Fellow Maryland Democrats Wes Moore kick off party’s fall campaign season with President Joe Biden in Rockville – Baltimore Sun

Gubernatorial hopeful Wes Moore and other Democratic candidates in Maryland on the ballot this fall will get a high-profile boost Thursday as President Joe Biden headlines a rally in Rockville to kick off the season of the general election campaign of the party.

Moore, an author and former nonprofit leader who hopes to succeed incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, will speak at the event while his opponent, Republican Del. Dan Cox, teased Wednesday that he would be making a close appearance.

Hosted by the Democratic National Committee, the rally at Richard Montgomery High School is also expected to feature speeches from Maryland Lieutenant Governor nominee Aruna Miller, Comptroller Candidate Brooke Lierman, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, State House Majority Leader States Steny Hoyer, U.S. Representative Jaime Raskin and Maryland Democratic Party Chair Yvette Lewis.

The president will make the short trip to the heavily Democratic suburb outside of Washington, DC, after recently signing a landmark climate and health care bill, dubbed the Curbing Inflation Act, and after his executive action on Wednesday to cancel $10,000 in student debt for numerous borrowers.

Democrats hope these and other actions will energize voters nationwide in a midterm election year in which Republicans are expected to largely succeed, perhaps regaining House majorities. Representatives and the United States Senate.

In Maryland, a blue state, most political observers say Democrats are likely to fare better.

The party’s registered voters in the state outnumber Republicans by more than 2 to 1 and, at the top of the ticket, Cox is widely seen as too conservative to win enough Democrats and moderate voters to beat Moore.

Hogan, who remains popular with voters of both parties, does not support Cox, and National Republicans have not indicated they will host events or dedicate resources to help Cox.

The Republican National Committee and the Republican Governors Association, two major national groups believed to be helping Cox, did not respond to questions Wednesday about the Biden event or Cox.

“I can’t imagine the Republican Governors Association is going to invest heavily in this race,” said David Lublin, professor and chair of the government department at American University. “They have a lot more fish to fry with a lot higher odds.”

For the Democratic National Committee, Thursday’s rally is the first major event of the election season at a time when inflation remains a top concern for many voters and Biden’s approval rating, while rebounding slightly in recent weeks. , remains low at around 41%.

The Maryland Democratic Party, after its fiercely competitive 10-gubernatorial primary last month, presented a united front.

“I am thrilled to welcome the President to Maryland to rally around a unified Democratic Party that will provide the leadership families urgently need,” Moore said on social media this week.

Moore, who would become Maryland’s first black governor, is on a list of candidates who would make history if elected this fall.

Lierman, the Baltimore delegate vying to replace longtime comptroller Peter Franchot, would be the first woman elected to the position. U.S. Representative Anthony Brown, meanwhile, is seeking to become the state’s first black attorney general. Brown had a family obligation on Thursday and was not expected to attend the rally, a spokesperson said.

Cox’s campaign said Wednesday that the Republican gubernatorial candidate would hold a press conference near the high school before the president’s rally. The campaign did not respond to further requests for comment on Biden’s rally or whether it expected similar events to come with National Republicans or former President Donald Trump.

Cox, a first-term delegate and Frederick County attorney, leaned heavily on Trump’s endorsement and agenda in the primary against Hogan-backed Kelly Schulz. Although Trump has never held an in-person rally like he has with candidates in other states, he issued several statements to boost Cox and took part in a phone call with thousands of supporters just before the primary.

Political watchers say those ties could doom Cox with Maryland’s largest electorate in November, the one that gave Biden a 33 percentage point victory over Trump in 2020.

And in Montgomery County, where the two candidates will be on Thursday, Biden won more than four times as many votes as Trump in 2020. Home to the largest voting bloc in the state, voters in Montgomery County are typically those who voted for former President Barack Obama. , voted for Biden, believed in following government protocols for COVID-19 and are “extremely pro-choice,” Lublin said. Cox, who is staunchly anti-abortion, has made pandemic measures — such as mask and vaccine mandates — his top campaign issue.

“All those, if you will, Hogan Democrats or Biden-Hogan voters, they’re just not going to vote for Dan Cox because it’s just not the same kind of choice,” Lublin said.

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Keep up to date with Maryland politics, elections and important decisions made by federal, state and local authorities.

With more than two-thirds of state governors up for election this year, Maryland is the only state currently held by Republicans that should swing into a “safely Democratic” race, according to the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. .

Another group, meanwhile, planned to demonstrate outside the school on Thursday.

Help Save Maryland, a Montgomery County-based nonprofit that fights pro-immigration policies, planned to protest Biden’s record on immigration. The group’s email invitation for the protest alleged that Biden allowed millions of illegal immigrants into the country after Trump “effectively closed the southern border to illegals and smugglers.”

The invitation advised protesters to “be nice” and “be smart” because of the federal law enforcement that will be in attendance.

Brad Botwin, the director of Help Save Maryland, said he emailed the invitation Tuesday to his mailing list of 5,000 members, but didn’t know how many would show up.

“We just wanted to show the flag, so to speak, and let the president know that we’re concerned about the issue,” Botwin said.

The Montgomery County Police Department said in a statement that only invited and registered attendees will be allowed into the high school. Gates will open to the public at 4 p.m. and parking will be prohibited at the high school but will be available free of charge in nearby car parks and parking lots, police said.

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