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Md.'s Peter Franchot is only a Democrat when it's convenient

Comptroller Peter Franchot discusses how he will mark his gubernatorial ballot on Election Day in Maryland. (Algerina Perna, Baltimore Sun video).

On June 26, thousands of Maryland Democratic voters cast their ballots for the gubernatorial nominee who would represent the Democratic party. At the end of the day, the election results revealed that the Democratic voters decided Ben Jealous would be the Democratic nominee for governor of the state of Maryland.

Since that time, we have seen a very lukewarm acceptance of our decision as it relates to Mr. Jealous. While we have begun to see signs posted throughout the state displaying various messages to include “Vote Democrats” and “Stop Trump,” many elected officials have been slow or reluctant to embrace Mr. Jealous’ candidacy.

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The hypocrisy of the Democratic leadership is disturbing.

With Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous running on a campaign platform well to the left of center, some prominent Democrats are keeping a conspicuous distance. Some are even embracing the re-election campaign of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

As the General Election draws nigh, Democratic politicians are visiting churches and attending community events waving the Democratic banner, asking for our votes and encouraging party unity. There is lots of canvassing and phone banking all over the state as a part of the efforts to get out the vote. And yet, they are not doing their part.

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Take incumbent Comptroller Peter Franchot, who is seeking re-election. He told The Sun’s editorial board that he will not vote for a candidate running for governor to preserve a working relationship with the victor. In other words, the Democratic comptroller, who continues to campaign throughout the state as a Democrat, has taken the position that the will of the Democrats who voted during the primary election is of no consequence to him.

Even more concerning is the fact that not a single member of the Maryland Democratic delegation has uttered a public word about his decision as far as I’m aware. In fact, the Maryland Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign continues to support Comptroller Franchot’s re-election efforts, despite the fact that Mr. Franchot has chosen to ignore the will of the Democratic voters as it relates to our choice for governor.

While it is true that individuals have the right to vote for whomever they choose, Comptroller Franchot is a leader in the Democratic Party. The idea that he believes, during the time when party unity is being promoted like never before, that it is appropriate to break ranks in the manner in which he has chosen is utterly amazing.

aryland Democratic Comptroller Peter Franchot has said that he would not endorse his party’s nominee for governor. And when asked recently by The Baltimore Sun’s editorial board who would get his vote, Franchot went further.

It is disingenuous and hypocritical of Comptroller Franchot to visit the churches in our communities and attend community events while at the same time ignoring the will of the Democratic voters who spoke in the primary election.

The Maryland Democratic Party enjoys a loyal base and a very dependable base of constituents. But there have been times when, some would argue, that loyalty has not been reciprocated nor properly appreciated. Many times, Democrats are accused of taking their constituents for granted.

The party’s treatment of Ben Jealous, considering that we, the Democratic voters, chose him as our nominee for governor, has been less than fair and is certainly not reflective of a group encouraging party unity.

That is the message being sent to the voters.

Shame on you Peter Franchot. And shame on the Maryland Democratic Party for allowing this status of Democrat-when-convenient to go unchecked.

Valerie Cunningham is a Maryland realtor; her email is vlcunni@comcast.net.

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