Last night, I was bombing down Centennial Lane at a rate of speed that would be considered inoffensive to all but the most by-the-book Maryland State Troopers. A perfect early evening for driving…yet something was out of sync. Here it was, mid-seguing-into-late April, yet it felt autumnal with the chill biting through the air. The newly installed candidate yard signs added to the early October-vibe that permeated the scene.
The atmospherics of the election calendar brought me back to present moment. It was that sense of promise; a feeling that is abundant this time of year, that convinced me that the bittersweet landscape of the fall was months away…that Yeats’ “nine-and-fifty swans” had not yet landed on a cold, leaf-strewn lake.
Promise is a good starting point for a discussion of Ryan Frederic’s State Senate campaign (Maryland – District Nine).
I had not met him previously, but have some friends who spoke highly of him. So I took the long, harrowing trip from Wilde Lake (“The Land of Dreams”) to the Howard County Conservancy in Woodstock, Maryland…the gateway to Western Howard County.
Gathered there, in the Conservancy’s Gudelsky Center, were a few dozen Democrats, ready to get down for a classic meet-and-greet candidate reception.
It is important to note at this point that candidate remarks at such events generally range from dreadful to uninspired. Too long, too short, too self-involved, too minutiae-centric, too boring…the spectrum of sins is long and oft well-covered.
I was thus pleasantly surprised that Frederic’s stump speech was…quite good. His presentation was concise and focused. He related his impressive business experience and background in community service to tangible issues that voters care about (growing the economy, creating jobs, etc…). In the parlance of the political industry, he pivoted very well from biographical information to voter concerns and policy positions. Although a new candidate, he showed a level of seasoning and maturity that is generally only found among those who have served in office for many years. So that is a big plus.
More importantly, he is the one Democrat running in the primary who embraces – and will fight for – Democratic values. He is pro-choice; his primary opponent is pro-life. He is pro-marriage equality; I do not believe his primary opponent is (if I am wrong on this, feel free to comment below). In Frederic, voters in the 9th have a genuine progressive with a strong record of job creation. His Democratic opponent lacks these credentials.
Some say that his primary opponent (Daniel Medinger), as a pro-life Democrat, is better situated to defeat a pro-life Republican (Gail Bates) in the fall. No. Pro-choice Republicans, faced with making a decision between two pro-life candidates, are highly likely to stay with their party. Pro-choice Republicans, given the option of voting for a Pro-life Republican and a Pro-choice Democrat, are at least cross-pressured. Yes, Republicans in Western Howard County tend to be conservative, but if Frederic picks up a respectable percentage of pro-choice and/or moderate Republicans – and manages to capture a 6 – 5 majority among unaffiliated voters (aka Independents), he has a shot at putting together a winning coalition. A much better shot than Medinger.
Combine that with his demonstrated ability to fund a campaign, you have to say that Ryan Frederic has promise.
Considering all of these factors together, I am endorsing Frederic for the Democratic nomination for the Ninth Senate District.
With the election of candidates in the 9th such as Frederic and Tom Coale (in 9B), voters can send a new generation of thoughtful, energetic progressives to represent us in Annapolis. And that is good news in any season.
Stay tuned, as more will follow.