The recent Democratic Primary Election was an important one for Prince George’s County. It marked the first election in over 50 years that former Senator, and political icon, Thomas V. Mike Miller wasn’t on the ballot; there were several newcomers…and some cagy veterans who defied conventional wisdom and won hotly contested elections, and Prince George’s County did the heavy lifting in electing what will likely become Maryland’s first Black Governor. With all this excitement, we here at DMV Digest wanted to get into the Post-Election “Winners & Losers” analysis. As a publication that seeks to uplift the political discourse of the county, we don’t need to put the losers on blast (we all saw) so with no further ado, here are the 5 Biggest Winners of the 2022 Prince George’s Primary Election:
5. Wes Moore’s Legislative Allies
It’s been a long time since Prince George’s County has had such talented leaders on the budget committees AND a Democratic Governor. Add that to the fact that the Legislature has much more budgetary power due to the Constitutional Amendment passed in 2020 (Question 1) and it’s hard not to be optimistic about the county’s future. House Appropriations Chairman Ben Barnes, Senate Pro Temp Melony Griffith, Senator Mike Jackson, Delegate Jazz Lewis, and Delegate Alonzo Washington will see their influence in Annapolis increase dramatically if conventional wisdom holds and Wes Moore Governor is elected Governor.
4. The Ivey Family
Even in a business where family ties are commonplace, it’s hard to think of another example where three family members were elected to such important positions as Delegate Julian Ivey, County Councilmember Jolene Ivey, and soon to be Congressman Glenn Ivey. Glenn Ivey’s impressive victory over the early favorite Donna Edwards, was to be sure, aided by the millions of campaign dollars from the American-Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC). But don’t get it twisted, the Ivey name holds a lot of weight in PGC, and their support runs deep.
3. Well Organized “Vote By Mail” Campaigns
In a new reality where candidates need to have a “vote by mail” strategy along with an “early vote” and an “election day” strategy, we saw several races flip (or slip out of reach) because of well-organized mail efforts. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the 23rd District, where the up-and-coming Bowie City Councilmember Adrian Boafo leaped from 4th place on election night to a comfortable 2nd place finish.
2. The County Council’s Fresh Face Club
If the County Council elections were the NCAA basketball tournament, there would be a lot of busted brackets and ecstatic “mid-majors” this year. In District 2, Delegate Wanika Fisher defeated former Senator Victor Ramirez, who is widely regarded as a dogged campaigner who remains popular in his old district. For those keeping score at home, that’s two elections in a row that Fisher was written off early by the chattering class only to come back and win hard-fought victories. In District 4, Bowie City Councilmember Ingrid Harrison won a decisive victory over well qualified but outmatched opponents. In District 6 (the unofficial epicenter of political power in PGC), attorney Wala Blegay earned high praise from even her toughest critics for the effectiveness and organization of her campaign. In the end, Blegay won a relatively comfortable victory over Aisha Braveboy’s handpicked candidate Denise Smith. And in District 7, community organizer Krystal Oriadha won a lopsided victory over the current Councilmember Rodney Streeter. Oriadha’s impressive grass roots campaign delivered the first defeat of an incumbent Prince George’s Councilmember in over 30 years.
1. Angela Alsobrooks
Without question, the biggest winner of this primary election season was County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. While she didn’t face any real competition in her own election, she still garnered an eye-popping 91% of the vote in a five person race. Statistically speaking, that is unheard of (by comparison beloved Congressman Steny Hoyer received 73% of the vote). But the much larger story is that Alsobrooks put her unmatched army of several hundred campaign volunteers into action and helped deliver statewide victories for Gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore, Comptroller candidate Brooke Lierman, and Attorney General Candidate Anthony Brown. It is rumored that Alsobrooks is considering a potential run for the US Senate in 2024 if Senator Ben Cardin, as many insiders believe, does not run. That race could potentially pit her against Congressman Jamie Raskin, who is clearly formidable in his own right. But our guess is that while he would want to run for the Senate, the prospect of running against a wildly popular sitting county executive who would be the first Black woman elected to the Senate in Maryland would give him pause. As the kids say around here, “he don’t want that smoke”. Stay tuned.