I live in a state legislative district where the going has gotten nasty as we count down to a September 14 primary election. In short, our state senator retired in 2008, not long after the last election cycle was completed. A state delegate (Nancy King), one of three from our district, was appointed to replace him. She was a reasonable choice. Another state delegate (Saqib Ali), who lives in my neighborhood, was chagrined--he had wanted the appointment, despite having, at that point, no legislative experience (he had just been elected).
Saqib filed early in the election season to challenge Nancy for the Senate seat. He then started a flurry of negative campaigning (to be fair, Nancy had been unkind to Saqib in several previous public confrontations). The campaign has since been marked by an increasing volume of nastiness, which for me peaked a few weeks ago when Saqib's campaign sent me an email accusing Nancy's people of stealing Saqib's yard signs. At that point my mind was made up. Saqib had no proof of the King campaign's involvement, and he took the whole thing like a petulant fifth-grader. I sent an email to Saqib personally asking him to take me off his mailing list (he's an accessible guy, and knocks on doors in the neighborhood with some regularity).
I started out neutral on this election. I am a courtly, old-style Maryland Democrat, and I thought Saqib's attempt to get appointed to the Senate seat two years ago was pretty poor form. One waits one's turn, unless that turn has been 10 years forthcoming. One garners a little experience rather than slapping one's uberambitious johnson on the table and demanding to play with the big boys. I think Saqib is an okay guy, but he's pretty much the literal embodiment of raw ambition. The yard signs thing just completely settled the issue.
Of what is all this in aid? Well, Saqib appears to be punching out of his weight class (King has the backing of the state Democratic establishment, for reasons that become more obvious each day). Maryland Politics Watch reports that...well, just click the link. It's beyond awesome.
Full disclosure: Landru and Ilse are voting for Nancy King. They have met Saqib Ali personally, more than once, think he's an okay guy and a perfectly fine neighbor, would've voted for him as an incumbent Delegate, and will vote for him if he wins the primary. Landru, who does not like referring to himself in the third person, will endorse, in detail, his full slate of MoCoLocal candidates by Labor Day, at least for Council, BoE (like the five of us don't know who to vote for there), and Sheriff (Jeebus, a freaking contested primary for Sheriff. Oy.). The state offices are all uncontested contested primaries, and Landru will vote for a pair of moldy sweat socks in the primary over Martin O'Malley, Chris Van Hollen, and Babs. In fact, he's considering writing in Robin Ficker for all three offices (Robin Ficker, for those of you who aren't the five locals, is a pseudolibertarian professional gadfly and perennial local office-seeker, who would be ineligible to run for anything as a Democrat, since he's...uhm...a Republican).
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