The following is from a press release on January 4th sent to Scott E’s Blog:
We are disappointed, but not surprised, to see several current elected members of the Howard County Democratic Central Committee on the recently-unveiled Steering Committee list for the primary opponent to Democratic Councilwoman and diehard progressive & environmentalist Liz Walsh (District 1). Councilwoman Walsh has been a tireless watchdog for accountability and transparency in our County government, and it is a shame that several Central Committee members would go against the wishes of their own constituents to support a more conservative primary opponent against a very popular incumbent. Though not an official rule, elected Party leaders are generally expected to remain publicly neutral in primary races, so it is inexcusable that these Central Committee members would decide to stray with norms to side against the Councilmember who easily has the strongest record on protecting the County budget, schools, environment, housing, and BIPOC and immigrant communities.
This is unfortunately just the latest example of a long-running pattern of the current elected members of the Democratic Central Committee making decisions against the interests and wishes of their Democratic voters, and instead for the expediency of their own political careers and social clout. Other examples include Central Committee members and the Committee itself working against the 2020 Democratic nominee for Circuit Court Judge Quincy Coleman, Central Committee members advocating to keep our County’s inhumane contract with ICE, the silence of Central Committee members on huge issues of importance such as Liz Walsh’s forest preservation bill which was just successfully vetoed last night, and countless other examples of Central Committee members using their positions to do PR for the County Executive and other elected Democrats and special interests who they’ve pledged allegiance to. It is this allegiance to the local Democratic establishment that has caused the current Central Committee members to support Liz Walsh’s opponent, as Liz has made things very difficult for the entrenched power structure in the County to function since her 2018 election.
Make no mistake: the purpose of the Democratic Central Committee is to represent the Democratic voters of a County, not to try to control the party from a top down manner, including primarying popular progressive incumbents. Unfortunately, the current Central Committee, though, has just become another arm of the local political establishment machine who’ve long-neglected the County. Howard County Democrats, when Central Committee members are up for re-election in 2022, please ask yourself: are these the Party “leaders” you want representing you?
Note: Links in the press release above added by Scott E’s Blog. Here is a copy of the original press release in PDF form: PDHC Response to Central Committee Members on Neveen Kurtom Steering Committee
It should be noted in this article that Howard County Councilmember (District 1) Liz Walsh has not filed or announced a run for reelection in 2022 as of this article. The filing deadline for candidates in February 22nd. Here is a listing of local candidates running in Howard County to date: https://scotteblog.com/2022-primary-election-candidates-howard-county/
Related articles on the topic above:
Neveen Kurtom, 2022 candidate for Howard County Council District 1, has released a list of her steering committee members
Howard County Council vote to override County Executive’s veto of CB78-2021 fails on January 4th