The hidden side of politics

Maryland Senate Democratic debate scrapped after Rep. David Trone refuses to join

Reported by Washington Times:

A Democratic debate for Maryland’s U.S. Senate race between Rep. David Trone and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks was canceled Tuesday.

The winner of the primary is expected to face former Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election.

The event was slated for April 23 but was called off by the debate host, the NBC Baltimore affiliate, after Mr. Trone refused to commit. Ms. Alsobrooks accepted the invitation.

The Democratic primary election is May 14.

Mr. Trone‘s campaign said, “David has already participated in or committed to more than a dozen public forums and a televised debate. We look forward to continuing to campaign in every county in Maryland to talk about the issues that matter with the people who matter most: Marylanders.”

A source close to the congressman’s campaign said the recent Baltimore bridge collapse and the House schedule rendered him unable to accommodate the debate. The House is scheduled to be on recess the week of the debate.

The decision by Mr. Trone comes as the primary race has intensified in recent months with the last-minute bid mounted by Mr. Hogan. The former two-term GOP governor recently had a double-digit polling advantage over both Democrats, despite the state’s deep blue voting base.

A new survey released Tuesday by The Baltimore Banner/Goucher College showed the Democrats closing the gap, with Mr. Hogan beating Mr. Trone 43%-42% and Ms. Alsobrooks 44%-40%.

Mr. Trone suffered a self-inflicted wound last month when he used the racial slur “jigaboo” during a congressional budget hearing, which was followed by a string of high-profile endorsements from fellow House Democrats for his Black opponent.

Mr. Trone later apologized, saying he meant to use the term “bugaboo” when disparaging Republicans.

Recent primary polling had Ms. Alsobrooks narrowing her previous double-digit deficit to single digits against Mr. Trone, a wealthy businessman and founder of the Total Wine & More chain.

The Alsobrooks campaign said debating Mr. Trone was about showcasing the different candidates courting Democratic voters.

Angela is committed to ensuring voters across Maryland have the opportunity to see the choice they have on the ballot in May,” said Sheila O’Connell, Alsobrooks‘ campaign manager. “Angela continues to gain momentum as we approach the primary, earning key endorsements and growing her grassroots movement in Maryland. Voters know she’ll best represent us in the Senate.”

Both candidates participated in a forum Tuesday hosted by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters Education Fund that focused on climate and the environment, as well as local issues and hot-button national topics like student loans. Mr. Trone and Ms. Alsobrooks fielded questions in town hall style but did not appear on stage together.

Event organizers said Mr. Hogan was invited but declined to participate.

Source:Washington Times