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Annapolis Comes Out For Wynn

Rosalind Helderman

In a show of local support, U.S. Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D-Md.) was joined by a majority of members of the Prince George's and Montgomery County legislative delegations for an Annapolis rally this morning.

Holding Wynn signs and chanting "Win with Wynn," the lawmakers pledged to fight to reelect Wynn to a ninth term in Congress. They argue the 4th district gains from his seniority.

"To endorse someone with no experience, over an incumbent congressman who is now a committee chairman doesn't serve the people of Montgomery or Prince Georges," said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) in an interview. Miller was referring to Wynn's leading challenger, Prince George's attorney Donna F. Edwards, who has never held elected office.

Sen. Ulysses Currie (D-Prince George's) said he has mailed letters to 5,000 supporters telling them Wynn has been critical to his own success in politics and they should vote for the congressman in the Feb. 12 primary. Sen. Robert J. Garagiola (D-Montgomery) said Wynn has fought for job creation and health care for low-income children. "He's a fighter in Congress, and we need to keep him there," he said.

Wynn pronounced himself humbled to have the backing of so many state legislators, some of whom he served with in Annapolis before his election to Congress. Noting his subcommittee chairmanship on the Commerce and Energy Committee, he said, "It's taken a while to become a subcommittee chairman, but it's a very good perch to do things from."

In an interview, Wynn predicted a big turnout on Primary Day now that Maryland is a factor in presidential primary battle. He said increased voting could help his effort. Wynn has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in the race; Edwards has so far stayed neutral. "What Sen. Obama brings is a sense of 'let's get things done," he said. "[Edwards] is an ideologue. It's her way or the highway. I've always been about getting things done."

Edwards meanwhile announced the support of three elected Latino leaders: Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Montgomery), Del. Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk (D-Prince George's) and Edmonston Mayor Adam Ortiz.

"I am proud to call Donna Edwards my partner in fighting on the issues that matter for the people in my district," said Peña-Melnyk in a statement.

Edwards spokesman Dan Weber said called it "no surprise" that sitting elected officials would support an incumbent.

"History has shown throughout this area that that seems to be how it works," he said. "Electeds come out and predominately support electeds... we're very excited and happy about the people who have come on board for us and we're looking forward to seeing if more do so."

UPDATE: A list of the lawmakers who attended this morning's event can be found here.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  February 6, 2008; 10:57 AM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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I'm supporting Obama because he's an outsider who will work for change, not someone stuck on defending an established political machine. Wynn supports Obama ONLY because he sees the trend in his district--a place he has ignored after every election. Perhaps he's supporting Obama because he's voted with Bush on every crucial issue and thinks that the Republicans can win against Obama. Regardless, if you want change, you don't send the establishment back. We want what is correct (as opposed to Right). Wynn and his corporate sponsers have not delivered the interests of the district. His establishment buddies haven't either. At least Edwards supports change. I haven't noted Wynn voting in that direction.

Posted by: ORB | February 6, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Wynn being on the Energy committee is a great reason to vote for Donna. Do we really need someone on the Energy committee whose idea of sound energy policy is billions of dollars in tax breaks for Exxon and other price-gouging oil companies? I think not.

Donna Edwards, like Barack Obama, is a change candidate. What she lacks in experience she makes up for in passion and new ideas. I hope to see them both win their respective primaries in Maryland.

Posted by: Andrew Kujan | February 6, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Helderman: can you list the names of any of the other state legislators who attended Albert Wynn's rally?

Posted by: Adam Pagnucco | February 6, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Sen. Garagiola that Rep. Wynn is the better choice in this race. The Gazette endorsed him today too.

But Sen Garagiola, why were you the deciding vote in a 24-23 vote in the State Senate to impose a 6% computer tax?

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | February 6, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Wynn may have jumped in front of the Obama parade, but he did. Edwards' neutrality is a stupid move politically. If she'd endorsed Obama, she could have aligned his campaign for change with hers.

Wynn took Edwards lightly last time out, he isn't this time. The legislators endorsing him all have organizations that can help get out the vote for Wynn.

I have no love for Wynn, but I think he will win on Tuesday.

Posted by: RL | February 6, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

It's nice that Mr. Wynn is a subcommittee chairman. Too bad the subcommittee hasn't done anything under his leadership.

Posted by: Art Brodsky | February 6, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Gee, the Gazette endorsement! What a prize! And Robin Ficker, too!

The Gazette is a paper whose editorial board is completely and totally out of touch with the community it reports on. Its track record is abysmal: in 2006, it endorsed Mike Subin, Bo Newsome and Reggie Felton for County Council at-large seats. All three lost, badly.

The Gazette is entirely too enamored of conservative business interests, apparently hoping for advertising buys from these groups. Developers, banks, you name it, the Gazette craves their approval. Al Wynn and his corrupt cronyism fits right in with the Gazette's view of the world.

There was no way that Donna Edwards would ever be endorsed by the Gazette. Dog bites man.

Posted by: lefty | February 6, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Dear Ros:

And another thing: under no definition of "majority" was Al Wynn joined by "a majority of members of the Prince George's and Montgomery County legislative delegations."

The Montgomery County delegation consists of 32 members: 8 senators and 24 delegates. According to your list, 13 Montgomery County elected officials attended (5 senators and 8 delegates). That's less than 50%.

The Prince George's County delegation consists of 31 members, 8 senators and 23 delegates. According to your list, 14 Prince George's County elected officials attended (4 senators and 10 delegates). That, again, is less than 50%.

Even if you treat the two delegations as a single entity, 27 out of 63 elected officials attended. That, again, is less than 50%.

I have a sad feeling that you got the "majority" language from an Al Wynn press release. In which case, please remember that your job is not that of a stenographer, but a REPORTER. Check your facts next time. That's pretty freakin' embarrassing.

Posted by: lefty | February 6, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

What really turned my off about Edwards was her failure to condemn these massive "independent" expenditures. They weren't independent, but rather part of Edward's scheme. Plus, Wynn has always been a friendly people person.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | February 6, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

That's the kiss of death. Robin Ficker calling Wynn a friendly people person. If I were Wynn I would hope that Ficker endorsed her.

Let's see if the "Ficker effect" works its magic on Tuesday.

Posted by: MidCo Maven | February 6, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

What was Wynn done for the district? He's been in office for some time and he has done very little. Why would democrats oppose one of their own? Edwards is a democrat too and voting out the incumbent is the surest way to get change.

Posted by: Dina | February 6, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Wynn deserves support in this election; he has done a good job representing his constitutents and should be credited with stepping it up since 2006.

Robin, don't believe that any votes are really decided by a single delegate or senator. The package had greater support in the Assembly; leadership gives individuals a "pass" on individual components so they can always say "I voted against ..." and future opponents can't say the incumbent "voted for every tax or spending hike."

Perhaps support of a COMPUTER tax had to do with REALTORS lobbying against sales taxes on their services. The fact is, as our economy continues to shift from manufacturing goods to one of service industries, the sales tax reaches a dimishing portion of those transactions. If anything, the failure of the General Assembly was that they didn't expand it to all services, thereby allowing the budget to be balanced without such a large increase in the rate itself.

Posted by: DEH | February 7, 2008 5:20 AM | Report abuse

Wynn supports Obama. If Edwards really wanted change, she would have supported him too, but she did not choosing to wink at the most important race in a generation and to wink at the unprecedented nasty "independent" expenditures flowing her way by the millions. The Gazette endorsement of Wynn says Wynn, "shows a willingness to consider all ideas, not restricting his thinking to the party lines and not abusing the power of incumbency. . . . Experience makes a difference." I have met millions of people in my life. Every time I meet Wynn, as I did earlier this week, I get the impression that he is smart and has an open mind to new ideas. He is younger than many ten or twenty years older than he is.

DEH says in effect, that votes in the General Assembly don't matter. That some higher power determines things. I disagree; for, the vote is the most powerful weapon a legislator has. The vote on the new 6% computer tax was 24-23. And Garagiola voted for. If he had voted against, it would not have passed. He has yet to produce a single communication from our district telling him to impose this tax. I got all of his 15 campaign mailings. Not one mentioned his support for any tax increase and most called him, "independent." So if his excuse is now that party pressure caused his to be the deciding vote, then he did not tell the truth when he called himself, "independent."

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | February 7, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Correction: Wynn is younger than many ten or twenty years younger than he is, i.e. he has an open mind.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | February 7, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I am a Prince George's resident and I support Obama. The county can make a huge difference in getting Obama elected. Al Wynn made the right choice in endorsing Obama. The voters will definately reward Wynn for that endorsement. Good move Congressman Wynn!

Posted by: arnlstw | February 7, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Several comments by Robin Ficker supporting Al Wynn- can we get this published somewhere, PLEASE? Robin Ficker- the kiss of death. I am a strong Donna Edwards supporter but if I wasn't, Robin Ficker's support of Wynn would have made me support Donna.

Al Wynn, a people person??? He was invisible in Silver Spring until Donna ran against him last time. Finally, if we wanted a Republican in District 4- we could have elected one- I am sure the eternal Chuck Floyd would have been willing to move and run in 4 instead of against Chris in 8.

Lefty- I don't find a whole lot good editing, fact checking- or reporting at the WAPO anymore- costs too much to have real reporting and editing. Just copy the press release. None of my legislators were there to support Wynn.

Posted by: Andrea | February 7, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Albert Wynn is supported by Annapolis lawmakers because he's a competent, results-oriented lawmaker. Donna Edwards, meanwhile, has a run a negative campaign focused on distorting Al Wynn's record. Donna Edwards is what's wrong with America.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 7, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

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