Thursday, September 10, 2009

Forehand Fights Back

District 17 Senator Jennie Forehand, who is facing an early and vigorous challenge from former Delegate Cheryl Kagan, is fighting back with a big fundraiser. Let’s see who is supporting the incumbent.

Here’s the announcement on Forehand’s fundraiser, scheduled on September 15 in Rockville:

Forehand’s host committee includes 93 names, 28 of whom are sitting elected officials. All three District 17 Delegates are running with her on a slate. Missing from the list of elected supporters is Rockville Mayor Susan Hoffmann and the current members of the Rockville and Gaithersburg City Councils (aside from Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz). Our spies picked out these names as Forehand’s most prominent non-elected sponsors: civic activists Randy Alton, Tom Curtis and John Tyner, former Rockville City Council Member Bob Dorsey, NAACP activist and former District 17 Delegate candidate Elbridge James, Rockville City Council candidate and Bealls Grant II opponent Bridget Newton and former Montgomery College President Charlene Nunley, who also co-sponsored Kagan’s fundraiser.

We asked our District 17 sources to contrast Forehand’s sponsor list with Kagan’s. Their consensus was that Kagan had the edge. One spy said Forehand’s list was “THIN” and did not include the “vast majority” of the district’s precinct officials or officers of the district’s Democratic clubs. Another informant characterized the list as “old guard and establishment.” One source said, “Forehand's list is very strongly Rockville-centric. Kagan seems to be reaching out more.” A Gaithersburg spy spotted only two non-electeds from the city and said, “…The couple from Gaithersburg are not going to be much help on the grassroots front. They are older folks who’ve probably known Jennie forever but won’t be knocking on doors any time soon.” Mind you, these spies are not Kagan loyalists.

We found a couple problems with the Senator’s list. First, two prominent co-hosts denied granting permission for their names to be used. Senator Jamie Raskin (D-20) told us, “I didn’t know anything about this so my name was added without my knowledge or consent. My friend Senator Forehand regrets the mistake so it’s no big deal. As of now, I have endorsed no one in that or any other race.”

Former Montgomery College President Charlene Nunley, who co-sponsored Kagan’s fundraiser but appeared on Forehand’s solicitation, told us, “I committed to Cheryl Kagan and I talked with Senator Forehand some time after that. I mentioned that I had done that. My guess is that it was simply a mistake and an oversight. But I did commit to Cheryl. I think highly of both candidates but I told Cheryl that I had committed to her and I would be staying with the commitment that I had made.”

And Rockville lawyer Arthur Wagman, who appears on Forehand’s supporter list, is dead:

Even with these issues, the big story here is that Forehand is stepping up and showing some fight against her energetic opponent.

We just might have a race.