Tag Archives: Donna Edwards

Donna Edwards breaks with party over redistricting again

100928_edwards_376Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) is open to an independent commission proposed by Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) is breaking with other Democrats again over redistricting, saying she’s open to an independent commission proposed by Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

“I have long supported redistricting reforms to end the damage partisan gerrymandering does to our democracy,” she said in a statement. “I look forward to reviewing Governor Hogan’s announcement to see whether it is truly independent of partisan politics.”

All but one of Maryland’s eight congressional districts are held by Democrats, thanks in part to boundaries drawn by Democratic leadership after the 2010 Census. Hogan is creating an 11-member panel to recommend a new process. The Maryland Democratic Party says the lines shouldn’t be redrawn until there’s nationwide agreement on reform.

Edwards, as she has in the past, disagreed with her fellow Democrats.

“It’s not going to change the balance in the state,” Edwards said of redistricting reform in an interview Thursday, given Maryland’s overwhelmingly Democratic population, “but it will be fairer to people.”

At the same time, she said, any new process should take into account contiguity and minority representation.

Her Democratic primary opponent in the race for Maryland’s open Senate seat, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, took a more cautious line. He told Hogan he was “open to reviewing your proposal,” but echoed his fellow Democrats in saying “it makes more sense to have one set of nonpartisan rules for the entire country rather than a state-by-state approach.”

Edwards noted that her opposition to the Maryland political map drawn by Democrats in 2011 is “no secret.” She said at the time that the map disadvantaged minority voters by dividing Montgomery County into three districts represented by white men. Democratic critics, who attacked her for discussing maps with Republicans, said her real concern was keeping her own district safe.

Van Hollen, a former state lawmaker with close ties to Democrats in Annapolis, went along with that plan although it also carved up his district.

A February Goucher College poll found that the vast majority of Marylanders — 72 percent — would prefer independent redistricting.

Via Washington Post



Political scientist Alvin Thornton to run for Congress in 4th District.


Political scientist Alvin Thornton

Howard University political scientist Alvin Thornton, who chaired the commission that formulated Maryland’s current system of public school funding that often bears his name, plans on running for Congress in the 4th Congressional District.

The district already has seven declared candidates for the seat now represented by Rep. Donna Edwards, who is running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.

“It’s a disabled electorate,” said Thornton, a Upper Marlboro resident. He said the district, which includes parts of Anne Arundel, does not have the political clout it should.

“You have to have issues that mobilize people,” said Thornton. He happened to be on Lawyer’s Mall Thursday morning to tape some campaign video at the same time a Tame the Gerrymander rally was taking place.

Thornton continues to be mobilized himself by school funding issues, and is unhappy he was not appointed to be the commission currently looking at revising education funding in Maryland, sometimes called Thornton 2.

“I’m concerned about the unraveling of that consensus” on school funding issues that sought to balance the needs of rich and poor jurisdictions to provide an adequate education, he said. It involved many compromises and funding formulas related both to wealth, income and student achievement.

“That’s something that no state had done without major litigation,” Thornton said. The commission he chaired was appointed because of a lawsuit complaining of inadequate state funding, but it was resolved by legislation recommended by his commission.

Thornton has only run for political office once before, running for State Senate in district 25 against Sen. Mike Donovan, who opposed the creation of a state holiday for Martin Luther King Jr., Thornton said.

Other candidates in the 4th Congressional race are former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey, former Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Dels. Dereck Davis and Joseline Pena-Melnyk, former County Council member Ingrid Turner, Warren Christopher who ran against Edwards last year, and Lisa Renee Ransom.prince-large1



Baker endorses Van Hollen while majority of Council endorses Edwards.

Rep. Donna Edwards

Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-4)


Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-8)

County Executive Rushern Baker III and the County Council may find themselves at odds once again.

Baker announced last Wednesday he has endorsed Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-8) for the U.S. Senate in the upcoming 2016 election, but some members of the County Council have chosen to go a different route and elected to endorse Donna Edwards (D-4).

Baker said he chose to endorse Van Hollen rather than Edwards, a Prince George’s County representative and native, because of their experience working together in the state legislature. The two have a history of working together, he said, and “rolling up [their] sleeves” on difficult issues.

“That’s the type of relationship I’ve had with Senator (Barbara) Mikulski. I know that Chris, going over to the Senate, will do that,” Baker said. “It was an easy decision in this respect. I don’t just know him as a name or as a congressman—I know him personally and I know the working relationship.”

However, all members of the Prince George’s County Council except for Councilman Todd Turner and Councilwoman Deni Taveras announced their support for Edwards at Prince George’s County Community College Wednesday.

Edwards thanked the council members for their support and said she looks forward to working with them at the Senate level.

“I am thrilled to stand with my partners on the Prince George’s County Council,” Edwards said. “Together, we have worked tirelessly to improve education, expand economic development, and stand up for our seniors. I thank them for their support, and look forward to continue working with them in the United States Senate.”

Mel Franklin, Chairman of the Prince George’s County Council, said he will stand with Edwards as works to stand in Senator Mikulski’s “trailblazing” shoes in her senate seat.

“Donna’s experiences and values have made her who she is today, a principled, progressive fighter with a unique, proven record of improving the lives of working families,” Franklin said. “That is what she has done in Prince George’s County, and that is what she will do for all Marylanders.”

Van Hollen said he is happy to have the support of Baker, as well as Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett who also attended the press conference where Baker made his announcement.

Van Hollen represents Congressional District 8, which used to include part of Prince George’s County as recently as 2013. In Congress, Van Hollen said he has done his best to give citizens the best opportunities to “live the American dream.”

>>> Read more 


Prince George’s County Council

Rushern Baker - Appears to be driving corruption to new heights

County Executive Rushern Baker III