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May 18th , 2024                     Len’s Political Note #643 Angela Alsobrooks Maryland Senator

2024                                      General Election


 Unusual name —  Alsobrooks.  It turns out it is not much of a story.  Alsobrooks is derived from an English place name, a village, probably the name of a white family. During the time of transition, a slave owner might have given his slaves his own last name.  Freed, former slaves took names from former owners, from people they knew or people they respected.  Alsobrooks may be an unusual name, but the origin of Angela Alsobrooks name is not unusual.

Sadly, the story of Angela Alsobrooks family moving to the District of Columbia and its surrounding area is not unusual either. A visit to the museums in Montgomery, Alabama would make that clear.

Wikipedia and most brief summaries of Angela Alsobrooks’ life and her family report the family moved north after her great grandfather was killed by a police officer while resisting arrest.  That is not how the Alsobrooks family tells the story.  Family remembrance describes a personal dispute.  Angela Alsobrooks’ great grandfather grabbed the stick he was being beaten with.  The sheriff’s deputy then took out a gun, aimed it at him and said “Dance N…………”. The aggressor shot him and killed him. Reports about the body said he was shot in the legs and in the body.

Angela Alsobrooks, her mother Patricia, and her great aunt Mildred James, talked about the event in an interview. Great-aunt Mildred remembered that the experience was so distressing that Patricia did not speak for a year.  As she remembered, the shooting was on a Wednesday, the funeral was on Friday, and the family left for Washington, DC on the following Wednesday.  These events in Seneca, South Carolina, occurred in 1956, the middle of the 20th century, roughly two years after the Supreme Court Brown v Board of Education decision.

Patricia married James Alsobrooks.  He distributed the Washington Post.  She was a receptionist.  Notwithstanding having been diagnosed with ADHD in elementary school, Angela Alsobrooks was a student.  She went from Benjamin Banneker High School, where she became president of student government, and then went to Duke (just a reminder, that is in North Carolina).  After Duke, she returned to Metro Washington and went to law school at the University of Maryland. From law school, she clerked for a federal district court judge a local judges as well as a large law firm.

Angela Alsobrooks began her devotion to an orderly and law abiding society by working as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Prince George’s County.  She was there from 1997 to 2002, with a little time off to work on Al Gore’s campaign,  She worked for a year as the education liaison for the County Executive and then, in 2003, she became even more a part of the County’s governance.  She was appointed Director of the County’s revenue authority.

Though she had worked for Al Gore’s presidential campaign, the national figure who moved her was the San Francisco DA and then California Attorney General – Kamala Harris. Harris had argued that it was not enough to be tough on crime.  That toughness had to be accompanied by crime prevention (really prevention of recidivism) through prison alternatives, support for drug offenders, as well as other programs.  Harris stressed and Angela Alsobrooks welcomed the understanding that these efforts were not social work; that they were law enforcement.

In 2010, Angela Alsobrooks, ran for State’s Attorney.  Elected, she had a successful tenure.  The crime rate declined (as it did nationally).  Prosecutions for vandalism and burglaries increased. She prosecuted a murder case personally, supported the County Executive’s effort to direct services to the neediest parts of the county and to take control of the schools.  She consulted with Kamala Harris as she put into place programs that resembled Harris’s programs.

In 2018, she ran for and was elected County Executive without any opposition.  She declined a run for governor in 2022.  Instead, she provided candidate and now governor Wes Moore with a crucial endorsement. On May 14, she won the Democratic US Senate primary defeating Congressman David Trone, a wealthy businessman who had spent close to $70 million of his own money in the campaign.

She runs as a moderate Democrat. She welcomed David Trone’s full support for her candidacy and for the reelection of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.  On the most current and difficult issues, she separates herself from Maryland’s other Senator, Chris Van Hollen who called for suspending sending US arms to Israel.  She had supported continuing Maryland’s version of the DREAM act for immigrants and has been favorable to immigrants in other ways including non-cooperation with the Trump administration’s deportation efforts.  She favors a path to citizenship and well as comprehensive immigration reform.  Unsurprisingly, she criticized the Dobbs Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v Wade and said that, as US Senator, she would not vote for judicial nominees who opposed abortion rights.

Angela Alsobrooks’ Republican opponent is the former governor, Larry Hogan.  Defeating David Trone, she had countered his huge money advantage with her ability to represent Blacks and women.  She may need to do the same against Hogan, who left his position as governor because he was term limited.  At the time, he had an 80% approval.

Larry Hogan will be hard to defeat.  He was able to reduce taxes while balancing the budget and increasing investment in education and infrastructure.  He has been a critic of Donald Trump.  Nevertheless, his principal weakness is that he will inevitably support Donald Trump.  He will be a vote for a Republican controlled US Senate that will either support a President Donald Trump or obstruct Joe Biden’s administration.  It is not enough to promise to work with Democrats.  No matter how much he might try to be a Republican version of Joe Manchin, Angela Alsobrooks will need to make it clear that he cannot escape Donald Trump unless he promises to vote with the Democrats to organize the Senate if he is elected.

The March and April polls were ominous.  In three polls Hogan led Angela Alsobrooks  by as little as four points and by as much as 18 points.  The polls in May were more assuring.  Alsobrooks led Hogan by 10 points in one poll, 11 in another.  Despite Maryland’s heavy Democratic lean, Hogan has the capacity to return to his March and April numbers.  He did not have to raise a lot of money for the Republican primary.  Overall, he raised $3 million and had $1.8 million remaining on April 24.  Angela Alsobrooks had raised $7.8 million and had $1.9 million on April 24.  If national Republicans think Larry Hogan can win election, money will pour in.  The very best thing we can do is to donate to Angela Alsobrooks now.  Be as clear in our support of her as David Trone was in defeat.  DONATE NOW TO ANGELA ALSOBROOKS.  Make Republicans understand that she is on her way to winning Maryland’s Senate seat.

A few words about donating to candidates. 

Readers occasionally tell me that if they gave to every candidate I recommend, they would go broke.  Don’t go broke.  Give what you can.  Remember:  The President of the United States has considerable latitude in governing the country.  We need Joe Biden as President. How much is that worth to you?

The United State Senate currently has a 50-49-1 Democratic majority.  Several Democratic incumbents are widely considered vulnerable.  In addition, four open Senate seats are currently held by Democrats.  Democrats do not expect to elect a Democrat in West Virginia.  We need to keep the rest of those seats Democratic, including Maryland’s.  How much is it worth to you to continue passing legislation that improves our country, that provides support to our allies, and, in the Senate, confirms the judges that Joe Biden nominates?

I can ask the same question, except the one about confirming judges, for each House seat I write about.  The House is nearly as closely divided as the Senate.  Do not ignore state officials.  Governors and other state executives have considerable latitude in governing their states.  State legislatures make crucial decisions for the lives of people in their states.  So do the elected state Supreme Court justices.  Follow the decisions about redistricting and about abortion.  And these are not the only issues crucial to our lives.

Don’t go broke.  Give what you can.  These days, when the Republican Party has been so much affected by its extremist wing, we need to elect Democrats.



The top two Senators in this list are considered vulnerable because their states usually vote for Republicans for President.  For other offices, too. 


Incumbent Jon Tester

Jon Tester has established himself as a moderate Democrat and as the last farmer/politician left in the Senate.  He describes himself as a defender of Medicare and Social Security – which one Republican Senator included on a list of programs Congress should vote on every five years.  Altogether, Jon Tester has raised $33 million.  He has already spent $21 million and had $12.6 million according to his March 31 report.

Jon Tester’s opponent is Tim Sheehy.  Sheehy was born and grew up in Minnesota.  Growing up, he lived in a multimillion-dollar lake house, was taught to fly a plane by a neighbor, went to St. Paul Academy in St. Paul, MN, graduated from the Naval Academy and Army Ranger School, and sustained multiple injuries while serving in the Navy. He was “medically separated” from the military 10 years ago.  He moved to Bozeman and founded the “aerial firefighting company Bridger Aerospace and an affiliate company, Ascent Vision Technologies (AVT).  He sold AVT for $350 million in 2020.

He has been involved in a campaign flub which would destroy the candidacy of most.  One of his injuries, a bullet still in his arm, has proven to be a result of an accident in a state park, not a result of combat as he claimed.  A late entry, Tim Sheehy raised $8.4 million, spent $6.5 million, and had $1.9 million on March 31.

Polls show Jon Tester and Tim Sheehy in a virtual tie.  In March, one poll four Tester up by 2, another found Sheehy up by three.  DONATE TO JON TESTER. Your help could be what ensures that Jon Tester wins reelection. See Len’s Political Note #550. 


Incumbent Sherrod Brown.

Sherrod Brown, through a combination of his support for workers and his gravelly voice, has continued to be reelected state wide while Ohio has otherwise elected Republicans. He says he fights for Ohioans and  for the Dignity of Work – a concept he attributes to both Martin Luther King Jr. and Pope Leo XIII.  What is anathema to him are corporate tax breaks and bad trade deals that hurt Ohio and other American workers.  He has been accumulating resources to win this race.  So far, he has raised $40 million.  In order to build a lead, he has spent $25 million, leaving him with $16 million on March 31.

Sherrod Brown knows his opponent now.  He is Bernie Moreno, a native of Bogota, Colombia whose family moved to Ft. Lauderdale Florida during the Colombian civil war between militant leftists and right-wing extremists.  His father had been a physician in Colombia and a major figure in its government.  Moreno went to the University of Michigan, worked for General Motors, ran a car dealership in Boston and then moved to Ohio to own a Mercedes dealership.  After accumulating several dealerships, he sold them off to purchase a blockchain based technology company called Ownum. Among his political priorities are “beating China (which we appear to be doing), restoring energy independence (which we did under the Obama administration), and ending socialism in America (where there has never been socialism).

Moreno has raised $11 million for the campaign and spent $9 million to win the Republican primary.  He had $2 million on March 31.  Sherrod Brown has raised $40 million and has $16 million.  Of five polls in March, Brown led in four, one of them by 11 points.  DONATE TO SHERROD BROWN.  See Len’s Political Note #556

The next two seats (like the seat the candidate in this piece is running for) have been filled by Democrats who have helped provide the narrow Democratic majority. 

 Open Democratic Seats


Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin

 Michigan – Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin’s family owned Hygrade Meat which included Ball Park Franks. She thought about agriculture when she began education attending Cornell’s agricultural school.  She was in New York City at Columbia in international studies at the time of the 9/11 attack. That attack convinced her she should be in public service.  She finished her Master’s Degree and joined the CIA.  After a career in the CIA and working for the Department of Defense and the White House, she and her husband returned to the “genteman’s farm” that had been retained when the family sold the business.  They thought about next steps and agreed, Elissa Slotkin would run for Congress, which she did successfully.

Now Elissa Slotkin is running for the seat that Debbie Stabenow is retiring from.  She has raised $16 million and on March 31 had $8.6 remaining.  The probable Republican nominee, former Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers and Florida resident after he retired returned to Michigan to run for the Senate.  He raised $3 million and had $1.4 million on March 31.  Michigan is a large, expensive state. Both candidates need more.   Her $6 million is insufficient for a Michigan race. In March and April Elissa Slotkin has had a 2 point lead in every poll except one where they were even.  DONATE TO ELISSA SLOTKIN. See Len’s Political Note #589


Congressman Ruben Gallego

Ruben Gallego grew up poor in Chicago. He was raised by his mother a half hour southwest of downtown Chicago. He retained a connection with his father until he lost his job and drifted into dealing drugs.  His plan to get into Harvard was strategic. He borrowed SAT prep books from the school library.  He contacted Harvard students with Latino names to ask for help in applying and to apply for financial aid.

Ruben Gallego worked his way through Harvard, taking whatever menial jobs student aid had needy students take on.  He has a distinct memory of waiting on Elise Stefanik at a well-attended talk that he would have liked to have been able to pay more attention to.  Out of school, Ruben Gallego and his girlfriend, who was from New Mexico, moved to Phoenix.  He joined the marines and was deployed to Iraq.  He returned to the United States committed to veterans who were angry about being sent to war unprotected by sufficient armor.

Ruben Gallego and his girlfriend both had political ambitions, ambitions which have been realized.  She is mayor of Phoenix.  He is a Member of Congress, running for the US Senate.  They divorced in 2016.  Amicably, it appears.

Ruben Gallego’s opponent for the US Senate is Kari Lake.  She is a former television announcer and the camera loves her.  She is a follower of Donald Trump.  Not only does she believe the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, she believes her 2022 run for Governor of Arizona was stolen from her.  She has no basis for that claim, but that does not matter to her.

Polls in March and April show Ruben Gallego leading by 2,5, and 8 points.  He is leading in the money race, too.  Overall, he raised $21 million.  On March 31, he had $9.6 million left and he his raising more, which he needs to do. Lake had $2.5 million on March 31. Gradually, analysts seem to believe his lead is becoming permanent.  You can DONATE TO RUBEN GALLEGO and help him keep that momentum.  See Len’s Political Note #544


 Other Vulnerable Democrats


Incumbent Jacky Rosen

Jacky Rosen may qualify as the Democrats most vulnerable incumbent.

 Her  parents, both of them children of immigrants, moved from Chicago to Henderson, Nevada after her father retired from running his auto dealership.  When she completed her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota, Jacky Rosen moved to Nevada, too, where she got a job working for the Summa Corporation.  Not a big paying job, she also waitressed at Caesar’s Palace during the summer and took courses at a community college now known as the College of Southern Nevada.

Jacky Rosen may have learned a little bit at Summa.  Summa was the holding company for Howard Hughes’ investments.  Originally made wealthy through movies and airplanes, Howard Hughes had died 1976.  After his death, Summa retained much of what he owned — hotels and resorts, most of which had casinos, a mining company, an oil company, and more.  Jacky Rosen went to work at Summa after graduating from Minnesota in 1979.

At the community college, Jacky Rosen earned an AA in computing and information technology – not a bad field in 1985.  She began a three year stint working for the Southwest Gas utility in 1990 and. then set up her own consulting firm relying on what she had learned.  In 1993, she married radiologist Larry Rosen.

Jacky Rosen settled in as part of her community.  Even before her marriage, she had become a member of her synagogue, Ner Tamid.  A few years after her marriage, she became president of the synagogue.  By 2016, she had been president, off and on, for roughly twenty years.  That year, she was approached by Harry Reid, eminence gris of Nevada politics.  Would she run for Congress?

After she was elected, as she was preparing to run for the US Senate, having been encouraged again by Harry Reid, The Nevada Independent ran a story about her candidacy describing her as having been “[A] nice and normal human being, a good listener to her friends and fellow synagogue members.” The US Senate is not full of “nice and normal human beings.”  The story went on to say “She doles out parenting advice to members of Congress when they’re having trouble balancing their work and home lives.”  She helped them live normal lives under abnormal conditions.

In a single term, Jacky Rosen has become an influential member of the Senate – taking he own route.  She is consistent in her vision.  She promises to grow Nevada’s economy for the future. She emphasizes travel and tourism, clean energy, and STEM education.  She would make health care more accessible and affordable, fight for reproductive rights, address Nevada’s doctor shortage, address political corruption in Washington, support veterans and members of the armed forces, and fix the current broken immigration system.  She does not have specific proposals for all of these.  She’ll listen to her colleagues and help them all to create practical solutions.

Sam Brown is her probable opponent.  He is a military guy, like several of the Republican challengers including Jon Tester’s opponent Tim Sheehy.  But Sam Brown has a story.  Transporting heavy equipment in Iraq, his vehicle was hit by an IED.  Brown was fortunate to live through the experience.  He was burned over 60% of. His body.  He lost a finger. His face is disfigured. That he is a wounded veteran is visible at every appearance he makes.

Sam Brown is not a billionaire or even a multi-millionaire.  He has, however, been “politically adopted” by Nevada billionaire David Duffield.  Duffield donated $2 million to a SuperPAC and may well donate considerably more.  As things stand now, in conventional fundraising, Jacky Rosen has raised more than $24 million and has spent $11.2 million to establish herself.  On March 31, she had $13.2 million.  All that is considerably more than Sam Brown who raised a total of $5.4 million and spent $3.1 million to stay ahead in the Republican primary.  He had $2.3 million on March 31 and has to defeat a large Republican field which includes Jeff Gunter, a former ambassador appointed by Trump.  If Brown wins the primary, we can expect Duffield to help him compete between June and November.

Brown’s wife may insulate him from criticism on the abortion issue.  Recently, she told the public about her abortion and her regrets about it. Meanwhile, Sam Brown was able to add his support for Nevada’s limit on abortions after 24 weeks and his insistence that this is a decision for states.

Jacky Rosen is a vulnerable Democratic incumbent. In 2022, Nevada elected a Republican governor in a close race.  DONATE TO JACKY ROSEN.  She needs every dollar you can give even if she appears on paper to be in a comfortable financial position for this election.


Pennsylvania – Bob Casey Jr.’s father was governor of Pennsylvania for 8 years and a national leader of anti-abortion Democrats.  Bob Casey Jr has been a moderate Democrat who was elected state auditor general and state treasurer before being elected senator. He has raised $23.8 million for his campaign and had $11.9 million remaining on March 31.   David McCormick is the son of a Pennsylvania state university president and former head of a national software services company and, later, a hedge fund.  McCormick lost the Senate primary in 2022, in part, because he was accused of actually living in Connecticut. He has since purchased a house in Pennsylvania.  He reported that he had raised $11.1 million and had $6.4 million available on March 31. It is possible that McCormick’s brand was damaged in 2022 – or Bob Casey Jr is very popular.  Three different polls reported in January found Bob Casey Jr leading —  by 4, 10, and 12 points.  And those leads are smaller than one poll was reported in mid-December. Nevertheless, Pennsylvania Democrats are nervous. They know that David McCormick has nearly unlimited funds to contribute to the campaign if he is inclined.     DONATE TO BOB CASEY.  See Len’s Political Note #581


Tammy Baldwin, grew up in Madison, raised mostly by her grandparents.  She came out as a Lesbian in college and, like Ruben Gallego, is on the leftish side of the Democratic party.  She is a particular advocate for the availability of health care and continues to be elected by Wisconsin voters.  She has raised $26.4 million and had $10.3 million available on March 31.

Eric Hovde, chairman and CEO of the West Coast bank Sunwest and the owner of other banks as well as a Wisconsin real estate business founded by his grandfather, finally announced that he would oppose her. Shortly afterwards, he made some rookie mistakes. It is not just that his bank was named as a co-defendant in an elder abuse lawsuit, he described nursing home residents as having a tenure of five or six months and as not being competent to vote.  Less offensive, but equally inaccurate, he ascribed increases in the national debt to spending, without taking into account huge Republican tax cuts.

In early April polls showed Tammy Baldwin even with Hovde.  She gained ground in more recent polls to lead by as much as 9 or 12 points.   DONATE TO TAMMY BALDWIN. Keep her in the lead.  See  Len’s Political Note #570

Democrats could flip a Republican Senate Seat. Here are five races to keep an eye on – ranked in order of the likelihood of defeating a Republican incumbent.

Texas – Congressman Colin Allred could defeat Incumbent Ted Cruz. A former NFL linebacker and civil rights lawyer, he was born and grew up in Texas, played his college football at Baylor, practiced law in Texas, and, has been a moderate Member of Congress. He flipped a Republican seat in 2018. Now he is attempting to defeat the far right, most disliked member of the Senate, Ted Cruz.  Colin Allred has raised a total of $27.9 million and had $10.5 million on March 31.  Cruz raised $51 million and had $9.4 million remaining on March 31.  In three April polls Colin Allred trailed by 5, 9, and 12 points.  DONATE TO COLIN ALLRED.  He is not out of this race yet.  See Len’s Political Note #560

Nebraska – Union leader Dan Osborn is a surprise. The leader of the Baker….and Grain Millers (BCTGM) local in Omaha, he was among the organizers of a multi-state strike against Kellogg in 2021. He is running as an independent and has some proposals (the right to repair, for instance) that would be unusual for a conventional candidate. He began his campaign with no resources, raised $800,000, and on April 24 had $400,000.  The incumbent, Deb Fischer has raised $5.7 million and had $2.7 million on April 24. He’ll need the unions to help and a lot of grass roots support. Maybe help from the Democrats, too. There will be no serious Democratic candidate although one was nominated in the May 14 primary.

Fischer’s career has been sufficiently nondescript so that she was behind him in a poll last November by 2 points when no one knew who he was. Now, a huge underdog, in an April poll he trailed by 4 points.  He could win. DONATE TO DAN OSBORN.  See Len’s Political Note #614

Missouri – Lucas Kunce is running again. He lost in the primary in 2022. A marine veteran and national security expert, he accuses Incumbent Senator Josh Hawley of cowardice.  Hawley advocates and wrote a book about masculinity, but has been mocked for both supporting the January 6 insurrection and running away from the insurrectionists.  Lucas Kunce has raised $7.7 million and had $3.3 million on March 31.  Hawley has raised $20.5 million and had $5.5 million on March 31.  A March poll showed Kunce trailing by 14 points.  Do not quit on this race. DONATE TO LUCAS KUNCE. See Len’s Political Note #538

Florida – Former Member of Congress Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, came to the US when her mother brought her four daughters from Ecuador. Debbie Mucarsel became a professional fund raiser for non-profits and was elected to a term in Congress. She is running against billionaire incumbent and former governor Rick Scott. She has raised $7.3 million and had available $2.7 million on March 31. Scott has raised $21 million and had available $3.8 million on March 31. Polls in April and May had Mucarsel-Powell trailing by as little as 7 points and as much as 15 points. DONATE TO DEBBIE MUCARSEL-POWELL.  See Len’s Political Note #598

Tennessee – State Rep Gloria Johnson is known nationally as one of the three state reps who protested against the Tennessee House for refusing to debate a gun safety proposal. Two young Black reps were expelled from the legislature; she was not, by a single vote.  She is running against Senator Marsha Blackburn – whose attacks on Democrats put her in a league with Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and Rick Scott.  Gloria Johnson has raised $3.7 million; on March 31 she had $2 million.  Blackburn has raised $12.5 million; she had available $8.5 million on Mach 31.  Polls are not encouraging.  An early April poll had Johnson trailing by 17 points. DONATE TO GLORIA JOHNSON. She is a long shot, but you have a chance to make Marsha Blackburn uncomfortable.  See Len’s Political Note #622



Support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

As we look toward November, 2024, Help sustain the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris campaign.  Put things in perspective.   Eight polls have been reported in May.  Trump and Biden have been tied – genuinely or virtually in all of them. They each led a roughly equal number of polls and neither led by more than two points.  Every donation, large or small, does make a difference.  Larger donations mean more money for the campaign.  But many in the media count the number of small donations as a measure of enthusiasm for the candidate.  Make a small donation if you cannot afford a large one.  DONATE TO JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS.

See Len’s Political Note #605