Maryland’s Democratic Party has a pretty significant problem on their hands, and now it isn’t the negative campaign between Anthony Brown and Doug Gansler.
Their problem is actually in the race of Attorney General, where three candidates are also competing to be the Democratic nominee. In reality, it’s a two-man race, as Delegate Aisha Braveboy just doesn’t have the resources or the recognition in order to be a serious factor.
Montgomery County’s State Sen. Brian E. Frosh, a liberal with whom few good conservatives will find general political common ground but who is assiduous in pursuing good government issues, has the exact opposite reputation: a serious legislator who does the job for which he is paid by Maryland taxpayers. Every time I bring up Sen. Frosh’s name to a Democratic legislator, he or she mentions the tremendous workmanship and integrity of the senator.
The problem for the Democrats is that the hard working, well-respected legislator is likely going to lose to Delegate Jon Cardin. Cardin has any number of reasons why he doesn’t belong anywhere near the upper echelon of state government, whether it be missing 75% of his floor votes, his recent endorsement fisasco with a rapper who moonlighted in human-trafficking, or his marriage proposal that misued city police resources. Jon Cardin is pretty much Brian Frosh’s complete opposite in regards to legislative accomplishment, dedication to his job, and respect amongst his peers.
But he’ll likely be the Democratic nominee for Attorney General. Because his last name is Cardin.
Jon Cardin as Attorney General is going to cause serious problems for Maryland Democrats. If he is the nominee, his propensity for mistakes will still be an issue between now and November (and this is probably a good time to remind you that you might went to help out Jeffrey Pritzker). But it’s also going to restrict upward mobility for other Democrats. With Cardin being 20 years or so younger than Frosh, he could be AG for life if he decides that’s what he wants to do. With Cardin in the AG’s seat, and Franchot looking like he won’t be leaving the Comptroller’s office any time soon, the Democrats could find themsleves in a similar position as they did when Joe Curran was Attorney General or when Louis Goldstein was Comptroller.
There’s also the real chance that Cardin would completely screw up in his new job as Attorney General too, which would be fun for us and an embarassment to the Democrats.
If I were the Democrats, I’d be pretty concerned that they are not going to get the guy they want in the AG’s office next year. And it looks like they are, with big guns like Martin O’Malley endorsing Frosh this week. Regardless of who wins this primary, neither one of them will be any good for Maryland and I’ll be casting my vote naturally for Pritzker. But it would be humorous to watch the Democrats deal with a Cardin win in the primary.