I read your article about politicians with a bright future after the 2018 election, and, although it is further down the ballot, I wanted to bring attention to Robbie Leonard, who ran an excellent yet unsuccessful race for state senate in district 42 (“After Hogan victory, what's next for Maryland politics?” Nov. 9). Democrats say they see bright future in new leaders.
From the moment that Sen. Jim Brochin announced that he would not be seeking reelection, I saw political pundits declare that the race would be uncompetitive. The incumbent senator seemed to think he was the only Democrat who could compete in this district. As of the time I am writing this, Robbie lost by less than three percent of the vote, half the margin of Senator Jim Mathias’ unsuccessful race, which the Senate Democratic Caucus seemed to believe was a wiser investment.
In the fall of 2017, no candidates had filed for delegate in district 42 B or County Council in District 3. These districts represent North Central Baltimore County, a region that Democrats have written off as “unwinnable.” Robbie played an active role in recruiting and mentoring both Sachin Hebbar and Michele Guyton for the delegate race, as well as Colleen Ebacher for District 3 in the County Council. All four of these campaigns had active canvassing operations north of the beltway, which combined to turn out enough Democratic voters to do something that nobody was expecting: elect a Democratic delegate in 42B.
At the end of they day, Robbie will not be representing District 42 in the General Assembly. But for those of use who live in areas deemed “Republican territory,” we now know that if we put in the effort, we can elect candidates that represent our values. Just as John Olszewski Jr. was able to come back from a disappointing defeat, I believe that we will see Robbie as a leader in the Maryland Democratic Party in the future.
Ben Lawrence, Parkville