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Updated July 26 at 1:45 p.m. with Will Jawando’s latest endorsements.

Rubin, Royals, Thiam join 6th Congressional District race

The field of candidates in the 6th Congressional District race continues to grow, as more contenders throw their hats in the ring.

Joel Rubin, a Democrat and former Chevy Chase town councilmember, announced his candidacy Monday.

Rubin served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State during the Obama administration and later in a senior State Department role. He ran unsuccessfully for the District 18 seat in the Maryland House of Delegates in 2018. Rubin has a history of Jewish advocacy and helped found J Street, which bills itself as a “pro-Israel, pro-peace” group on its website, and also led the American Jewish Congress.

“As someone who has worked to stop hate at home and advance our security abroad while improving the quality of life for my neighbors as a local elected official, we need leaders committed to public service who think globally and act locally,” Rubin said in a press release.


Germantown resident, Navy officer and combat aviator Tom Royals announced his candidacy last week. He’s running as a Republican.

“Left-wing politicians are targeting the rights of parents, lawlessness on America’s southern border is allowing lethal drugs to flood into Maryland communities, anti-police rhetoric and soft on crime policies are putting communities at risk and reckless spending and out-of-control debt are threatening our economy,” Royals said in a press release.

Former Del. Brenda Thiam (R-Dist. 2B) is also running for the seat. Thiam served in the House of Delegates from 2020 to 2023. A Hagerstown resident and native, she worked as a special education teacher in several school districts, including Montgomery and Washington counties, for more than 20 years. 


“She knows that wiser spending, results driven bipartisan cooperation, and professional problem-solving result in an economic, effective, and efficient Maryland government,” Thiam’s campaign website states.

While the field is getting stacked – and includes Del. Joe Vogel (D-Dist.17) and Del. Lesley Lopez (D-Dist. 39) – several local politicos are still considering entering the race.

Former Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner (D) is considering a run, the Frederick News-Post first reported last week. Gardner served as county executive from 2014 to 2022, and previously worked for former U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski.


In an email, Del. Lily Qi (D-Dist. 15), who represents Montgomery County, told MoCo360 she is still considering whether she will run and will decide this week.

A staffer for Sen. Brian Feldman (D-Dist. 15), who represents Montgomery County, told MoCo360 last month that Feldman was still pondering a run but did not respond to a recent request for comment. – Ginny Bixby

Lopez brings in long list of endorsements


Lopez, who is running for the 6th Congressional District, recently released a long list of endorsements.

Notably, Montgomery County-based Sen. Nancy King (D-Dist. 39) and delegates Julie Palakovich Carr (D-Dist. 17), Aaron Kaufman (D-Dist. 18), Sara Love (D-Dist. 16), Emily Shetty (D-Dist. 18) and Vaughn Stewart (D-Dist. 19) are on the list.


Montgomery County Councilmember Dawn Luedtke (D-Dist. 7) has also endorsed Lopez.

Vogel, who is considered one of Lopez’s major challengers, has raised more than double the funds as Lopez, but has not received local endorsements yet, a member of his team confirmed Monday. Vogel is from the same district as Carr, who has endorsed Lopez.

According to FEC filings, Vogel has raised more than $115,000, while Lopez has raised more than $51,000.


Vogel has received an endorsement from national political action committee Equality PAC, which is “dedicated to the full legal and societal equality for LGBTQ Americans,” according to its website. The PAC financially backs candidates who are either openly LGBTQ+ or have voiced strong support for passing the Equality Act, a federal bill that would ensure protections for LGBTQ+ Americans and make discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals illegal, according to its mission statement. If elected, Vogel would be the first LGBTQ+ person to represent Maryland in Congress.

He also received endorsements from Equality PAC co-chairs Ranking Member Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) – Ginny Bixby

As Democratic Senate primary gets underway, candidates line up MoCo supporters


As the contest for the 2024 Democratic nomination to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Baltimore) takes shape, the three leading contenders—Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, U.S. Rep. David Trone of Potomac, and Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando (At-Large) of Silver Spring–are working to line up endorsements from around the state.

So far, several current and former Montgomery County elected officials have landed in each of the three camps.

Alsobrooks has the longest endorsement list to date—nearly 70 individuals and organizations—with the largest number of them hailing from her home base in Prince George’s. But she’s also lined up two members of the Maryland congressional delegation, Reps. Steny Hoyer of southern Maryland and Kweisi Mfume of Baltimore; state Comptroller Brooke Lierman, a Montgomery County native who now lives in Baltimore; and two fellow county executives—John Olszewski of Baltimore County and Steuart Pittman of Anne Arundel County.


In Montgomery County, Alsobrooks has the backing of former County Executive Ike Leggett and long-time State’s Attorney John McCarthy. (Alsobrooks served two terms as Prince George’s County state’s attorney prior to being elected executive in 2018.)

As Alsobrooks seeks to become the first woman elected to the Maryland congressional delegation since then-Sen. Barbara Mikulski retired at the end of 2016, she can claim several prominent female supporters locally: Sen. Katie Fry-Hester, who represents a district largely in Howard County, but with a piece of northern Montgomery County; Del. Anne Kaiser of Silver Spring; and former Maryland Democratic Chair Susan Turnbull of Bethesda, the 2018 Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor.

Trone recently released a list of 40 endorsements, primarily elected officials from across the 200-mile wide 6th District he now represents. It was headlined by current Frederick County Executive Jessica Fitzwater and former Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner, who is contemplating a run to succeed Trone in the U.S. House.


In Montgomery County, Trone’s endorsements include Senate Majority Leader Nancy King of Montgomery Village; Dels. Chao Wu and Natalie Ziegler of Howard County-based District 9A, which includes a small piece of northern Montgomery; and Del. Ryan Spiegel of Gaithersburg.

Until recently, Spiegel was a city councilmember in Gaithersburg, where Trone has won the backing of three of his former council colleagues–Neil Harris, Jim McNulty and Robert Wu –as well as Mayor Jud Ashman. Mayor John Compton of nearby Washington Grove also is behind Trone, as is Poolesville Town Commission President Jim Brown and three other Poolesville commissioners: Sarah Paksima, Martin Radigan and Edward Reed.

Jawando last week picked up the endorsement of Del. Julie Palakovich Carr of Rockville, chair of the county’s 26-member House of Delegates contingent. He also has received the endorsement of District 5 County Councilmember Kristin Mink, with whom Jawando is frequently allied on legislative issues.


In addition, Jawando held a press conference in Laurel Wednesday morning to announce endorsements from four local officials from within Alsobrooks’ Prince George’s base: two members of the Laurel City Council plus the mayors of the city of Mount Rainier and the town of Colmar Manor.

Mink has donated $250 to the Jawando campaign, according to Federal Election Commission disclosure reports. While none of Jawando’s other nine County Council colleagues have yet made public endorsements in the race, recent FEC reports show District 7 Councilmember Dawn Luedtke contributing $250 to Alsobrooks. — Louis Peck