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Two Fundraisers in Prince George's

Rosalind Helderman

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) held his first fundraiser since the inauguration at Newton White Mansion in Mitchellville Tuesday. About 150 people attended the evening cocktail mingler, including developers and several elected officials. Brown's staff said they expected the event would raise between $140,000 and $160,000 for his future political ambitions.

In comments to the crowd, Brown offered a version of what has become something of a stump speech offered by Brown and Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) for the governor's plan to raise taxes and close the state's budget deficit. "Each of you could probably find 12 reasons why not to support this solution," he told the crowd. "But understand, it's a consensus plan."

He also talked about how the plan includes money to expand health coverage for Marylanders, a particularly poignant topic in Prince George's, where the drain of caring for the uninsured has hobbled the local hospital system.

Meanwhile, County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) also held a fundraiser recently at Grace's Fortune Restaurant. According to several who attended, the event for the term-limited executive also drew a good crowd, including many developers.

One attendee said the big topic of conversation at the evening event, not surprisingly, was how exactly Johnson might use their donations. Johnson has never ruled out another run for elected office. In an interview shortly after his reelection to second term he noted that Democrats had taken the governor and lieutenant governor positions, jobs for which he'd most likely run. However, he refused to close the door on a future run for office.

"There's nothing to run for. I'm not going to go and challenge anybody," he said then. But he added, "If [an opportunity] opens, it opens, you know? I'm not going to close doors. But I'm not going to go around trying to kick doors down either."

Confidantes say he has toyed with the notion of a run for U.S. Senate. But observers also note he may simply be raising money to fend off perceptions that he is a lame duck while he still has three years in office. Plus, a fat campaign account would make Johnson's endorsement for the next county executive more valuable. It would allow him to transfer a chunk of change to his chosen successor--meaning those who want to take his job next might be more likely to seek his favor. And that's never a bad thing for a politician.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 4, 2007; 10:21 AM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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Comments

Could you imagine Jack in the US Senate?

Actually, he should try and run. He would burn through that cash and have as much impact as Kevin Zeese. It would be great!

Posted by: Foe of Jack | October 4, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I wish we had term limits in Montgomery County.

Posted by: Robin Ficker of Robin Realty | October 4, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Brown's plan raises many millions more than are necessary to close any "deficit" in a budget which is increasing at least 8.5% over last year. Take a poll Lt. Gov. and see if the good people of P.G. want their sales tax increased 20% every day of the year after they swamped the stores when there was a sale tax-free weekend a couple of years ago.

Posted by: Robin Ficker of Robin Realty | October 4, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Is JJ still county exec? Where has he been since the election? Are the indictments coming out soon?

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