Several community groups have their hands in the special election to replace Leslie Johnson for the Prince George’s County District 6 council seat.

The major player in this is the Prince George’s Coalition for Change (PFCPGC). The organization recently held a forum where it invited only four of the 15-candidate field in the District 6 race. The organization invited Democratic candidates, Arthur Turner, Mark Polk and Derrick L. Davis to the debate along with Republican candidate Day Gardner.

The group has eventually endorsed Mark Polk as the candidate it wants to see win the seat, but some are questioning the motives of the group after the debate and its attacks on Davis.

The group has an entire page on its website dedicated to Davis and how he’s received campaign contributions. Davis, the chairman of the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund, has been a longtime political ally of Del. Derek E. Davis, D.-Dist. 25. The coalition asked why Derrick L. Davis was receiving contributions from general assembly members and those and alluded to the fact that groups could be “buying votes” from Davis.

“Decide for yourself if this is pay to play in Prince George’s County all over again! Why do Maryland General Assembly members have an interest in this seat?” Sandy Pruitt, head of PFCPGC asked in a statement.

“The residents of District 6 must ask who is Derrick Davis and how will he use this seat to pay back those special interests who are funding his campaign?” she continued.

However, another group has come to the defense of Davis and has condemned the PGCPGC for its attacks. The Real Prince George’s, a blog run by Prince George’s residents, is wondering why PFCPGC is going on the offensive and would if it as guilty of the crimes its charging Davis of.

“We discovered that a lot of elected officials and community leaders had opened their minds to People for Change for a variety of reasons but became turned off after the group showed it was not about representative democracy but creating the type of political structure they often attack.” the group said in a recent blog.

However, the motives of the Real Prince George’s may come into play now that it has claimed that the race is down to Davis and Turner. The group gives glowing accounts of Davis and Turner and doesn’t mention Polk, or any of the other candidates as real challengers, despite the fact that Washington Post endorsed Polk last year and mentioned him as a strong contender this time around.

Voters will decide on Sept. 20 who will represent District 6, but the question lingering two weeks away is what these groups have to gain from the winner.

“With fourteen candidates in the race for the Democratic nomination to fill the empty District 6 council manic seat it is easy to get confused about just who are the real contenders of the race are,” the Real Prince George’s said. “In fact one group in particular seems to be going out of their way to project this race between their candidate Mark Polk and the odds-on frontrunner Derrick Leon Davis. That is false.”

 

George Barnette

Special to the AFRO