Monday, September 07, 2009

Kensington Labor Day Parade: Quick Impressions

Just a few notes from today’s Labor Day Parade in Kensington.

This parade is one of Montgomery County’s premier political events in an election year. Despite this being an off year, turnout was decent among both politicians and civilians. Office holders who participated included U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Attorney General Doug Gansler, County Executive Ike Leggett, State Senator Rich Madaleno (D-18), Delegates Ana Sol Gutierrez, Jeff Waldstreicher and Al Carr (D-18), County Council President Phil Andrews and at-large Council Members Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal and Marc Elrich. Carr, a former Kensington Town Council Member, led in T-shirt count and Van Hollen led in sticker count, but none of the politicians felt it necessary to flood the event with supporters. The elections are still a year out.

Random question: why did Phil Andrews come to this event when his hometown Gaithersburg also held a Labor Day parade? It’s not that we don’t want to see you, Council Member, but inquiring minds want to know! (Update: we are told that Andrews went to both events.) Andrews had the good sense to ride in a Jeep while several other politicians rode in foreign vehicles.

We like political souvenirs so we grabbed a couple of them. Here’s a 2006-vintage Marc Elrich hand fan. No one needed them since conditions were cool and cloudy, but it’s still an interesting bit of history.

We are struck by the twin symbols of Elrich’s 2006 campaign: MCEA’s apple and the anti-developer pledge. Elrich has turned away developer contributions for his entire career and 2010 should be no different. But will the apple appear on his literature again? MCEA’s endorsement decision on Elrich will have a huge impact on the 2010 race, and perhaps on the balance of power in the next council.

Jane de Winter, who is running for an at-large County Council seat, was the only challenger of any kind to establish a presence at the event. Several of her supporters showed up in her T-shirts and handed out this literature piece.

We talked to two of de Winter’s supporters. They were both PTA moms who worked with her when she was President of the Montgomery County Council of PTAs. Education is their top issue, but they also praised de Winter’s intelligence (citing her PhD in economics) and her experience in dealing with county government as an activist. They told me a fundraiser is in the works. How many of these moms are there around the county?

Next time, we’ll bring back pictures. We promise.

Disclosure: The author is the Treasurer of the District 18 Democratic Team, which includes Senator Rich Madaleno and Delegates Ana Sol Gutierrez, Jeff Waldstreicher and Al Carr.