The politics behind the Democratic Party elections

Story Highlights

  • Knowledge is power
  • The Future Of Possible
  • Hibs and Ross County fans on final
  • Tip of the day: That man again
  • Hibs and Ross County fans on final
  • Spieth in danger of missing cut

Before I get started, let me first start by saying that this post is purely based on rumblings that I’ve heard from people who’ve contacted me in regards to the behind-the-scenes politics reportedly being played amongst Democrats looking to retain control of the party establishment. So before anyone gets in their feelings, or starts assuming I’m coming for them – or their chosen candidate – just know that I don’t have a pony in this race, so I could personally care less who wins or loses, other than having selected favorites from whom I won’t mention (cough Maya).

As I first reported on last week, regarding the possibility of Maya Rockeymoore-Cummings – the wife of 7th district Congressman Elijah Cummings – looking to become the next chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party; well that rumor has come to fruition. However, the other reported name who was said to be also looking to run for this position, Prince George’s County education leader Theresa Mitchell Dudley, wound up not being an official candidate for chairwoman – or any other position for that matter.

(And yes, I referenced Maya’s husband when first mentioning her name fully, because he is of major significance to the story and her run for Chairwoman. If he was a plumber or she was seeking a job in cake making, than NO, I wouldn’t mention him, because it would be of no relevance; but this certainly doesn’t in no way, diminish or discredit the work and accomplishments of Mrs. Rockeymoore-Cummings!)

Now, Maya’s challenger is the current Democratic Party Chairwoman Kathleen Matthews, who assumed the position last year after the resignation of the former party chairman resigned. Her reign as chairwoman has seen an incredible increase in women participation within the party, both active voting participation, as well as having a record number of women running for office. It also oversaw a historic 2018 General Election that witnessed shocking victories in places such as Howard and Anne Arundel counties, thanks to a blue wave that swept through Maryland.

However, Matthews also oversaw a fractured party that witnessed the progressive wing of the party bully their way to success in various races due to the establishment trying to bogart the resources that aren’t supposed to be doled out until after the party picks their nominees. But once again, Matthews was a part of a party establishment that did nothing to include the younger generation, or that of middle to lower class African Americans; deciding instead to focus all their attention on the power-structures elite class of candidates and voters.

This rubbed many Democrats the wrong way, including Matthews’ supposed right-hand man, the party’s 1st vice-chairman, Scherod Barnes; who wouldn’t sit quiet and allow for the party to treat blacks any kind of way. His consistent questioning of what Matthews and the Party were going to do for blacks, who by and large are the largest and most loyal voting bloc within the Democratic Party, led to her distaste for Barnes, who says that he’s become frustrated by their futile attempts at silencing him because he constantly tells the truth, that according to him, “blacks are constantly given scraps off the Democratic Party table”. This blunt and straightforward talk apparently rubbed Matthews the wrong way, so she quietly began recruiting someone to run against Barnes in tomorrow’s election.

And it seems as if she found her guy, as newly elected State Senator Cory McCray confirmed with this publication last week that he was in fact running for 1st vice-chair, and was also firmly supporting Matthews for chairwoman – despite a highly qualified African American woman being in the race. It’s been rumored that McCray took Matthews up on her offer to “help reform the party”, something that has upset quite a few African American leaders throughout Baltimore, who have privately and publicly stated that McCray should learn his job as Senator first instead of trying to oust Barnes – who has seemingly done nothing but stand up for the interest of black folks.

(Now, this is one of those moments of clarity again, like in the beginning of the post. People know that I have been a supporter of Cory’s before he was elected Delegate, let alone Senator. And that I have a great relationship with Barnes as well, though maybe not as a strong as the one I have, or had, with McCray. But that doesn’t negate the facts, or the rumors that are being floated, which are simply being reported in this piece. Carry on…)

Barnes is the former two-term chairman of the Baltimore City Democratic State Central Committee who decided to step aside earlier this year, even though many believe he did an excellent job as chairman. He has refused to step aside in his current role as first vice-chair of the state democratic party, despite not so subtle hints by the establishment; and respects the right of anyone to be able to run for the position, but according to him, “isn’t fazed by McCray’s entry into the race!”

But these two gentlemen aren’t the only two people up for the position, as there are nine people running for one of the three vice-chair positions; and under the crazy rules of the Democratic Party, the vice-chairman will have to be a man since it’s evident that the Chairwoman will be of the female gender. Not only that, the other two vice-chairs will have to be one man and one woman, and only one of the remaining seven positions other than party chair can be someone from the Baltimore region. Meaning, if either McCray or Barnes win the seat for vice-chair, then Baltimore’s Akil Patterson cannot be the Deputy Treasurer – a seat he is seeking but can’t take even if he won due to the party’s geographical balance, along with their gender balance rule.

However, if neither McCray or Barnes become one of the vice-chairs, then Patterson is the only hope for Baltimore to have representation on the board other than if Maya wins as Chairwoman. Crazy, I know; and I haven’t even begun to get into the voting balance and how much value is put into different votes – it’s truly mind-blowing! These rules clearly show that they were crafted by the establishment in order to keep control of their precious political body.

But apparently Matthews is “excited to welcome a new generation of Democrats interested in leading the party”; or at least that’s the company line she gave online? Maya represents a new day for a Party who is still trying to establish a clear identity amongst a younger, and more progressive bloc of party voters and activists, many of whom showed their strength this past election by ignoring the party’s “establishment candidates”, such as Rushern Baker for Governor; and went with the candidate(s) that spoke to their core values – like Ben Jealous.

I wonder if the democratic central committee members will be as bold and progressive tomorrow, telling the establishment candidate to kick rocks, and turning their attention to a new, younger and more technologically driven chairwoman ready to take on the big, bad Republican President and Governor. Or, will they go along to get along as usual; allowing for the dominance of the Democrats to come from the suites instead of the streets. We shall see?

Tune in to the DMVDaily Facebook and YouTube pages tomorrow morning beginning at 10:00A as we live-stream the Md Democratic Party elections. (Nominees are below…)


Kathleen Matthews, Montgomery County

Maya Rockeymoore-Cummings, Baltimore City

Vice-Chair (3 chosen: 2 men and one woman)

Scherod Barnes, Baltimore City (incumbent 1st Vice Chair)
Wala Blegay, Prince George’s County
Darlene Cocco-Adams, Southern Maryland
Allison Galbraith, Eastern Shore
Scott Kane, Eastern Shore
Cheryl Landis, Prince George’s County
Delegate Cory McCray, Baltimore City
Jeffrey Slavin, Montgomery County (incumbent 3nd Vice-Chair)
Nicole Williams, Prince George’s County


Robbie Leonard, Baltimore County
Erwin Rose, Montgomery County


Bob Kresslein, Western Maryland (incumbent)

Deputy Secretary

Abena McAllister, Southern Maryland
Malcolm Heflin, Baltimore County

Deputy Treasurer

Jake Burdett, Eastern Shore
Cheryl Landis, Prince George’s County
Laurie Brittingham, Eastern Shore
Chrissy Holt, Southern Maryland
Scott Kane, Eastern Shore
Akil Patterson, Baltimore City


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