Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Mighty Post Endorses . . .

The Rundown

Just in time for the election on Tuesday, the Washington Post issued its endorsements in Montgomery state legislative races. The Post endorsed all of the incumbent delegates in District 14. There are no state legislative primaries in District 15. In District 16, the Post thanked Del. Marilyn Goldwater for her long service but recommended that voters replace her with Regina "Reggie" Oldak due to Goldwater's ill health. The other District 16 incumbent delegates were also endorsed. In District 17, the Post warmly endorsed both incumbent delegates, especially Del. Kumar Barve. Ryan Spiegel won the nod for the open seat.

Districts 18, 19, and 20 provide the hottest action in the state legislative races this year. The strong competition will likely make the Post editorial particularly influential even if candidates have little time to take advantage of it before the primary. In District 18, the Post did not recommend incumbent Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez or mention her in its editorial. The editorial board warmly endorsed appointed Del. Jane Lawton for reelection and had kind words for both James Browning and Dan Farrington who they recommended for the other two seats.

Mike Lenett, who impressed a variety of organizations into endorsing him over both Del. Adrienne Mandel and Del. Carol Petzold for the open senate seat in District 19, similarly impressed the Post and won their endorsement. The Post suggested the remaining incumbent, Henry Heller, as well as newcomers Roger Manno and Ben Kramer for the two open seats.

Jamie Raskin beat out longtime incumbent Ida Ruben for the Post's support in the nasty race for the District 20 senate seat. According to the editorial board, Ruben's effectiveness has waned but warn Raskin that he has much to learn about Annapolis. Incumbent Del. Sheila Hixon also won the support of the Post as did newcomers Heather Mizeur and Tom Hucker. Incumbent Del. Garreth Murray was declared a "disappointment" and not endorsed.

In District 39, Saqib Ali will be in and Joan Stern will be out of the House of Delegates if the Post has its druthers. No mention or explanation of the failure to endorse Stern, who was not included on the District 39 incumbent slate this year, was given. The other two incumbent delegates also won the support of the editorial board.

Some Quick Notes

Four incumbent delegates were not recommended for reelection out of the nineteen seeking reelection: Marilyn Goldwater (District 16), Ana Sol Gutierrez (District 18), Garreth Murray (District 20), and Joan Stern (District 39). Sen. Ida Ruben was the only incumbent senator who did not win the Post's endorsement out of the six seeking reelection.

While the Post endorsed one minority candidate, Saqib Ali, over an incumbent, it failed to endorse two minority candidates, Ana Sol Gutierrez and Garreth Murray for reelection. Gutierrez is the only Latina in the Montgomery delegation and Murray is one of two African Americans in the County's delegation. However, together they account for one-half of the incumbents not recommended for reelection. In addition to Ali, the Post recommended both of the Asian American incumbents (Kumar Barve and Susan Lee) for reelection.