Sobratti.”

The first three candidates are incumbents. Sobratti, a union activist, attempts to overthrow Del. Gabriel Acevero, who currently represents the district.

The mail implies that Sobratti is an incumbent lawmaker.

“The disinformation on the slate has the effect of erasing the work of Delegate Acevero that we all endorsed. The Democratic primaries should be about honest dialogue, and the District 39 team mail fails to achieve that goal,” the Democratic groups said in a statement. “It is inaccurate and will confuse voters. In our view, this is unacceptable.

Current and former elected officials also joined the statement, including former County Executive Ike Leggett, County Councilwoman Nancy Navarro, former County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin and former Congresswoman Ana Sol Gutierrez. .

In a statement, Acevero said he was “not phased” by the sender.

“In a district as diverse as 39, it is reprehensible for Democrats to knowingly attempt to deceive and subvert the will of voters,” he said in a statement.

Reached by phone, King said the implication that Sobratti was a starter “was not intentional at all”.

She said she respects the opinions of political groups and elected officials who have issued statements condemning the literature.

“Would I take it back? Of course I would. We don’t operate that way,” King said.

It’s not the only controversial campaign literature circulating in the district this cycle.

An earlier letter from the Democratic Socialists of America Solidarity PAC unfairly attacked Lopez, Reznik and King’s Annapolis records, Lopez said.

Acevero is one of a small group of young socialist democrats in Annapolis who sometimes find themselves at odds with legislative leaders.

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