Cheering supporters of U.S. Rep. Connie Morella (R) greeted people as they drove up the driveway to a political forum at B’Nai Tzedek Congregation in Potomac on Sunday, Nov. 3, and Morella’s campaign bus was in the driveway.
But while Morella’s challenger, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) arrived to address the group, Morella had a previous commitment and could not attend.
More than 200 people turned out for a candidates forum at B’Nai Tzedek for a chance to mingle with more than a dozen local candidates plus candidates for
Dozens of local candidates and campaign workers floated among attendees shaking hands and asking for support during a meet-and-greet-session at the synagogue.
Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D), candidate for governor addressed the group; her opponent, U.S. Rep. Robert Ehrlich (R), did not attend, although he was invited.
Townsend told of meeting Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt in Israel a few years before, and of her support for education. “We will fully fund Thornton,” Townsend said, of a new Maryland plan to allocate more money to public schools. The money will provide lower class sizes and all day kindergarten, among other things, for schools in Montgomery County and other parts of the state.
“We must lower class sizes, and teach character education,” Townsend said. “We can’t do anything without respect for others and repect for ourselves.
County Council President Steve Silverman (D-at large) attended, as did County Council incumbent Mike Subin (D-at large). Democratic candidate for council at large Nancy Floreen joined the crowd along with Duchy Trachtenberg (D), candidate for county council, District one, and Republican candidate for County Council at Large Joe Dollar.
Many candidates for the General Assembly were in attendance. In District 15, both Sen. Jean Roesser (R) and challenger Rob Garagiola (D), plus all six delegate candidates were present. In District 16, the four incumbents, Sen. Brian Frosh (D), plus delegates Bill Bronrott (D), Marilyn Goldwater (D) and Susan Lee (D) came to support Sen. Chris Van Hollen in his bid for Congress. Republican challengers for District 16 included Senate candidate Tom Devor, and delegate candidates Daniel Zubairi and Charles Stanfield.
U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) came to introduce Van Hollen, who talked about education, gun control and health care to a receptive group.
“There has been no progress in common sense gun control at the national level,” Van Hollen said. By comparison, in Maryland laws closing the gun show loophole, requiring trigger locks and ballistics fingerprinting have been enacted, he said.