Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Race Predictions: MoCo State Senate and Delegate

Per OnBackground's Request...

Well, we're long past the July 4 barrier, and even the campaigns that were lagging behind in getting operations going have begun to show a presence on the ground. But the picture in most of these races is not getting much clearer. If anything, it looks more confused. New readers note, all odds are out of 10, and each district includes three separate seats for delegate. So, without further ado...

In District 14: No challenger, no surprises. Odds for Senator Rona Kramer and Delegates Anne Kaiser, Karen Montgomery, and Herman Taylor are all 10.

In District 15: The sole district in MoCo where Republicans will be seriously competitive. In the Senate race, challenger Bill Askinazi is trying to unseat Senator Rob Garagiola, but Garagiola is a popular guy who'll raise the money he needs, and he has the power of incumbency in a year where we'll see strong Democratic turnout. Democrat Craig Rice wants to knock off the only Republican delegate in the county, Jean Cryor. But Cryor is insanely popular and more liberal than many Democrats. She'll survive. If Rice knocks off anyone, it will be the weaker of the two Democratic delegates, Kathleen Dumais - but that's a long shot. The odds: In the Senate, Garagiola 7, Askinazi 3; in the House, Cryor 10, Del. Brian Feldman 10, Dumais 8, Rice 2.

In District 16: Dancing the re-election waltz, again. Odds for Senator Brian Frosh and Delegates Bill Bronrott, Marilyn Goldwater, and Susan Lee are 10.

In District 17: Another waltz (or sashay) in the Senate. In the House, Delegates Kumar Barve and Luiz Simmons seem a lock, but the race for the third seat is fairly competitive, and things are a little up in the air between young Dem Ryan Spiegel, NAACP activist Elbridge James, Jim Gilchrist - son of former County Executive Charlie Gilchrist, and newcomer Cory Siansky. Siansky seems to be doing a lot of nothing, but Gilchrist and James are duking it out over Rockville while Spiegel has been working Gaithersburg pretty extensively. For now, because of the split in the Rockville vote, I'm giving a slight edge to Speigel. The odds: In the Senate, incumbent Jennie Forehand with 10; in the House Barve 10, Simmons 9, Spiegel 4, Gilchrist 3, James 3, Siansky 1.

In District 18: Rich Madaleno will make a great addition to the Senate, though some are unhappy with uncontested races in general. The slating of the incumbents has buoyed freshman Del. Jane Lawton, who took her seat by appointment rather than election. Competition for the third seat is fierce, with a number of candidates who are either raising a lot of money, running good campaigns, wrapping up major endorsements, or a mix of all three. The odds: In the Senate, Madaleno 10; in the House, Gutierrez 9, Lawton 7, James Browning 5, Jeff Waldstreicher 5, Dan Farrington 3, Dana Beyer 1, Al Carr 0.

In District 19: Mike Lenett managed to get the NARAL endorsement over two incumbent women. That's pretty impressive, though not surprising given that neither Carol Petzold nor Adrienne Mandel have been standouts in the Assembly. The guy has run one of the better campaigns in the county this year, though having a bottomless pit of money helps a lot. The house race is pure and absolute chaos, and the only newcomer standing out from the field so far is Roger Manno, who is getting support from incumbent Del. Hank Heller and has wrapped up most major endorsements. The odds: In the Senate, Lenett 6, Mandel 3, Petzold 1; in the House, Heller 8, Manno 7, Paul Griffin 3, Tom Degonia 3, Alec Stone 3, Melodye Berry 2, Guled Kassim 2, Ben Kramer 2.

In District 20: This race is more fun than a barrel full of monkeys. I could write an entire post about it, but since I don't have time... I think the race comes down to two things: natural campaigning ability and momentum. Jamie Raskin has both, Ida Ruben has neither, though we can not completely discount the power of incumbency. Heather Mizeur has a lot of the former and some of the latter, Aaron Klein has a little of the former and a fair amount of the latter, Tom Hucker has nada. For now, that is. We'll see what Progressive Maryland manages to pull out of its hat at the last minute to get Hucker elected. Though, honestly, I think Hucker is better suited to be a lobbyist than a legislator. The odds: In the Senate Raskin over Ruben 7:3; in the House, Del. Sheila Hixson 9, Mizeur 7, Klein 6, Hucker 4, Del. Gareth Murray 2, Lucinda Lessley and Diane Nixon 1 each.

In District 39: Along with Jamie Raskin, one of MoCo's two really serious incumbent challenges. Saqib Ali, who famously decorated his entire car with Van Hollen bumper stickers, is looking to unseat Delegate Joan Stern, who famously has done nothing of real note, ever. Ali's campaign has been impressively strong, albeit a little cheesy at times (his wife's fawning e-mail and internet testimonials are pretty annoying), and is showing more than enough momentum to carry him through the primary. One friend asked me the other day if I really thought an upcounty district would elect a guy named Saqib. I grew up in this district. In a lot of it, having a name like Saqib is an advantage. Yet another example of people downcounty confusing the upcounty with ante bellum Mississippi. The odds: Sen. P.J. Hogan 10, Delegates Charles Barkley and Nancy King 10, Ali 8, Stern 2.

And if you managed to read this far, give yourself a hearty pat on the back. Originally posted at MoCoPolitics.


Blogger DeGonia said...

I work closely with Tom DeGonia and I find him to be a man of great honesty and integrity...He has been a prosecutor for the past 7 and a half years fighting for justice and those who do not have a voice in our society...He would be an excellent Delegate for District 19 and I urge everyone reading this blog to visit his website at or email him with concerns at the primary is September 12th!

8/06/2006 11:21:00 PM  

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