Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 5:37 p.m. on Sept. 7 to include the note about Marlene Michaelson’s retirement.
U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Dist. 8) addressed the Bethesda Chevy-Chase Democratic Breakfast Club over Zoom Wednesday morning and pushed engaging younger voters, addressing policies of Republican members of Congress and his liberal credentials.
“We are headed for a massive historic landslide election in 2024,” Raskin said. “We need to get the young people registered and we need to get the young people out to vote.”
“At a time when the Republican Party has turned itself into a cult of authoritarian personality, the Democratic Party needs to be a school that educates young people about the challenges and the struggles that we’ve been through,” Raskin added.
Raskin focused most of his remarks to the dozens of party faithful on how he and the rest of the Democratic party are addressing the far-right policies of some Republican members of Congress, and his view for democracy. He said despite criticism of the Democratic Party’s messaging, he believes it is the answer to American democracy.
“Autocrats from Moscow to Mar-A-Lago are not going to save us. The theocrats like Mike Pence are not going to save us. The plutocrats are not going to save us. Only the Democrats will save us,” Raskin said. “Even with all of our flaws and imperfections as a party … we are the party of democracy and freedom in America. And I tremble to think what would happen if the Democratic Party doesn’t win in 2024.”
Raskin was also unapologetic about his alignment with the party.
“When [Republicans] say to me, ‘you know, Raskin, you’re not a bad guy, but you’re liberal.’ I say ‘You’re damn right. I’m a liberal,” Raskin said. “But my favorite thing to call myself these days is a conservative, because I want to conserve the land, the air, the water, the climate system, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Affordable Care Act – everything that the party of chaos and nihilism wants to destroy is everything that we are conserving, and we’re gonna defend.”
Montgomery County Council executive director to retire in 2024
Marlene Michaelson, a longtime legislative hand in Montgomery County, is retiring as the County Council’s executive director, she confirmed in an email to MoCo360 last week.
Michaelson was named executive director in 2018. In this role, Michaelson has served as the chief adviser to the council. She handles drafting and analysis of legislation and supervises council staff members. She oversees the provision of services required for the council to make its decisions, and represents the council on interagency boards, according to the county website.
Previously, she had been a senior legislative analyst for the council for over 30 years.
Michaelson said she would leave her position in February and that a media announcement would be coming in the next few weeks to explain the process for hiring her replacement. Montgomery Perspective first reported the move.
Ashwani Jain enters Maryland Sixth Congressional Race
Former Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ashwani Jain (D) has entered the Maryland Sixth Congressional Race, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
The Frederick News-Post first reported that Jain plans to make a formal announcement of his candidacy in October.
Jain, who is 33 and lives in Gaithersburg, ran for governor in 2022 and finished seventh in the Democratic primary with just over 2% of the vote. He also ran for Montgomery County Council in the 2018 Democratic primary against 32 other candidates for at-large seats, receiving 4.3% of the vote.
Jain is a program director at the National Kidney Foundation. He previously worked for the Obama administration. He served in the Office of Presidential Personnel, as a White House liaison for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and as associate director of external affairs for the American Care Act at the Department of Health and Human Services. He was also director of outreach for then-Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative.
General Assembly House Speaker Adrienne Jones endorses Angela Alsobrooks for Senate
Maryland General Assembly House Speaker Adrienne Jones (D-Dist. 10) announced her endorsement of Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) for Senate at a press conference in Baltimore Aug. 28.
Jones, who represents Baltimore County, posted her praise of Alsobrooks on social media following the event.
“As our next U.S. Senator, @AlsobrooksForMD will ask tough questions like a prosecutor, lead like a County Executive & evaluate judicial candidates like a mom. Her voice in the Senate will ensure that our representation reflects the diversity, strength & values of all Marylanders,” Jones wrote.
This endorsement comes after Alsobrooks’ major competitor U.S. Rep. David Trone released a list of 27 members of Congress who have endorsed him.
Alsobrooks has also been endorsed by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), which is considered by some political commentators to be the largest endorsement in the race thus far.