Editor’s note: This list was updated at 3:15 p.m. July 12 to add endorsements by The Washington Post editorial page for the Democratic and Republican nominations in the 6th Congressional District in the July 19 primary.
As a result of the decennial redistricting triggered by the 2020 census, Maryland’s 4th Congressional District will again include a piece of eastern Montgomery County — as it did until a decade ago, when its boundaries were redrawn after the prior census.
Only about 36,000 Montgomery County residents live in the latest iteration of the 4th District, about 95 percent of whose constituents are inhabitants of neighboring Prince George’s County. But Montgomery residents who live in the 4th and are registered Democrats will cast ballots in what is widely regarded as Maryland’s marquee congressional primary this year.
In a district that is overwhelmingly Democratic, it is a near certainty that whoever wins that party’s primary on July 19 will be the next member of Congress from the 4th — succeeding three-term U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown, who is giving up the seat to seek the Democratic nomination for state attorney general.
Among those seeking to succeed Brown is his immediate predecessor, former Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards — who represented the district from 2008 to 2016, when she relinquished the seat to make an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate. Edwards, who also represented a piece of Montgomery County during her prior tenure on Capitol Hill, faces eight other Democrats in the primary. But the contest is widely seen in political circles as having come down to a two-way battle between Edwards and former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey, who ran against Brown for the party’s District 4 nomination six years ago.
A variety of labor unions and issue advocacy groups have offered endorsements in the 4th District, as well as the other two congressional districts that encompass portions of Montgomery County — the 6th, represented by Democrat David Trone since 2018, and the 8th, where Democrat Jamie Raskin first won in 2016. But, in the run-up to this year’s primary, most of the money and effort that these groups have invested in Maryland congressional races has been concentrated on the open 4th District seat.
What follows is a compilation of Democratic primary endorsements for those three seats. (No organizational endorsements have been noticed in the Republican primaries in a county in which Democrats have a 4-1 registration advantage.) Included in the endorsement list are the choices of organizations that are well-known locally and have established a presence in recent elections — thanks to membership, money or both. (Click here for a separate breakdown of endorsements in this year’s contested elections for county executive and County Council, as well as the Board of Education and the county’s “courthouse” officials — and here for a breakdown of endorsements in the county’s primaries for the Maryland General Assembly.)
Some explanatory notes about the organizations whose endorsements are listed below:
The National Education Association (NEA) is the parent organization of the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA), which represents more than 14,000 teachers and other non-supervisory educational professionals in the county school system; the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 500 represents the school system’s 9,500-member support staff. The membership of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1994 MCGEO includes about 5,300 of the county’s full-time employees.
UFCW Local 400 includes about 4,000 retail service workers in Montgomery County, primarily at area supermarkets. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 3 draws its membership from employees of state government and Maryland’s higher education system, while the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO is the state council of that national labor federation.
While the Sierra Club endorses candidates at the congressional, state and county level, endorsements for Congress are the province of the national organization, while endorsements for state legislative and county offices are made by the Sierra Club’s Maryland Chapter and the club’s “Montgomery County Group”, respectively. The political arm of another leading national environmental group, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), determines the organization’s congressional choices, while the Maryland LCV makes endorsements for the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates.
The National Association of Realtors is the parent organization of Maryland Realtors, one of the few business groups in the state that regularly makes endorsements in primaries and general elections.
EMILY’s List is a political action committee that seeks to maximize its impact by “bundling” contributions it receives and directing them to Democratic female candidates who support abortion rights.
At a time when the issue of abortion has emerged as a major political factor in the 2022 elections, NARAL Pro-Choice America has to date opted not to make any endorsements in U.S. House races in Maryland — so far endorsing only U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat heavily favored to win a second term this year. (Pro-Choice Maryland, which was an affiliate of NARAL Pro-Choice America until the beginning of this year, has made numerous endorsements in state and county races on the July 19 primary ballot.)
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and J Street are both pro-Israel advocacy groups with differing perspectives: J Street has been more skeptical with regard to the hardline governments that have run Israel in recent years, while seeking to promote opportunities for negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.
House of Representatives/District 4
Just 3.5 percent – about 36,000 out of Montgomery County’s 1.06 million residents – live in this newly realigned district, which straddles the border with Prince George’s County.
The following endorsements have been offered in the July 19 Democratic primary:
National Education Association (NEA): Donna Edwards
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 500: Edwards
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400: Edwards
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Maryland Council 3: Edwards
Maryland State/District of Columbia AFL-CIO: Edwards
National League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund: Edwards
National Sierra Club: Edwards
Realtors Political Action Committee/National Association of Realtors: Glenn Ivey
American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC): Ivey
J Street: Edwards
EMILY’s List: Edwards
The Washington Post Editorial Page: Ivey
Of note: As a former member of Congress, Edwards has garnered endorsements from a number of her erstwhile Capitol Hill colleagues, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Meanwhile, Ivey has landed endorsements from several former Maryland elected officials — ex-Gov. Parris Glendening (also a former Prince George’s County executive) as well as another former PG County executive, Rushern Baker, and two former Montgomery County executives: Doug Duncan and Ike Leggett.
House of Representatives/District 6
While it still contains a large swath of western Montgomery County, redistricting has reduced the local imprint of District 6 — which extends nearly 200 miles west through Maryland’s Panhandle to the state’s border with West Virginia. Nearly 255,000 residents — close to a quarter of Montgomery County — live in District 6, but that’s down from the prior decade, when about one-third of the population was within the district’s boundaries.
The following endorsements have been made in the Democratic primary:
NEA: David Trone
SEIU Local 500: Trone
UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO: Trone
UFCW Local 400: Trone
Maryland AFL-CIO: Trone
LCV Action Fund: Trone
Sierra Club: Trone
Washington Post: Trone
Of note: Trone, seeking renomination for a third term, is expected to have little trouble winning the July 19 primary against three challengers — but redistricting will provide him with a more competitive race in the general election than in his previous two runs. While losing a piece of Democratic-dominated Montgomery County, the redrawn 6th District picked up Republican-leaning sections of Frederick County that were previously in the neighboring 8th District. And the three westernmost counties in the district — Allegany, Garrett and Washington — are among the most reliably Republican in the state, although they lack the population density of Montgomery and Frederick.
There is a six-way contest in the Republican primary to take on Trone, with the contenders including state Del. Neil Parrott of Washington County — whom Trone defeated, 59% to 39%, in 2020 before the district lines were redrawn. Parrott has picked up the Washington Post endorsement for the GOP nomination this year. But both Gov. Larry Hogan and U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California — who is in line to become House speaker if the Republicans retake control of Congress this fall — have endorsed 25-year-old Matthew Foldi of Gaithersburg, a former chair of the Montgomery County Young Republicans who most recently worked as a journalist for the conservative Washington Free Beacon.
House of Representatives/District 8
Previously spread across three counties, virtually all of the 8th District is now concentrated in Montgomery County as a result of redistricting, with almost three-quarters of county residents — more than 771,000 — living within its boundaries.
The following endorsements have been made in the Democratic primary:
NEA: Jamie Raskin
SEIU Local 500: Raskin
UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO: Raskin
UFCW Local 400: Raskin
Maryland AFL-CIO: Raskin
LCV Action Fund: Raskin
Sierra Club: Raskin
J Street: Raskin
Of note: Prior to the 2022 redistricting, District 8 already had a comfortable Democratic majority despite including Republican-dominated Carroll County and Republican-leaning areas of Frederick County. Under the new lines, with Carroll County now divided between District 2 and District 3 and the entirety of Frederick County moving to District 6, District 8 has gone from being majority-Democratic to solidly blue. It will make Raskin — expected to easily win renomination against a sole primary challenger, Andalib Odulate — a shoo-in as he seeks a fourth two-year term in November.
Louis Peck, a contributing editor for Bethesda Magazine, can be reached at: email@example.com.