Our Democratic neighbor from College Park in Prince George’s County, state Sen. Jim Rosapepe, is coming to town today for one of those “exploratory” fundraisers to see if he can drum up interest for his bid for state comptroller.
The event, starting at noon at the home of Margaret and Don Hindman, a retired Urbana High School vice principal, at 303 College Place, is actually being sponsored by former Del. Sue Hecht, but Sue’s Worman’s Mill house is too small.
Jim certainly has good credentials. He has been a fiscal leader in the legislature. He has been vice chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. In the Senate, he is chairman of the joint Audit and Technology Committees.
He was U.S. ambassador to Romania during the Clinton administration, promoting American exports, and was also a regent of the University of Maryland, serving as vice chairman of the audit committee.
Rosapepe also points to three decades in the private sector, building private businesses in the United States and Europe, and he has invested in community banks in the U.S.
So now he wants Frederick Democrats to invest in him by calling 301-802-6962.
But there are a couple of big ifs. One is that Rosapepe’s campaign will be hampered if current Comptroller Peter Franchot doesn’t quit to run for governor, as he seems to be planning to do, although he has not made it official.
The other big if is that our own Del. Galen Clagett (D-Frederick) announced for the comptroller’s job a year ago.
Clagett said he is not backing out of the race just because Rosapepe is entering.
“I don’t make a decision on whether to run based on who is running,” Clagett told me the other day.
But Franchot is a different matter.
“If Peter runs for governor, I am running for comptroller, but I wouldn’t oppose him for comptroller,” Clagett said.
In the long run, it won’t make much difference how Frederick votes in the Democratic primary because Prince George’s and Montgomery counties have such an overwhelming Democratic registration, they will decide who the candidate is.
Now, if Franchot decides to run for comptroller again rather than face Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown or Attorney General Doug Gansler in a gubernatorial primary, that could be a horse race.
***Talking about running for office, Rick Weldon, who is quitting as city manager in Brunswick, said he “certainly” sees himself (as well as many others) qualified to serve as county executive if that job is created.
But that is a theoretical question at this point because voters will not decide until November if they want to create the job.
However, Weldon said he is “skeptical” that voters will pass charter reform.
“It is much easier for the average voter to vote ‘no’ on a complicated referendum question than it is to gain the knowledge it takes to comfortably vote ‘yes,’” he said.
Weldon said he would be “surprised if the initiative is successful, although I will personally vote in favor of it.”
Joe Volz, a former Pulitzer Prize finalist, has written for newspapers in New York and Washington. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.