As the Sept. 14 primary elections near, candidates for public office across Prince George’s County, Md. are gearing up for the last big push before Election Day. With the primary being the equivalent of a general election, it’s now or never for many of the candidates. Because of the dominance of the Democratic Party voters, the victor of the primary is a shoo-in in the general election.

Rushern Baker, leading candidate in the five-way race for the open County Executive seat, is putting his campaign into overdrive as he works his way across the county. His communications director, James Adams, said they’re not letting their guard down in the last days.

“Right now we’re in the midst of our vigorous get-out-to-vote campaign,” Adams said. “We’re making appearances everywhere from the Metro stops to the rib shack. We’re getting out and talking to voters and our supporters and making sure they get to the polls.”

Adams said Baker’s public schedule on Sept. 11 was expected to begin at 8 a.m. and end at about 10 p.m. and will include visits to various church and community events

One of Baker’s rivals in the county executive race is using social media to get their message out there. State Del. Gerron Levi (D) is squaring off against Baker, County Councilman Samuel Dean, Sheriff Michael Jackson and Henry Turner for the executive’s office, and is turning to Twitter and Facebook for help. She’s started a campaign on Facebook to get residents to tweet their support for her up until 9 p.m. on Election Day.

Meanwhile, Melvin High, a former Prince George’s Police Chief and a leading candidate for County Sheriff, is using the Sept, 12 NFL game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys for last-minute exposure. High will join with Byron Richardson, a candidate for State Delegate in District 24, District 7 School Board candidate Henry P. Armwood Jr., District 4 School Board candidate Sandy J. Vaughns and Clerk of the Circuit Court Candidate Joyce Starks for a pre-game and pre-election rally near FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

Other candidates have been spending time fighting what they call illegal campaign flyers. Citizens for Change, a Fort Washington, Md.-based group, sent out flyers mimicking the District 26 ballot, a move that didn’t sit well with state’s attorney candidate Angela Alsobrooks.

“Some people have decided to violate the state election laws by circulating fraudulent campaign materials by mail and at early voting locations,” she said in a statement. “These fraudulent materials violate the law.” Maryland Circuit Court Judge Larnzell Martin Jr. banned the group from circulating the flyer and said in a temporary restraining order that the sheriff could seize the flyers if found being used.


George Barnette

Special to the AFRO