Md. Political Notes: Schulz’s ad blitz, W’s sister for Blair, anniversary of Kamenetz’s death and more

This content was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

Jittery supporters of former Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz, a leading Republican candidate for governor locked in a tough primary fight with Frederick County Del. Daniel L. Cox, have comforted themselves knowing she has far more resources than Cox and can deploy the campaign cash in a variety of ways.

Schulz is now set to blitz the airwaves, two months before early primary voting begins in the state.

The Schulz campaign announced Monday that she is making “a high six-figure” ad buy in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., media markets. The buy consists of spending on broadcast and cable TV, radio, and digital platforms.

A variety of ads touting Schulz’s background and policies “as well as those holding others accountable for their actions” will be on the air through the July 19 GOP primary. The first ad is a spot called “Parental Rights,” which already has been airing on cable TV stations in three media markets since late February. The ad highlights Schulz’s Parental Bill of Rights, a proposal the campaign says will empower Maryland parents and guarantee quality education for all students.

“Our campaign is excited to make this significant investment which will continue to introduce Kelly Schulz and her plans for Maryland to voters across the state,” said campaign manager Hunter Mullins. “By the time we enter the general election, Marylanders will be fully aware of her vision for a safe, steady, and prosperous future for all Marylanders.”

Schulz is supported by Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) in the primary, while Cox has the backing of President Trump. Cox’s campaign treasury was considerably smaller than Schulz’s in mid-January, however.

More ads from Moore

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore unveiled his own latest ad on Monday, which will run statewide online, digitally and on streaming services thanks to a six-figure ad buy.

It is not the first ad blitz for the best-selling author and former nonprofit executive.

The new ad features Moore’s mother, Joy, and speaks of her raising him as a single mother after his father’s death at a young age.

“Wes was three when his father died,” Joy Moore says.

“And suddenly my mom was raising three kids on her own,” Moore says.

Joy Moore explains how sending Moore to military school helped him find his way and led him to a life of public service.

In the ad, Wes Moore credits his military service for imparting him with the philosophy that motivates his run for Governor: “In the Army, we had a simple motto — leave nobody behind,” he says.

“But here in Maryland, we’re leaving too many people behind,” Joy Moore adds.

“And that’s why I am running for governor,” her son adds, ending the spot.

The ad began airing Monday.

George W. Bush’s sister hosting an event for Blair in MoCo

Two Montgomery County entrepreneurs are hosting a meet-and-greet Thursday afternoon for businessman David T. Blair, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Montgomery County executive.

One of them is Doro Bush Koch, sister of President George W. Bush and daughter of President George H.W. Bush.

Bush Koch and her sister-in-law and business partner, Tricia Reilly Koch, are hosting the event at the Bethesda Women’s Club. The two women are partners in BB&R Wellness Consulting, LLC, a health and wellness consulting company (the BB&R stands for “Bright, Bold & Real”).

“Come hear David’s plans to move the county forward, and find out about how local government impacts your daily lives,” the invitation to the luncheon event says. “David will lead Montgomery County with authenticity, and his conscious leadership style will empower others to lead us into the future.”

Blair is in a four-way primary, seeking to oust County Executive Marc B. Elrich, who defeated Blair by just 77 votes in the 2018 Democratic primary. The other contenders are County Councilmember Hans Riemer and Peter James, who works in the tech industry.

Lest you think it’s unusual for a member of the most famous Republican family in the U.S. to be hosting an event for a Democratic candidate, consider: Montgomery County, where Bush Koch lives, is a Democratic stronghold; a Republican was last elected county executive in 1974. And she is part of a bipartisan family: Her husband, president and CEO of The Wine Institute, was a top Democratic operative on Capitol Hill for many years.

Of course, Blair’s foes may use this event to remind Democratic primary voters that the health care entrepreneur was once a Republican.

Perez brags on someone else’s poll

The email Monday from the gubernatorial campaign of former Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez came with this eye-catching subject line: “new poll shows Tom can flip Maryland blue!”

“What’s this?” any number of email recipients must have thought. “Is there fresh polling on this inscrutable 10-candidate Democratic primary?”

Alas, no.

Turns out, the Perez campaign was bragging on a poll, first reported last week by Maryland Matters, from an independent expenditure group that is promoting the candidacy of another candidate, former Obama administration Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. The poll found 42% of Democratic primary voters queried in early April undecided, with Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot leading an initial query at 20%. But after a series of followup questions, other candidates, including King and Perez, started doing better.

“A new poll just released found that Tom is in the top tier of candidates that voters are considering as Maryland’s next governor,” the Perez email said. “As soon as voters hear more about his background and vision, his support skyrockets.”

What follows is an inevitable appeal for campaign contributions.

“Tom will always get the job done — whether it’s taking on climate change or expanding access to reproductive health care,” the missive says. “Tom will deliver jobs, justice, and opportunity for everyone. And when voters learn that about Tom, voters know he’s the leader we need in Maryland. So can you chip in today to Tom’s campaign?”

The next generation of Kamenetzes 

It’s hard to believe, but Tuesday is the fourth anniversary of the death of former Baltimore County Executive Kevin B. Kamenetz (D), who died at age 60 in the midst of running a very competitive campaign for governor.

Kamenetz’s death, six weeks before the primary, scrambled Maryland’s political scene in incalculable ways. He had already served two terms as county executive and four terms on the county council.

But Kamenetz, who enjoyed politics, policymaking and his family in equal measure, would be proud to know that his 21-year-old son, Karson B. Kamenetz, a junior at the University of Maryland College Park, is running for a seat on the Baltimore County Democratic Central Committee, representing legislative district 11A.

“In 2018, in the midst of a cutthroat gubernatorial campaign, the vision that I and many others shared for a better Maryland ended with the untimely passing of my father,” Karson Kamenetz wrote earlier this spring on social media. “Now, 12 years after I stood behind him as he was first sworn in as Baltimore County Executive, I have found that I possess his same passion and determination to make our neighborhoods, our communities, and our county even better tomorrow than it is today.

“When I was younger, I never wanted to go into politics. However, seeing the concerning direction in which our country and our world are heading, I realize that I cannot stand on the sidelines. I must finish what my father started.”

This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

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