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D-16 Roundup: Duncan Rescue Squad Fundraiser, Clean Campaign Pledge

By Aaron Kraut

Wednesday - 1/29/2014, 3:25pm  ET

Fallswood Condo D-16 candidates' debate on Tuesday, via @mkormanCooper Pushes ‘Clean Campaign Pledge’ — During a D-16 candidates’ forum last night at a Rockville condominium, four Democratic House of Delegates candidates signed a pledge not to engage in personal attacks or negative talk about opponents.

Candidate Jordan Cooper initiated the pledge (PDF here). Cooper’s campaign manager Adam Beitman said it wasn’t in response to any particular incidents and he wasn’t aware of any negative campaigning going on for the district’s three delegate seats.

“Jordan proposed this because of the fact that three of the candidates will ultimately need to work productively together in Annapolis for the benefit of Montgomery County,” Beitman said. “It is in everyone’s interest to ensure that relationships among all future delegates are friendly and close, and this is a gesture of goodwill on the part of all signatories.”

All four candidates who attended the forum on Tuesday — Cooper, Hrant Jamgochian, Karen Kuker-Kihl and Marc Korman — signed the pledge.

Last week, Beitman commented on a BethesdaNow.com post about 2013 fundraising results to point out that incumbent Ariana Kelly loaned herself $100,000, Jamgochian loaned his campaign money to pay for a campaign manager and candidate Kevin Walling’s report shows many contributions from outside of Montgomery County:

Hrant Jamgochian, for example, loaned his campaign $120k about a month before the reporting deadline. Further, he has raised $62k and already spent the same amount on staff, ($4,300/month for a campaign manager!) and “field” expenses. He is burning through cash on items that we are getting for free, and has not yet actually dug meaningfully into his own “loaned” amounts. Even Marc Korman, who has local support, only went over $100k due to a $15k personal loan injection a month prior to the deadline.

To say a word about another of the candidates, Kevin Walling, even a cursory look at his reports show that while he has around the same amount of cash on hand as Cooper, almost none of his contributors are from the Montgomery County community–or even from anywhere in Maryland.

By contrast, the overwhelming majority of Cooper’s contributors are from Bethesda, Rockville, Potomac and Chevy Chase. So while Walling is beginning to raise money, none of it indicates that he has any significant support from actual voters in District-16. Simultaneously, Jordan Cooper is seeing a mass outpouring of small-dollar support from real voters in the district where he was born and raised.

Suffice it to say, this race is quite different than the superficial money numbers indicate. A closer look reveals that Cooper has a commanding presence.

The “smart” money is on Jordan Cooper to win this race.

Beitman said Cooper will reach out to other candidates in the race on Wednesday to ask that they join in the pledge.

Duncan Finds Support With Career, Volunteer Firefighters — Montgomery County career firefighters haven’t held back in their support of Doug Duncan’s run for county executive — giving Duncan their union’s endorsement and a $6,000 campaign contribution.

On Friday, top Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Officials and other Duncan boosters will host a fundraising reception at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad, the all-volunteer organization on Battery Lane that fought incumbent County Executive Isiah Leggett’s successful efforts at instituting an ambulance fee.

The event will happen from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Rescue Squad’s Anastasia Room with $1,000, $500 and $50 suggested contribution levels.

Hosts include MCFRS public information officer Scott Graham and Integrated Emergency Command Structure Administrator George Giebel.

News and Notes — Potomac attorney and activist Peter Dennis has officially filed for the D-16 House of Delegates race. Check out his website here. …Korman and Republican delegate candidate Rose Maria Li did an appearance together Tuesday on Political Pulse, the Montgomery Municipal Cable show. The show will air Thursday at 9 p.m. and again at 6 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Photo via @mkorman