October 20, 2023
Many elected officials endorse other candidates. Some contribute to the candidates they have endorsed. But few go further by financing independent expenditures for those candidates, such as mailers.
That’s because they are not Senator Cheryl Kagan.
Last year, Kagan (who represents District 17, which covers Rockville and Gaithersburg) sent mailers against two Republican delegates who voted against her bill protecting 911 services. The delegates – District 9A’s Reid Novotny and District 33’s Sid Saab – were both running for state senate seats in the general election. Saab lost by 11 points and Novotny lost by 16 points. We will never know how much Kagan’s mailers, which cost roughly $35,000, contributed to their defeats but they surely did not help the losers.
Now Kagan is at it again, sending out a mailer in this year’s Rockville municipal elections. These mailers do not attack malefactors but rather elevate Kagan’s endorsed candidates. It’s worth noting that Kagan is a decades-long resident of Rockville and first represented the city’s state legislative district after her initial election as a delegate in 1994. Surely her beneficiaries – city council candidates David Myles, Kate Fulton, Paul Scott, Barry Jackson and Adam Van Grack – appreciate her support. Just as surely, the non-endorsed candidates – Daniel Belay, Richard Gottfried, Harold Hodges, Ricky Mui, Anita Powell, Izola Shaw and Marisa Valeri do not. Kagan also opined on the city’s ballot questions, favoring voting rights for 16-year-olds and non-citizens and opposing term limits and district council seats.
Kagan’s mailer is reprinted below. We shall see if her gambit pays off next month.