As a political fundraiser, Jeremiah Pope may have one advantage over others in a crowded field to represent proposed a new eastern Montgomery County Council district.
Pope, 40, said he’s already started to campaign and fundraise to represent the district, which, under a proposed redistricting map, would run along U.S. 29 from Four Corners to Burtonsville and include the White Oak area.
The County Council has not finalized the map, and could make changes to the proposal.
“I am running, regardless of what the district will look like in the final map,” Pope said.
But he has not formally filed as a candidate yet, preferring to do so on his birthday, Jan. 6, which will occur after a final map is approved.
Pope is chief of staff for Del. Charlotte Crutchfield, a Democrat who represents District 19 in Maryland’s General Assembly.
He is also a fundraising consultant and said he has raised political cash for local nonprofits and politicians, including former County Council Member Valerie Ervin.
He was also Tom Perez’s finance director when Perez tried to run for state attorney general. Perez was disqualified to run for that seat because he did not serve enough time as a member of the Maryland state bar.
Pope said he has not decided whether he’ll apply for Montgomery County’s public campaign funding program.
Besides Pope, several other Democrats have expressed interest in running for the new east county seat. One is Brian Anleu, the chief of staff for the Montgomery County Planning Board. Like Pope, Anleu lives in Hillandale.
Others in the race are Fatmata Barrie, a White Oak resident and attorney; William “Chip” Montier of Silver Spring, a paralegal for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and community organizer Daniel Koroma, a White Oak resident. All are Democrats.
County Council Member Tom Hucker currently represents many voters who would be in that district, but he’s not running for re-election, preferring instead to challenge Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich for his seat in the 2022 Democratic primary.
The proposed new eastern district would contain an African American plurality of residents. Pope said it is “large and very diverse,” and merits more attention from the County Council.
“The community deserves better,” he said. “We need an advocate who has been there.”
The deadline for candidates to file is Feb. 22. The 2022 primary will be on June 28 and the general election will be Nov. 8.