Political Notes: Prince George primary results finale, New Democrats back Mizeur, Hogan’s top staffer defaults to Treasurer
After three days of manual ballot recounts in the Democratic primary for a House of Delegates seat in Prince George’s County, the top three voters have not changed.
The county board of elections unanimously certified the results of the recount on Monday afternoon. Jocelyn Collins, regional director of government relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, had filed a petition for a recount after trailing Kym Taylor, a former legislative aide, by 19 votes after the July 19 primary.
The contest’s post-recount tally came out with Kym Taylor in third and last place garnering 8,949 votes and Collins with 8,933 votes, a deficit of 16 votes.
The other two winners are Del. Marvin Holmes Jr., who received 11 more votes after the recount for a total of 10,393 votes. The vote total fell slightly for Bowie City Council member Adrian Boafo by 26 votes, but he still came in second place with 9,211.
There are no Republican or third-party candidates in the race.
The Democratic primary fielded a total of 10 candidates.
The recount process conducted last week at the Prince George Ballroom included 15 four-person teams reviewing the ballots.
District 23, which includes the Bowie area and parts of Upper Marlboro, is home to the Bowie City Gymnasium, which was used as an early voting location. According to data from the Maryland State Board of Elections, the gymnasium recorded the highest number of voters statewide on four of the eight days of early voting.
“This is the first time Prince George’s County has conducted a recount at this level. We have quite a few lessons learned,” County Elections Administrator Alisha Alexander said. “We document these lessons so we know what to do and what not to do in case we encounter this again.”
Mizeur gets New Dems nod
Heather Mizeur, the former state delegate seeking to oust Rep. Andy Harris, the only Republican in Maryland’s congressional delegation, has won the endorsement of the New Democrat Coalition Action Fund.
Mizeur was one of four Democratic congressional candidates to be endorsed late last week by the New Democrats, a center-left organization within the Democratic caucus whose members often focus on technology issues. New Democrats have endorsed 27 challengers and open-seat candidates for House seats so far this election cycle.
Besides Mizeur, the stock fund’s most recent mentions have gone to Francis Conole, an intelligence analyst and Iraq War veteran who is running for an open seat in upstate New York; Bridget Fleming, a lawmaker from Suffolk County, New York, is running for a vacant seat in New York’s 1st District on the east end of Long Island; and Eric Lynn, a former Department of Defense official running for a vacant seat in Florida’s Tampa Bay-area 13th District.
“Each of these candidates has the experience, dedication and drive to win these critical races across the country,” said U.S. Representative Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), chairman of the NewDem Action Fund. “The NewDems have always been focused on electing candidates who share our common-sense approach to politics. Our members and candidates stand ready to work with anyone to offer the American people. In Congress, Eric Lynn, Heather Mizeur, Bridget Fleming and Francis Conole will do just that.
Notably, Mizeur is the only one of four candidates New Democrats backed last week who is not running in a race the nonpartisan Cook Political Report considers competitive. Conole’s run is considered a “tossup,” while Cook calls New York’s 1st District a “skinny Republican” and Florida’s 13th District a “probably Republican.” Maryland’s 1st District is classified as “Solid Republican”.
But the Mizeur campaign sees the endorsement as a sign of new momentum and a sense that Democratic strategists see his run against Harris as a win.
“Maryland’s First District needs a congresswoman who is focused on getting real results for our region, rather than performing political stunts or running to the extremes of either party,” said Mizeur. “The NewDem Action Fund supports my campaign because they share my commitment to solutions-focused, bipartisan leadership – and they know I will work with anyone to do good things.”
Go to Churchill
Shareese Churchill, who has been an integral part of the Hogan administration since Gov. Larry Hogan (R) took office in January 2015, will begin a new gig just after Labor Day with State Treasurer Derek Davis (D ).
Churchill, who is currently deputy director of interagency affairs under Hogan, and began her tenure in the administration as the governor’s press secretary, will become deputy treasurer for communications and public affairs.
“She brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of state government, and I look forward to her leading the office’s efforts to be as communicative and transparent as possible,” Davis said in a statement Monday.
Churchill is a communications veteran who also served as press secretary under former Governor Robert Ehrlich Jr. (R). She also worked on Ehrlich’s campaign and held various private sector jobs between the Ehrlich and Hogan administrations. Although she worked for two Republican governors, Churchill always maintained that she was a Democrat. she is married to Ellington Churchill, secretary of the Maryland Department of General Services.
“Shareese has been an integral part of our communications team since day one of our administration in 2015,” Hogan said. “Although the Treasurer’s Office is just across the street, Shareese will be greatly missed here at State House. I wish her every success in her future endeavors as she continues to serve the people of our great state.
With Churchill leaving the administration, we wonder: Who will be shouting “last question” at Hogan’s press conferences during his last 4 1/2 months in office?