Rhee to appear for Md. Senate hopeful
It looks as though Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, who placed herself at the center of the D.C. mayor's race this month by linking her tenure to that of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, is acquiring a taste for the campaign trail. Next week, she's headed to Baltimore, where she'll appear on behalf of Democratic state Senate candidate Bill Ferguson, a fellow Teacher for America alumnus. Ferguson's campaign committee is sponsoring "An Evening With Michelle Rhee, Nationally Renowned Progressive Education Reform Advocate." (no reference to her day job, per the Hatch Act) Tickets start at $50 for Baltimore city school teachers and top out at $1,000 for "hosts."
Ferguson is mounting a primary challenge to 46th District incumbent George W. Della Jr., who has served in the state house since 1983, representing an area that includes Cherry Hill, Federal Hill and Fells Point. A cursory look at Della's record didn't turn up much one way or the other on education issues. His biggest claim to recent fame seems to be a 2009 bill that would have banned beer pong. It never got to the floor.
UPDATE 7:02 p.m.: Rhee said Tuesday afternoon that she didn't consider the appearance to be a campaign event, nor was it an endorsement of Ferguson, who she doesn't know.
"Somebody who knows him called me and said they were having an event for him," she said. "They want me to talk about the importance of education reform. It's very general."
Nor does she know much about Della. "I know he's been in office for a long time, but I'm not taking a stance on which candidate to vote for."
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