Doug Duncan Dishes on the Primary
The former county executive expressed frustration with Annapolis while working the polls for John Delaney on Tuesday.
Douglas M. Duncan went through the familiar motions of a candidate on Election Day on Tuesday evening at Robert Frost Middle School in Rockville.
The former Rockville mayor, former three-term Montgomery County executive and one-time gubernatorial candidate greeted voters and answered questions. But this time his name wasn’t on the ballot.
Duncan announced in November that we would not seek elected office this year after some speculation that he might run for Congress, The Washington Post reported. Instead, he backed John Delaney, who won the Democratic nomination for the 6th Congressional District on Tuesday.
“If the idea was to get another Democrat in Congress, he’s by far the best for that,” Duncan said of Delaney on Tuesday.
Delaney, a businessman from Potomac who cofounded Chevy Chase-based commercial lender CapitalSource, is not “politics as usual,” Duncan said. It was a not-so-subtle criticism of state Sen. Robert J. Garagiola (D-Dist. 15) of Germantown. Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. and Gov. Martin O’Malley, who Duncan ran against for governor in 2006 before withdrawing, endorsed Garagiola.
Duncan said he worked the polls at Frost Middle School in the morning and evening hours, taking a mid-day break to take his mother to vote in the 8th District elsewhere in Rockville.
He noticed what others saw: Low voter turnout, which he attributed to an easy Democratic primary for incumbent U.S. Rep. Christopher Van Hollen Jr. in the 8th District and an unusual April primary.
“It’s spring break,” Duncan said, referring to the weeklong vacation for county public schools. “I don’t think we’ve ever voted in April before in Maryland.”
Congressional redistricting sowed confusion among some voters, Duncan said. He saw voters arrive at the polls expecting to vote for Van Hollen only to find out that they no longer lived in the 8th District.
“I took real offense to how they told us in Annapolis who our congressman was going to be and offense to what they did to Chris Van Hollen,” Duncan said of the redistricting plan passed by the General Assembly. “His district goes from the District [of Columbia] line to Pennsylvania. That’s crazy.”
Duncan said voters he spoke with on Tuesday expressed frustration over what many see as a lack of leadership on Capitol Hill.
“I just hear a lot of ‘The Congress is broken. We need someone to come in and fix it,’” Duncan said.
Asked if he had considered a return to the political arena, Duncan didn’t dismiss the idea.
“Let me get down to campaign fighting weight,” he said. “Then we’ll see what happens.”