PGC Democrat Primary – State-level offices

State Senate – District 23

Sylvia Johnson: Website doesn’t have any information about her stance on the issues. Only thing there is a campaign ad that is mostly fluff with a brief mention of supporting Small Businesses and something about healthcare. No explanation about what the problems she sees are, or what she would do to address them. She is using a DC firm, Indigo Strategies, to run her campaign, and she touts her connection to Angela Alsobrooks, which is reason enough to NOT vote for her.

Ron Watson: His website is well done and VERY informational. Councilman Sydney Harrison should take notes, this is what an incumbent’s website should be! While he doesn’t have a list of upcoming priorities, he has his entire legislative history laid out in a way that makes it very easy to figure out how he votes on the issues. Also, I have talked to him in person at a local event. While I don’t agree with some of his stances, he seems to be a stand up guy.

Raheela Ahmed: She was one of the Schoolboard Trio who exposed the graduation scandal and corruption within the school system. She had originally planned to run for the County Council, but the redistricting mess last year cause her to shift her plans. Her website is well-done, and has both her past voting record on the School board with her views on several key issues.

** While I tend to lean towards Ahmed, because I would love to see her shake up the state legislature the way she did the school board, I’m not sure she’d be able to do much there by herself. With that in mind, I’d be okay with either her or Watson in the seat.

State Delegates – District 23

We have to elect 3 – yes, THREE – delegates this year, as our district is no longer split. Because of this, there are ten candidates running.

Marvin Holmes Jr: The only incumbent to seek re-election, Holmes has been in office for 19 years. At a local meeting, his biggest pitch for keeping him in office is that he has seniority in the House of Delegates, and as such has a lot of positions on committees where he can steer things in our direction. He has helped our community in the past – with pool funding and HOA issues. His website is decent, and makes it easy to find his priorities and links to his current voting record.

Kym Taylor: She is running on a slate with Holmes, Collins, and Senator Watson. Her website is bare bones. She has a small list of priorities, but no details or explanations. Met her at a local meeting, and she seems like an ok person.

Jocelyn Collins: Running on a slate with Holmes, Taylor, and Watson. Has a list of issues and what she wants to accomplish on her site. She is a former lobbyist-turned-candidate. She wants to fund all the things, but swears she also wants to get some of us some tax relief. She is sold on the whole Green Initiative thing, and wants to force lower prices for prescription drugs somehow. While she is saying all the right things on her website, when I had a chance to listen to her in person at a local meeting, I got a bad vibe. Maybe it’s the whole former lobbyist and huge activist thing, I’m not 100% sure, but something about her just doesn’t sit right, and I’m not sure why.

Adrian Boafo: his website has a detailed list of issues and what he wants to do to fix them, which I love! However, being one of the few to actually articulate a plan means I can question it. Like, his plan to help cut our county’s property tax by promising more state funding for the school system that is only accessible if the county cuts the property tax. I would LOVE less property tax, HOWEVER, where is the state going to get that money? He also supports a single-payer healthcare system for Maryland, legalize weed, declare all unfinished lowers to be “guns” even though they are actually just hunks of metal. He wants the state pension system to stop investing in anything not “green,” and wants to use the state’s surplus (which should be either socked away in a Rainy Day Fund or returned to the people) along with taxes on weed sales and a tax increase on anyone making over $500,000 to fund the school systems. There are other concerning things there as well. It almost feels unfair to scrutinize his plan this hard, considering most of his competitors haven’t even bothered to release a plan.

Remi Duyile: Remi is another candidate that has a short list of ideas, but no details, no plan. She counts PG County’s current State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy as one of her supporters, for whatever that’s worth.

Keenon James: big flashy website with not a whole lot of substance. His list of priorities is pretty short. He wants to forgive student loans (what about those of us who did NOT take student loans? Why should we pay for other’s mistakes?), talks a lot of word salad about public safety, and wants to end “redlining”. That’s about it. His bio suggests that he’s been heavily involved in policing reforms.

Januari McKay: Actually has a decent list of priorities on her site. She wants the government to take care of us from cradle to grave. She will push for both universal preschool and universal long-term care, as well as rent-controls and higher wages. She seems young. In my search to find more information about her online, I found her old 2012 tumbler blog from when she was a reproductive health advocate, but not much else.

Monica Roebuck: Her campaign site is NOT linked on the State Board of Elections, just a facebook page, but I found it anyway. Her website is a wordpress blog, and done in a way that makes it a little clunky to navigate, but it’s ok. She wants to increase teacher retention and replace aging school buildings. How? Throw state money at it! She wants to end cash bail, and make it so that only violent and repeat offenders can be put in jail, everyone else is free to continue crime-ing I guess. She wants to make Mail-in Ballots permanent, and make Voting Day a holiday to ensure everyone has a chance to vote. Not sure that would help people like my husband, whose store does not close for holidays. Besides, it’s already a Federal Mandate that ALL employers have to give their employees time to go vote on Voting day, but ok. She’s all about the “green” agenda, and wants to encourage all of us to carpool or use public transportation. LOL. Ok, so let me just use the county Call-A-Bus system, so they can send a bus to my house to pick me up and take me to work, then call them to come get me when I’m done, cuz that’s so much cleaner than me driving my car. And of course, she wants to legalize weed, because that was worked so well in the other states that did it.

Jacqui Steele McCall: Her website is okay. She does have a list of issues. She seems focused on the Infant Mortality Rate, which, according to the state, is decreasing, so I’m not sure why this is an issue right now? She also wants the now industry-standard line about education – fully fund the schools, forgive student loans, etc. Under Public Safety, she wants the county to provide more after-school programs to keep the kids out of trouble. That’s it. That’s her list.

Valeria Tomlin: Her website is fun and colorful. Her short platform includes throwing more money at the school system, stop redlining, and somehow increase trash pickup in our area, among other things.

Honestly, it’s hard not to get a little jaded when you see all of the candidates saying the same thing – throw money at the school system, that’ll fix it! How? How is throwing more money at our corrupt school system going to fix it? That’s been the ONLY solution to the issues in the public school system, and it hasn’t worked yet. I see a lot of candidates with a spending wishlist, but not a lot of them with explanations as to where they will get the money to spend. As much as I would like to see fresh blood in the seats, Marvin Holmes has always been very responsive to his constituents, so he will likely get one of my three votes. The others, I just don’t know. Frankly, Holmes will probably drag Collins and Taylor across the finish line since they running as a slate. I wouldn’t mind Taylor so much, but I can’t stand Collins. I’d probably trade Collins out for Boafo – not because I like Boafo, but the rumors are that the “slate” doesn’t like him, so the friction it would cause to force them to work with him might slow down some of the crazier agenda items. Also, credit where credit is due, Boafo is the ONLY one on this list to provide a detailed plan of what he thinks should be done and how. So that’s my picks, Holmes, Taylor, and Boafo.

FWIW – My picks for Governor/LT Gov is Franchot/Walker. I’m not the biggest fan of Walker, but Franchot has proven that he’s not a complete turd, and was the only one actually offering solutions to the problems he saw in the debate I saw. As for Federal Senate, between Hoyer, Wilkes, and Washington, I’m picking Keith Washington. Hoyer has been there way too long – 41 years! It’s beyond time for some fresh ideas in that office. Wilkes leans too far into the “green” agenda, wants single-payer healthcare, and doesn’t seem to understand that background checks for gun purchases are already a thing. Now, Washington comes with a HUGE piece of baggage. He’s a felon, convicted of murder, who was released from prison last year. The family of his victim are saying that he should NOT be in office, however, Mr. Washington has a whole website and documentary devoted to proving his innocence – One Innocent Man – and maintains that he acted in self defense, and was wrongfully convicted and jailed. after reading through the evidence from the actual trial, I gotta say, it does seem like a self-defense case, especially after the star witness for the prosecution changed his story multiple times and was charged with 12 counts of perjury for his testimony in this case (but the State refused to prosecute).

What are your thoughts? Who will win? We’ll find out Tuesday night – Wednesday morning. One thing is for sure, a whole LOT of illegal campaign signs will be coming down soon.

Taken by Brad Bell, ABC7.

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