Neutrality in governor's race doesn't make Franchot a bad Democrat

I was surprised to read the commentary by Valerie Cunningham (“Md.’s Peter Franchot is only a Democrat when it’s convenient,” Oct. 4) which attacked Comptroller Peter Franchot for his failure to support the Democratic nominee for governor, Ben Jealous. Ms. Cunningham claims that the comptroller is a Democrat “when it’s convenient.” Based on his public endorsements and my personal experiences with Mr. Franchot, that is simply incorrect. The comptroller has long been a supporter of Democrats of every stripe throughout Maryland and has devoted his resources and widespread popularity to supporting our candidates in some of the most competitive races in the state.

As president of the Baltimore County Young Democrats, I have seen first-hand the comptroller’s strong support of local Democratic candidates. He has endorsed Democrats from across the political spectrum from Bud Staigerwald (running for the state Senate in Southeastern Baltimore County’s 6th District) to Robbie Leonard (the Democratic nominee for state Senate in District 42). Additionally, he has offered strong support for our nominee for Baltimore County Executive: Johnny Olszewski Jr. Outside of Baltimore County, Comptroller Franchot was an early supporter of such progressive insurgents as state Senate nominees Mary Washington (District 43) and Cory McCray (District 45).

Just as importantly, Mr. Franchot has spent considerable time campaigning for Democrats in areas thought not winnable by many in the party. From Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore, Comptroller Peter Franchot has been an active supporter of the Democratic Party’s grassroots candidates and movements. Simply put, the comptroller’s decision to remain neutral in the governor’s race does not outweigh his hard work on behalf of Maryland Democrats.

Henry Callegary, Towson

The writer is President of the Baltimore County Young Democrats.

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