Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Courting Jay Hutchins

Suppose you were Senator Mike Lenett or his challenger, Roger Manno, and you were thinking of putting together a slate. You would want a teammate who was likable, had great endorsements, had a great bio and had an excellent shot to win. So who would you pick?

Your author would tell either of them to go get Jay Hutchins.

There are four candidates with a shot at going to Annapolis. Incumbent Ben Kramer comes from one of MoCo’s great families, has a lot of money and may have better name recognition than either of the Senate candidates. But Kramer keeps his own counsel and will do what is in his own best interest. Most critically, Kramer does not need either Lenett or Manno to win. Bonnie Cullison has terrific endorsements and has been one of the county’s most prominent non-elected leaders in recent years. But because she is the former President of MCEA, she will almost certainly be targeted by the Washington Post. No candidate in a close race wants to antagonize the Post. Sam Arora has huge money and huge work ethic but he is still fairly unknown. He also has almost no meaningful endorsements. That leaves Jay Hutchins.

Look at this guy, folks. Do you think you can smile like this?

No you can’t, unless your name is Cheryl Kagan. Check out his endorsement list. Check out his sparkling history of working for the state’s Department of Labor, Goodwill and the Peace Corps. And after our sources questioned his work ethic, Hutchins has responded by busting his butt on the campaign trail. No one can say that he is not working hard enough now. Finally, District 19 is rapidly changing its demographic mix. It’s helpful to have a top-flight person of color on the team.

So here’s what Mike Lenett thinks of Hutchins.

And here’s what Roger Manno thinks of Hutchins.

Will Hutchins pick sides or not? If he stays neutral, it won’t be for lack of trying by the Senate candidates.