The 2014 Democratic Primary is still more than a year away, yet each week brings more news and speculation about who will jump into a District 16 House of Delegates race that could see 15 or 20 candidates and take more than $100,000 in fundraising to win.
On Saturday, Hrant Jamgochian officially kicked off his campaign with an open house at his Bradley Boulevard home. Jamgochian, an attorney who is executive director of a dialysis patient advocacy organization, finished a close third behind Del. Ariana Kelly in the 2010 primary and garnered the Washington Post’s endorsement despite his late entry into the race.
About 100 supporters showed up for the event, including Gilbert Genn, a District 16 delegate from 1987-1999. Del. Susan Lee, who told Bethesda Magazine she would run for Sen. Brian Frosh’s vacant seat if he runs for attorney general as expected, was also in attendance.
Jamgochian is making his move a lot earlier this time around. He talked about education, the economy and healthcare on Saturday, with an emphasis on closing healthcare insurance loopholes and providing for expensive long-term senior care. He hired Rachel Gumpert, who worked in the field in Nevada during the 2012 election, as his campaign manager.
Jamgochian is planning a June 11 fundraiser at a yet-to-be-determined location.
The only other candidate who has formally announced his candidacy is Jordan Cooper, a 27-year-old healthcare policy wonk who has worked as an aide to Annapolis lawmakers. Cooper is hosting a dessert and panel discussion fundraiser on May 16 for $50 a person and $30 for Young Democrats.
With Lee’s attempt at the State Senate and Del. Bill Frick expected to challenge Frosh for attorney general, there will likely be two seats open.
Kyle Lierman, who lost to Kelly by 374 votes in the 2010 Primary, is rumored to be looking at challenging Lee for Frosh’s vacant seat.
Others who will likely run but haven’t made official announcements are Marc Korman and Karen Kuker-Kihl. Bonnie Casper, wife of 2010 candidate Mark Winston, is rumored to be in the mix.