U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger said Monday he would back U.S. Rep. David Trone in Maryland’s Senate race next year — lending Trone the support of one of the state’s longest-tenured congressmen, while three others in the mostly Democratic eight-member House delegation have endorsed Angela Alsobrooks.
Ruppersberger, a former Baltimore County executive who was first elected to the House in 2002, is the first major Democratic official in the Baltimore area — or across the state — to endorse Trone in the May 14 primary.
Neither of the major candidates — Trone, from Montgomery County, nor Alsobrooks, the Prince George’s County executive — are from Baltimore, making the traditionally Democratic stronghold a wild card in the race to succeed the retiring Democratic U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin of Baltimore.
“Believe me when I tell you, I know an ally when I see one,” Ruppersberger said in a two-minute Trone campaign video in which he talked up the candidate’s Baltimore bona fides.
U.S. Rep. Kweisi Mfume, the Democrat who represents almost all of Baltimore City, endorsed Alsobrooks the day she entered the race in May. U.S. Reps. Glenn Ivey, of Prince George’s County, and Steny Hoyer, the former House majority leader from St. Mary’s County, also endorsed her, as has her would-be colleague, U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen. All are Democrats.
Maryland Policy & Politics
U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, another Montgomery County representative who considered entering the Senate race, has not endorsed. Neither has U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, the only other Democrat from Maryland in Congress. Sarbanes, who lives in Baltimore County but represents Howard County and parts of Anne Arundel and Carroll counties, recently said he would not run for reelection.
Ruppersberger, 77, has not made a decision about whether he will seek reelection and likely won’t until closer to the Feb. 9 candidate filing deadline, his campaign spokesperson Jaime Lennon said Monday.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., 41, has expressed interest in the seat held by Ruppersberger if he retires. Olszewski supports Alsobrooks in the Senate race.
Beyond the congressional delegation, Alsobrooks has so far dominated in winning homegrown support. The two-term county executive and former prosecutor was endorsed by Democratic Gov. Wes Moore, three other top statewide officials, three county executives in addition to Olszewski, and a long list of other state and local leaders.
Trone’s list of endorsements, meanwhile, is dominated by local Maryland officials and his colleagues in Congress from other states. The Maryland State Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union and a coveted endorsement, backed Trone.
Ruppersberger, in his endorsement video, highlighted Trone’s experience in Washington, D.C.
“David is ready to hit the ground running. His sleeves are already rolled up,” Ruppersberger said, highlighting Trone’s work on addiction issues, criminal justice reform and mental health.