County Democrats set their target directly on ending the Republican stronghold on the presidency, Congress and the state governorship at a June 28 pep rally to kick off the November General Election campaign.
Only two days after the state primary, winners and losers alike spoke only of solidarity at the annual Kiss and Make Up Unity Party the Woman’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County and the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee sponsored at the Marriott in Bethesda.
A loud and psyched-up group of 450 Democratic activists cheered as U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous, U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin and other party loyalists vowed to sweep their party to victory in November to do battle with President Donald Trump.
More Democrats must hold office to counter what the Trump administration is doing concerning the Supreme Court, immigration and other issues, Cardin said.
“From top to bottom, we need unity and energy moving forward,” he told the crowd.
“We have an opportunity not to just beat them,” Jealous said of Gov. Larry Hogan and other Republicans, “but to wallop them.”
In tribute to Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who died during his run for governor, Jealous urged the crowd to work to make Kamenetz “proud.”
If elected in November, Jealous pledged to rebuild Maryland’s economy, help the healthcare industry regain its former status and stop cybersecurity businesses from moving to Virginia.
He also promised to work on behalf of students, the immigrant population and the needy.
“We can end poverty finally” in the “richest” state and County, he said.
“We fought like family, because we are family, and like a family, we want what’s best for all of our family,” he told the pumped-up all-Democratic audience.
Referring to those who said he could not beat Prince George’s Executive Rushern Baker, Jealous said he climbed K2 to become the party’s nominee and was ready to climb Mount Everest to defeat Gov. Hogan.
Before Jealous took the stage, his running mate, Susan Turnbull of Bethesda, wound up the crowd, recollecting on her time in the early-1990s as vice chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee.
She thanked everyone for their hard work, and said, “We want you to take a little rest – I mean, till July 4 – then we want you back. It only works when we are all together,” she said of a Democratic victory.
“Together we can do big things again with Ben Jealous,” she declared as the crowd began to chant, “Ben, Ben…”
Council member Marc Erlich, who at the time of the event was locked in a close race with David Blair, told the crowd he was “really excited about taking back Annapolis.”
There will be more money for education if a Democrat is in the governor’s chair, he said.
Winners and losers hugged each other. Those who lost were advised to try again next election, and the Democrats were united for an evening.
Three unsuccessful County executive candidates attended. Bill Frick said he was not sorry he left the House of Delegates to run for a County office, noting, “It’s healthy to have new people in the House.”
When asked about future plans, Frick replied, “My next run will be to the grocery store.”
Council member George Leventhal attributed his defeat to the fact that “I just didn’t have as much money as the others.” He said he was proud of the race he ran and is “exploring a range of opportunities in public and private office.
Former Rockville City Mayor Rose Krasnow’s immediate plans are to visit Europe soon.
Interspersed throughout the evening, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Attorney General Brian Frosh, and County Executive candidate David Blair addressed the crowd via separate videos.