Money vs. endorsements in Maryland Senate primary 2023

Rep. David Trone (D-MD), a Democratic Senate primary favorite, is already airing prime-time advertising. The beverage retail company founder may spend $50 million on the race.

His main opponent, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, is not wealthy. However, Alsobrooks’ supporters think her early excitement and a broad slate of endorsements from elected figures around the state offer her a solid chance of capturing the seat.

Jazz Lewis, a Prince George’s County delegate who ran for Congress last cycle, said, “She can raise more than enough to get her message out.” “When you combine that with her energy on the ground, with her volunteers, with advocacy organizations, I just think it’ll be tough to contend with. I’m not sure money can overcome that.”

Will Angela Alsobrooks’ state-wide political backing outweigh David Trone’s millions?

Given the unusual chance for Democratic politicians to run for a vacant Senate seat in this deep-blue state, a political brawl broke out when Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) announced his retirement earlier this month. Political experts expect Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando to oppose Trone and Alsobrooks in the 2024 primary.

At this point in the election, Trone and Alsobrooks have little political differences. Even Alsobrooks’ fans don’t know the topics she’ll focus on or her beliefs.

Wendy Frosh, the former head of Planned Parenthood of Maryland’s board, stated, “I haven’t seen position papers or position statements from everybody.”

“There hasn’t been a lot of discussion about her position on federal and international issues,” said Somerset mayor Jeffrey Slavin. “She’s more of a mainstream Democrat,” he said, rather than a left-winger.

Voters and donors are considering Trone’s three terms in Congress and founding of Total Wine & More, and Alsobrooks’ two terms as executive of Maryland’s second-largest county and former top prosecutor.

Alsobrooks’ supporters expect her opponents to target her as a prosecutor at a time when many on the left are skeptical of law enforcement.

“My sense is that Angela Alsobrooks has the benefit — it may actually be a liability, who knows, it depends which lens you’re looking through — [of] having been the county state’s attorney; she, I think, really knows the criminal justice system better than Will Jawando or David Trone,” Frosh said, adding, “It’s easy to be ideological about it when you’re not making policy that actually hits the communi

Since former Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) departed office in early 2017, the election is about identity for many Marylanders. Democratic women’s political organization EMILY’s List backed Alsobrooks.

“I am, in this day and age, increasingly sensitive about the need to have more women representing us in elected office,” said Frosh.

After Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) announced his retirement this week, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) may run for Senate, making Alsobrooks the only Black woman in the Senate if she wins. Bay Area Democrat Barbara Lee is running for Senate in California.

“As a woman, as a Black woman, as a mother, I think she will be able to speak to a number of audiences that aren’t appropriately represented in the United States Senate,” Lewis added.

“Nothing against David Trone,” Lewis remarked. I like him. His criminal justice reform efforts are similar to mine in the state legislature.”

Trone works bipartisanly on mental health and drug overdose concerns in Congress. He is running for Senate as a progressive who will work across the aisle.

“I’m a progressive through and through,” he told Politico earlier this month, “but you can be a progressive, and you can work with folks that are on the other side of the aisle to accomplish things.”

Trone is a large donor to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and a prominent advocate of the U.S.-Israel connection in Congress. Last year, the pro-Israel lobby’s PAC backed Trone.

After an AIPAC-sponsored 2019 trip to Israel, Alsobrooks became more involved with Maryland’s Jewish community. Her U.S.-Israel opinions are unclear.

“She was deeply moved by her experience, in terms of going to Israel,” said Montgomery County businesswoman Marnie Abramson, who began helping Alsobrooks after seeing a virtual campaign for her during the COVID-19 epidemic. I assume she made friends with Jewish ladies and people after that trip.

Prince George’s County politician Lewis suggested Alsobrooks visit Israel.

“That moved and stuck with her,” he claimed. Prince George’s County has fewer Jews than Montgomery County. Since they arrived here, she’s been careful about creating ties with our county’s synagogues and making sure they’re heard. Our neighbors.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a progressive Montgomery County politician, may enter the race.

“Everyone is talking about that,” Lewis remarked. “A race with Angela [Alsobrooks], Jamie [Raskin], and David [Trone] would be very beneficial to Angela, frankly, because I think she’s going to mobilize demographics that others aren’t going to pierce into.”

Raskin also inspires Alsobrooks supporters by showing how to overcome Trone’s financial investment in his own races. Raskin won the 2016 primary after Trone paid $13 million.

“He’s got as much money as he wants to spend,” added Frosh. She continued, “The money isn’t what decided the votes. Voters decided.”

Leave a Reply