Five new candidates worth paying attention to

By Josh Kurtz

As campaign season heats up, here are five intriguing young guys who have announced they are running for office around the state – or are on the verge of doing so:

Terrell Boston Smith. A part of the venerable Boston political family in Baltimore, Smith, a law school student who until recently worked as an aide to Attorney General Brian Frosh (D), is poised to announce for a House seat in Dist. 40 in West Baltimore. Smith plans a formal announcement on the evening of May 3 at Mary Louise Bistro in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood.

“My passion for public service is guided by a deep belief that ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice,’” Smith wrote in an email to potential supporters that began circulating earlier this week. “Justice isn’t achieved without action and a fight though. We need more people fighting for Baltimore in Annapolis so that families in all our neighborhoods have opportunities and equity – so that we all share a good quality of life.”

The Dist. 40 political picture for 2018 is a little unclear right now. After Catherine Pugh (D) was elected mayor of Baltimore last year, three-term Del. Barbara Robinson (D) was elevated to finish Pugh’s state Senate term.

Will Robinson seek a full Senate term in 2018? Will Del. Antonio Hayes (D) – an ally of Smith’s – try to run against Robinson in a Democratic primary? The answers could impact Smith’s House bid.

It seems inevitable, though, that Hayes, Smith and Del. Nick Mosby (D) would team up in some way – and that another delegate from a famous Baltimore political family, Frank Conaway Jr. (D), would be the odd man out.

Ben Shnider. A 28-year-old progressive activist and Democratic operative, who currently works as political director for the liberal pro-Israel group J Street, Shnider plans to challenge Montgomery County Councilman Sidney Katz (D) in the 3rd District Democratic primary.

This would be a classic generational battle: Shnider is 28, while Katz, a first term councilman but previously the long-time mayor of Gaithersburg, is 67. But it will probably be an ideological battle as well.

“Tough decisions lie ahead to uphold the progressive values that inspired us, and so many other families, to settle in this great community,” Shnider wrote in an email that he circulated on Monday.

Rob Johnson. This will be a second try at the House of Delegates for Johnson in Baltimore County’s Dist. 10. Johnson, an attorney for the Prince George’s County Public Schools, is allied with the district’s senator, Delores Kelley (D), who seems likely to seek a seventh term in 2018, when she will be 82 years old.

Johnson’s target is undoubtedly Del. Jay Jalisi (D), who has had a string of controversies since taking office in 2015 and is estranged from the other legislators in the district.

Johnson will be formally announcing his bid this Saturday at Winfield Elementary School in Windsor Hill.

Sean Stinnett. On the same day that Johnson is announcing in Baltimore County, Stinnett will announce his bid for the House in Baltimore city’s 41st District. Stinnett, an official at the Maryland Department of General Services, has an evening announcement at the Forest Park Senior Center. Residents of the 41st District can pay $4.10 to get in.

Two of the three House incumbents in the district are brand new – Dels. Bilal Ali (D) and Angela Gibson (D) were appointed this year to fill vacancies. The third, Del. Sandy Rosenberg (D), was first elected in 1982.

Julian Ivey. Ivey, one of five sons of former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey (D) and former Del. Jolene Ivey (D), is seeking a slot on the Cheverly Town Council, in the 2nd ward.

In a Facebook announcement in March, Ivey, who some people may recall starred as Simba in “The Lion King” musical on Broadway a decade ago, made reference to his family – but not his political parents.

“As a lifelong Cheverly resident, I have a deep connection with the soul of this historic town,” he wrote. “If you just moved into town, maybe you haven’t met me or one of my four awesome brothers. We each had our own interests, this allowed us to collectively experience the community groups, sports teams, earth day projects, and other activities that bring this town together.”

The local election in Cheverly takes place on May 1.

P.S. Are there other new candidates worth knowing about? As their formal announcements approach, please drop me a line — jkurtz@marylandmatters.org.

2 comments

  • New democratic candidate in the 6th LD of Baltimore County is Megan Miodusewski

  • Is there anyone upcoming in Prince George’s, Montgomery or Baltimore City that has not been a public employee with some actual,relevant business experience? No wonder the legislature is completely out of touch when it comes to an attractive business climate.

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