News and Press
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Delegate Craig Zucker Announces House Version of Child Identity Lock Bill
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND – In a press conference today with members of the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates, Delegate Craig Zucker announced his sponsorship of new legislation in the House to ensure parents and guardians have the right to place a security freeze on their child’s credit in order to prevent identity theft.
“We all know how important to your success your credit rating is in today’s world. Like any parent, I want to make sure that my son has a fair chance to succeed as an adult. This bill gives millions of Maryland families peace of mind by protecting the credit of their children,” Zucker said.
A troubling number of cases have been recently documented in which a child’s credit is stolen and goes undiscovered for years, with one study estimating that as many as 140,000 minors are victims of identity theft each year. Though current law requires credit agencies to place a security freeze on the credit of anyone who requests it, a loophole in the law has allowed them to refuse to lock the credit of those who do not have a pre-existing credit report. Of course, if a child has a credit report it likely means that fraud has already occurred.
Zucker said that he was humbled by the positive reaction the Child Identity Lock bill has received, adding “Even one child having their identity stolen is too many. It is my intention to do everything I can to pass this legislation this year.”
The bill has attracted broad support from both sides of the aisle. Currently, Delegate Zucker’s version of the bill has over thirty co-sponsors in the House. Senator John Astle is the lead sponsor of companion legislation in the Maryland Senate.
1. ID Analytics. More Than 140,000 Children Could Be Victims Of Identity Fraud Each Year.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Consistency in the State Legislature
From The Gazette
By the Gazette Editorial Board
In several races for the state legislature, incumbents are encountering energetic challengers who are arguing that the county’s delegation is in need of a transfusion.
Montgomery County needs leaders in the General Assembly who have a sense of history but also recognize that change is inevitable to maintain the county’s financial health and progressive approach on social issues. The county needs delegates and senators who can ensure a fair share of state funds – for roads, schools, health care and more – amid one of the toughest budgets in history.
District 14 (all or parts of Burtonsville, Damascus, Laytonsville, Montgomery Village, Olney and Silver Spring)
Incumbent Democrats Sen. Rona E. Kramer and Del. Anne Kaiser and delegate challengers Craig Zucker and Robert “Bo” Newsome are strong choices to represent the diverse challenges, including transportation, development, crime and education, facing District 14.
Kramer and Kaiser are both finishing their second terms in Annapolis, and have shown their ability to work within the system to push the county’s needs to the front of the line.
Kramer understands a core part of her mission is to fight to make sure county tax dollars stay in Montgomery to pay for schools, libraries and transportation services. She also helped pass legislation to protect nursing home residents from sexual offenders, among other legislative victories.
Kramer serves on the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, the Public Safety, Transportation and Environment Sub-Committee, and the Joint Audit, Executive Nominations, Spending Affordability, and the Special Joint Pensions Committees.
Kaiser is a member of the Ways and Means Committee, serving as the chair of the Education Subcommittee. She also serves as a Deputy Majority Whip and has been the prime sponsor of 32 bills that are now law during her eight years on the legislature.
As the deputy chief of staff for Maryland Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot, Zucker knows how crucial it is to keep a close watch on state money. He unsuccessfully ran for a District 14 House seat in 2002, but has built a powerful list of supporters that would give him more political muscle than most newcomers.
Newsome sought the House seat in 2002 and an at-large seat on the Montgomery County Council in 2006. Although he didn’t win, he knows the issues in his district intimately and has focused his campaign on the need to create local jobs, especially within the biotechnology sector.
Over the summer, Gazette editors have interviewed scores of candidates to arrive at “Our Opinion” endorsements, an editorial page tradition for decades.
Candidates without primary competition will be invited to speak with the editorial board before general election endorsements.
More information about the races and candidates, including verbatim responses to our questionnaires and one-minute videos, as well as previous endorsements, including those for County Council and congressional races, is online at www.gazette.net/votersguide2010.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Gansler pledges $30K to party; Unchallenged attorney general plans to help fellow Democrats
From The Gazette
By Alan Brody
Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, who faces no re-election challenge this fall, plans to raise about $100,000 for Democratic candidates and the state party.
The state’s top lawyer said in an interview Monday that he has pledged $30,000 to the state party’s coordinated campaign.
Other top Democrats, including Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, are raising even more money for the coordinated campaign, said party chairwoman, Del. Maggie L. McIntosh (D-Dist. 43) of Baltimore. Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown has vowed to raise $50,000, she said.
Gansler (D) also said he is helping other Democrats who have supported him in the past or those who are engaged in competitive races.
“There ought to be a premium for loyalty in politics,” he said.
McIntosh said it’s understandable that the attorney general wants to spend his money on specific candidates
“Everybody’s trying to do their part,” she said.
Gansler said he is primarily steering clear of contested Democratic primaries, but pointed to several candidates whom he is assisting. One is Baltimore County Councilman Kevin B. Kamenetz, who is running for county executive against fellow Democratic Councilman Joseph Bartenfelder.
He’s also lending his support to, among others, delegate hopeful Luke Clippinger, one of six Democrats vying for three seats in south Baltimore’s 46th Legislative District; Craig Zucker, who is battling seven other Democrats for three seats representing Montgomery County’s District 14, and Anthony B. Covington, a Charles County state’s attorney candidate whose only competition is in the Democratic primary.
So far, there’s little evidence to signal where Gansler is spreading his campaign wealth. His latest campaign finance report, which covers most of the first eight months of 2010, shows a single $450 transfer in March from his main account to the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee.
However, the Democratic Attorneys General Association, which Gansler chaired for two years, made a $20,000 donation to the Maryland Democratic Party in late June. Gansler confirmed that contribution was made on his behalf and represents two-thirds of his commitment to the state party.
Despite his lack of opposition this fall, Gansler has raised nearly $300,000 since January and boosted his already substantial war chest to more than $2.3 million, which has made him a popular pick to run for governor in 2014.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Endorsements 2010 – First Update
From Maryland Politics Watch Blog
By Adam Pagnucco
Here is our first update to the endorsements made by major organizations in MoCo’s council and state legislative races.
Endorsements are only one part of a political campaign, and they are probably not the most important part. Incumbents are expected to get them. Members or staffers of these organizations who are running for office are also expected to get their support. But endorsements can be important for challengers, especially those running one-on-one against incumbents or those running in crowded fields. They can be very much helped by institutional credibility in seeking to break through.
Here are the open-seat candidates and challengers who are really standing out right now. Most of them are going to win.
Hans Riemer, County Council At-Large
Trails only Marc Elrich in major endorsements.
Karen Montgomery, District 14 Senate
Leads Rona Kramer on our list 7-3.
Craig Zucker and Eric Luedtke, District 14 House
Mopping up against limited opposition.
Aruna Miller, District 15 House
Hand-picked by the incumbent slate. Lots of people are climbing on her wagon.
Ariana Kelly, District 16 House
Has five major institutional endorsements. Scott Goldberg has one. Kyle Lierman has none.
Cheryl Kagan, District 17 Senate
Leads Jennie Forehand 5-3 on our list. It will be interesting to see what the Post does.
Bonnie Cullison and Jay Hutchins, District 19 House
Both are supplementing their expected labor backing with support from other groups. In most cycles, they would win, but Sam Arora cannot be counted out. The decision by the Fire Fighters and Police to not endorse Cullison, a former union leader, is interesting to say the least.
Shane Robinson, District 39 House
Total unknown is still preferred by most groups to Bob Hydorn and Tony Puca.
We’ll have another update soon!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Craig Zucker Calls for “Smart Growth” That Protects Natural Resources; Earns Key Endorsements from Environmental Groups
Recognizing the need to enhance infrastructure while preserving the environment, District 14 House of Delegates Candidate Craig Zucker (D-Brookeville) is advocating for a “smart growth” strategy that focuses on mass transit opportunities and alternative energy sources for new construction. Zucker’s balanced approach has earned him endorsements from The Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters, two of the nation’s leading environmental organizations.
“It is our responsibility to be stewards of the earth and leave future generations with a better environment than that which our generation inherited.” said Zucker, who hopes his one year old son Ben will grow up in an environmentally-sound world.
Zucker is a proponent of the Inner-Purple Line, a proposed light-rail line which would connect the region’s core communities near the Capital Beltway, reduce traffic, and help curb greenhouse gas emissions. He also supports the Brookeville Bypass, a project designed to protect an historic, forested area of Maryland from traffic congestion and road pollution, and Bus Rapid Transit, a plan that will connect more people in Montgomery County to public transportation.
Craig’s smart growth strategy also includes the adoption of clean energy technology. He recently submitted testimony on behalf of the comptroller to the Maryland House of Ways & Means Committee in support of the Maryland Clean Energy Incentive Act of 2010. This act provides tax credits for Maryland facilities that produce clean energy and electricity. Zucker also took part in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Paint Branch High School, which will soon boast a green-powered building that uses geothermal energy to heat and cool the school. He believes innovative projects that implement alternative energy sources would not only preserve our environment, but also stimulate the economy.
“Building a clean energy infrastructure will not only limit Maryland’s dependence on fossil fuels, but also create new job opportunities in the fields of technology and construction,” added Zucker.
As the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Comptroller, Craig is keenly aware of the need to be fiscally responsible with taxpayers dollars and will work in partnership with our federal leadership to help fund these projects. He also supports the implementation of a limited gas tax to help pay for transportation-related development.
O’Malley vs. Ehrlich: Jewish voters might play important role
By Barbara Pash
With two published polls showing the race for governor neck-and-neck, the contest to win “subsets” of voters becomes more crucial and this certainly applies to Maryland’s large Jewish community.
Where its vote will go depends on whom you talk to.
“My sense is that Jewish voters remain overwhelmingly Democratic and overwhelmingly pro-O’Malley,” said state Sen. Jamie Raskin, a Montgomery County Democrat. “In every congregation in my district, O’Malley is very popular.”
Lee Cowan, active in the Maryland Jewish Republican coalition, sees it differently. “Erhlich had a lot of success working with and being embraced by the Jewish community of Maryland,” he said.
One estimate puts the number Jews at around 300,000 in a statewide population of some 5.6 million. The Jewish community is concentrated in Montgomery County (about 100,000) and Baltimore City-County (about 95,000 ). They appear to be overwhelmingly Democratic. Of the approximately 180,000 registered Jewish voters, they are said to break 70 percent Democratic, 20 percent Republican and 10 percent independent or in other parties.
Raskin points out that this voting cycle, the state Democratic Party is even stronger than it was in the previous O’Malley-Ehrlich contest. For the 2008 presidential campaign, the party registered an extra 175,000 voters, a reflection of the enthusiasm for the Barack Obama.
The Democratic Party’s registration advantage has widened considerably since 2006 and Raskin, for one, does not expect Jewish voters to switch party allegiance for Ehrlich. “He hasn’t provided a strong rationale for ousting O’Malley and returning him to office,” said Raskin.
“If Ehrlich is counting on Jewish votes to win,” said Raskin, “it’s not going to happen.”
“Only praise” for O’Malley
Craig Zucker is on leave from the state comptroller’s Office, where he was deputy chief of staff, to run as a Democratic candidate for a Montgomery County delegate’s seat. Like Raskin, Zucker expects O’Malley to capture the majority of the Jewish vote.
In the Jewish community, Zucker said, he hears “only praise” for O’Malley, who has visited Israel twice and promotes Maryland-Israel business ties. “That sits well with the Jewish community,” said Zucker.
Republican Cowen said it’s a bit early to be making predictions about gubernatorial winners and losers since political activists and voters are focused on the local council and legislative races.
Still, Cowen feels that, given Ehrlich’s popularity in the Jewish community, if there is enough of a backlash among Jewish voters to what they see as Obama’s harsh treatment of Israel, they could well vote for Ehrlich.
Whatever the case, Cowen believes the election is going to be close and, needless to say, he expects Ehrlich to win.
State Sen. Paul Pinsky, a Prince George’s County Democrat, dismisses the Israel argument. “This is state politics, not the U.S. Congress, where they get into Israeli foreign policy,” he said.
Pinsky does not think that Erhlich has offered anything new to make Jews vote for him, but he does not believe that the community’s vote will play a major role in the election. The reason? Because they have consistent turnout and they consistently vote Democratic.
Pinsky said the much larger African-American community, perhaps a quarter of the state population, is a more influential subset. “They’re mainly Democratic but the turnout is not as consistent,” he said.
Montgomery County role
Ronald Halber of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington begs to differ. The executive director of the political arm of the greater D.C. Jewish community believes Jews will play a major role, particularly how they vote in Montgomery County.
“Ehrlich has to get 35 to 40 percent of Montgomery County to win the election,” Halber said, and the Jewish community there, he has heard, “represents one-third of the Democratic voters.”
As it has in the past, Halber expects the Montgomery County Jewish community to vote largely Democratic, although he hedges his bets by noting that the poor economy and dissatisfaction with President Obama might move some Jewish voters to Ehrlich.
Arthur Abramson, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, the political arm of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, sees a different scenario. He calls both candidates “good friends” of the Jewish community and believes that they will split the Jewish vote throughout the state.
“Ehrlich will do well in the traditional [Jewish] areas like the Orthodox community in Baltimore City and in Baltimore County, where he did well in 2006,” said Abramson. “O’Malley will do well in Montgomery County, Howard County, Prince George’s County and parts of Baltimore City and County.”
But Abramson does agree with Pinsky on one point. The Jewish vote will only make a difference if “something significant” happens – a slip of the tongue, an open mike catching a stray comment. However, given that both candidates are political pros, Abramson doesn’t expect that to happen.
Whoever’s the next governor, though, said Abramson, “the Jewish community cannot lose.”
Friday June 4th, 2010
Maryland House of Delegates Candidate Craig Zucker Earns Key Endorsement From Education Association
JUNE 7, 2010 – ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND – On Wednesday, June 3rd, 2010, the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA) endorsed candidate Craig Zucker (Democrat – Brookeville) in the District 14 House of Delegates election. “I am extremely humbled and honored to have the support of an organization representing more than 12,000 Montgomery County educators,” stated Zucker.
During its Representative Assembly, the MCEA announced its candidate selections for the “Apple Ballot”, which, according to the MCEA’s website (www.mcea.nea.org), is a tool used by the organization “to the ensure that voters know which candidates we believe to be the best advocates for public schools and public school educators.”
As a product of a public school system and a father, Craig has been a longtime supporter of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and a vocal advocate for protecting public education. “Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed,” said Zucker. “It is critical that our schools have access to the tools they need as they shape our children into the leaders of tomorrow.”
Over the past nine years, Craig has visited schools throughout District 14 to listen to the needs and concerns of parents, teachers, and principals. As delegate, he will on take what he has learned from these groups, and use his extensive experience in public service to ensure Montgomery County Public Schools have the necessary resources to hire and retain quality teachers, modernize facilities, and provide every child with a world-class education.
The Montgomery County Education Association joins more than 40 former and current elected officials in support of Craig Zucker’s candidacy.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 Posted – Gazette Newspapers http://www.gazette.net/
Kramer, Kaiser and Zucker form District 14 team
State Sen. Rona E. Kramer (D-Dist. 14) of Olney and Del. Anne R. Kaiser (D-Dist. 14) of Burtonsville say a desire to protect working families and businesses has united them with House of Delegates candidate Craig Zucker in forming the District 14 Leadership Team as they prepare for the fall election.
“I would say it’s the work we’ve done together over the years [that brought us together],” Kaiser said. “Sen. Kramer and I work well as a team and Craig Zucker has been someone we’ve known for a longtime. He’s been incredibly active in district.”
The trio has already won the endorsement of Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D), county spokesman Patrick Lacefield confirmed.
“We won his endorsement a simple way — we asked,” Kaiser said. “He knows each of us and our contributions.”
Both Kramer and Kaiser are campaigning for a third term in the Maryland legislature, while Zucker, the deputy chief of staff for Maryland Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot, is seeking his first term in the House. He unsuccessfully ran for a District 14 House seat in 2002.
Kaiser filed with the state Board of Elections as a formal candidate for the House on May 17, but Kramer had not yet filed by press time. Zucker filed his candidacy with the board three weeks ago.
District 14 includes Ashton, Brinklow, Brookeville, Burtonsville, Calverton, Cloverly, Colesville, Damascus, Fairland, Goshen, Laytonsville, Montgomery Village, Olney, Sandy Spring, Silver Spring, Spencerville and Sunshine.
“I’m extremely humbled to be involved,” Zucker said. “It’s important to have elected officials like Sen. Kramer and Del. Kaiser helping District 14 get the resources it needs.”
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 – Posted
State Senator Rona Kramer, Delegate Anne Kaiser and Candidate Craig Zucker
Form District 14 Leadership Team
Slate Receives Endorsement of Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett
(Olney, MD) — Today, State Senator Rona Kramer (Democrat-Olney), Delegate Anne Kaiser (Democrat-Burtonsville) and candidate Craig Zucker (Democrat-Brookeville) announced the formation of a District 14 legislative slate called the District 14 Leadership Team.
“We are looking forward to working as a team to make sure District 14 gets the resources and representation it needs and deserves,” said the candidates in a joint statement.
Each member of the Leadership Team has pledged to protect working families, businesses, and community priorities throughout the district. Senator Kramer and Delegate Kaiser provide strong leadership in Annapolis with their positions on two powerful committees. Senator Kramer serves on the powerful Budget and Taxation Committee and Delegate Kaiser on the House Ways and Means Committee. Zucker also brings a wealth of experience to the team as the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Maryland Comptroller.
“I am proud to support this group of outstanding individuals. The District 14 Leadership Team has the talent, experience, and vision that we need during these difficult economic times. They will provide strong leadership for the people of District 14,” said Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett.
“Our communities will benefit by having Rona Kramer, Anne Kaiser and Craig Zucker representing District 14 in Annapolis,” said Joy Turner, Sandy Spring activist.
Senator Rona Kramer
Rona Kramer has been in the Maryland Senate since 2003. She serves on the Budget and Taxation Committee, (capital budget subcommittee; past chair and current member pensions subcommittee; public safety, transportation & environment subcommittee), Joint Audit Committee, Executive Nominations Committee, Spending Affordability Committee.
She has been successful in the passage of many bills to protect senior citizens throughout Maryland, as well as, environmental protections, individual rights, and support for those with developmental disabilities.
Raised in Montgomery County, she attended Kennedy High School; University of Maryland, College Park, B.A., 1976; University of Baltimore School of Law, J.D., 1979.
Growing up in a family committed to public service, Senator Kramer has been a dedicated community activist her entire adult life, with the following as some of the organizations in which she has been and is still, involved: President, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce; President, Shopping Center Management Association; Chair, Montgomery County Police and Fire/Rescue Awards Program; Board of Trustees, Montgomery College of Art and Design; Board of Trustees, Graffiti Abatement Partnership; Board of Trustees, Montgomery County Friends of the Library; Precinct chair and area coordinator, Montgomery County Democratic Party; and the Wheaton Revitalization Strategy Committee.
Delegate Anne Kaiser
Anne Kaiser, 42, is proud to serve in the Maryland House of Delegates, representing the 14th Legislative District.
A lifelong county resident, Anne graduated from Rockville High School, earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and two Masters Degrees from the University of Michigan.
During eight years in the legislature, Kaiser has been the prime sponsor of 32 bills that are now law, primarily dealing with education policy and tax policy.
Kaiser, a member of the Ways & Means Committee, serves as chair of the Education Subcommittee. In that role, Kaiser led the debate on major legislative initiatives for the Governor, the Speaker of the House and our school teachers. Additionally, Anne has other leadership responsibilities including chair of the County Affairs Committee for the Montgomery County Delegation and the Joint Committee on Children, Youth and Families. She also serves as a chief deputy whip.
Anne has been active in the community for 20 years, holding leadership positions as Chair of the Mid-County Citizens’ Advisory Board, Co-Coordinator of the Montgomery County Women’s Fair and as an elected member of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee. She is a lifetime member of Tikvat Israel Congregation in Rockville.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 – Posted http://www.gazette.net/
Brookeville resident files for House of Delegates run
Zucker seeks one of two open District 14 seats
With his wife Jennifer and son Benjamin by his side, Brookeville resident Craig Zucker, 35, announced his candidacy for a District 14 seat in the Maryland House of Delegates last week.
Currently serving as deputy chief of staff for Maryland Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot, Zucker said he aims to bring a community voice to the state capital.
“We need leadership in Annapolis that puts the community first,” he said. “We need to put the community’s interest ahead of special interest.”
Zucker, who ran unsuccessfully for a District 14 House seat in 2002, said his top three priorities are improving the economy, increasing the quality of public education and safeguarding the environment. He supports small-business growth, tax credits for facilities that produce clean energy and accessible health care.
“As a father I understand how important quality public education is,” he said. “I intend to be an independent voice for the district and bring back resources it deserves.”
District 14 is comprised of Ashton, Brinklow, Brookeville, Burtonsville, Calverton, Cloverly, Colesville, Damascus, Fairland, Goshen, Laytonsville, Montgomery Village, Olney, Sandy Spring, Silver Spring, Spencerville and Sunshine.
Two seats are open in the district, as Del. Karen S. Montgomery of Brookeville announced she is seeking the District 14 Senate seat held by Rona E. Kramer and Del. Herman L. Taylor Jr. (D) of Ashton said he is running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D) of Fort Washington for the District 4 congressional seat.
Zucker’s website says he is endorsed by Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler (D), Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy and Kramer (D) of Olney.
Originally from New Jersey, Zucker moved to Washington, D.C., at 22 and worked as a scheduling assistant for then-U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.). He received his Bachelor of Science degree from St. Thomas Aquinas College in 1997 before earning his master’s degree in government from Johns Hopkins University in 2004.
“Running for office is a very humbling exercise,” he said. “When one does it right, you have the opportunity to meet every voter.”
-Education: Bachelor of Science degree from St. Thomas Aquinas College in 1997, master’s in government from Johns Hopkins University in 2004
-Work experience: Deputy chief of staff for Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot
-Family: Wife, Jennifer, and son, Benjamin
-Top three issues: Improving the economy, quality public education, safeguarding the environment
-Campaign funds: “Portion of money coming from labor organizations, businesses, community leaders.”
-Previous political experience: Elected to the Montgomery County Democratic Party Central Committee in 2006
-Other affiliations: Montgomery County NAACP, Greater Olney Civic Association, Olney Theatre Center, Joint Task Force on Workplace Fraud for Maryland State Government
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Two candidates named so far in Dist. 14 race
by Jeanette Der Bedrosian | Staff Writer Gazette Newspaper
With two open seats in the Dist. 14 state delegate race, East County board member Eric Leudtke and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Maryland State Comptroller Craig Zucker have already thrown their hats into the ring.
Both candidates are registered democrats who have a history of public service, working in the county and at the state level to stand up for the everyday resident, they said. And at the top of both candidates’ priority lists are economic development, education and environmental protection.
Over the next several months, Leudtke and Zucker will be holding campaign events, rallies and going door to door to secure a seat come November. As they prepare to kick their campaigns into high gear, each candidate took some time to explain his decision to run, what he will fight for and how his background has prepared him for Annapolis.
District 14 consists of some or all of Ashton, Brinklow, Burtonsville, Calverton, Cloverly, Colesville, Damascus, Fairland, Goshen, Montgomery Village, Olney, Sandy Spring, Silver Spring, Spencerville and Sunshine.
Eric Leudtke, member of East County Citizens Advisory Board
Leudtke, a 28-year-old teacher from Briggs Chaney, grew up in Montgomery County and has lived in the Burtonsville area since 2004.
He first got involved in politics in high school, helping to found a student environmental organization and working on statewide projects to save forests and regulate emissions inspections, he said. In college, Leudtke continued this work through the student arm of the Sierra Club.
Still active in environmental issues, Leudtke says he has added other causes as well. As a teacher and a father, he said he knows the value of a quality education and is on the board of the Montgomery County Education Association. He’s also been active working on economic development and transportation issues—especially bus rapid transit—during his tenure on the East County Citizens Advisory Board, he said.
“There’s real potential that we could see a renaissance in Burtonsville, but we need state delegates that can make that happen,” he said. As delegate, Leudtke said he would fight for bus rapid transit and state funding to improve routes 29 and 198.
Comparatively, Leudtke has less funding than his opponent. He started with $4,100 in the bank, he said. Since announcing his candidacy a little more than a week ago, he has more than doubled his campaign fund to nearly $9,000, he said. He expects this number to grow as he holds his official kickoff event at 1 p.m. May 16 at the Buffington Building, 3300 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd. in Olney. Leudtke and his wife, Emily, have a 2-year-old son, Colin.
At the core of his message, Leudtke said he wants people to see him as a candidate who won’t forget where he came from. He said he plans to prove this as he spends his summer knocking on doors.
“That’s what’s missing a lot from the state leg,” he said. “People get there and they forget where they’re from and who they’re there to represent. … I’m more in touch with the individual needs of a lot of these communities than someone who’s not on the East County Board.”
Craig Zucker, deputy chief of staff to the Maryland State Comptroller
Zucker, 35, of Brookeville, said he has worked for more than 15 years in public service at the local, state and national level. Currently the deputy chief of staff to State Comptroller Peter Franchot, he said his experience working in Annapolis has prepared him cope with the state budget crisis.
“Talking about this economic climate right now, my job in the comptroller’s office is that I understand fiscal affairs and tight budgeting, working with him on the Board of Public Works,” he said.
In the past, Zucker has worked for two U.S. Senators, served as a county district director to a state congressman and legislative director to a state delegate. He also worked for several years at a trade association.
Zucker is currently active with several community organizations, including the Olney Theater Center, the board of the Manna Food Center and the Chelsea School, which prepares students with language-based learning disabilities for higher education.
At the top of his priority list is economic development. He said he wants to fight for minority business-owners and make sure businesses aren’t leaving Montgomery County to relocate elsewhere.
“Jobs, jobs, jobs,” he said. “We need to make sure our area is receiving the resources it needs.”
Like Leudtke, he said as a father he understands the importance of a quality education. He will also fight to protect natural resources, he said.
Zucker said he has raised more than $50,000 so far and has a laundry list of almost 40 endorsements by state and county officials. He filed the paperwork earlier this week, bringing his wife, Jenny, and 9-month-old son, Ben, with him. He plans to meet as many voters as possible in the coming months to hear their concerns, he said.
“This election is going to be won by hard work and hearing first-hand what people’s concerns are,” he said. “My strategy is literally to go and meet as many voters as I can.”
May 3rd, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Craig Zucker
Zucker Launches Bid for the Maryland House of Delegates
Pledges to be a Strong, Independent Advocate for District 14
Announces Support of Almost 40 Former and Current Elected Officials
BROOKEVILLE, MARYLAND – Promising progressive, effective, and independent leadership for the people of the 14th Legislative District, this morning Craig Zucker (Democrat-Brookeville) officially filed as a candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates in the 2010 election. Zucker, 35, brings more than 15 years of public and community service to the campaign.
Joined by his wife Jennifer and son Ben, Zucker stated, “I am proud and humbled to be running for the House of Delegates as an independent and effective leader for the people of District 14. If elected, I pledge to work every day to ensure our community and its residents have the economic and educational resources it needs to succeed now, and in the future.”
Zucker has been active with several community organizations, including the Olney Theatre Center, Project Change (Olney) and the Chelsea School, which prepares students with language-based learning disabilities for higher education. He has also served as Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Mid-County Recreation Advisory Board and as a member of the Carl M. Freeman F.A.C.E.S. Advisory Board. Craig currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Manna Food Center, which helps to feed the hungry in Montgomery County.
“Craig has always been a strong advocate for local needs, and I am confident that if elected, Craig will continue to be a tireless champion for the people of our community,” said Laytonsville Mayor Charles W. Oland.
If elected, Zucker has pledged to work to improve the economy, create jobs, protect quality education for our children, and safeguard against uncontrollable sprawl. Zucker brings great experience in both the state and federal branches of government.
“Craig is well respected throughout the district and has the experience to be an effective legislator. It would be a pleasure to serve with him,” stated Delegate Anne Kaiser.
Zucker currently serves as Deputy Chief of Staff to State Comptroller Peter Franchot. Craig has worked for two U.S. Senators, served as a county District Director to a Member of Congress from Maryland, and was Legislative Director to a Maryland State Delegate. He also worked for several years in the private sector for a trade association.
“Craig’s community ties and knowledge of state and local government will make him a strong champion in Annapolis for Montgomery County’s priorities,” said Councilmember Nancy Navarro.
In addition to Mayor Oland, Delegate Kaiser and Councilmember Navarro, Zucker has the endorsement of almost 40 former and current elected officials, including Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, Senator Rona Kramer, House Delegation Chairman Brain Feldman, and Senate Delegation Chairman Richard Madaleno.
Craig earned his Bachelors of Science Degree from St. Thomas Aquinas College and his Masters in Government from the Johns Hopkins University. Craig and his family live in Brookeville.
A full list of endorsements is below:
Elected Officials Supporting Craig Zucker
In alphabetical & District Order
• Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot
• Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler
• State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr.
• Senator Rona E. Kramer, District 14
• Delegate Anne R. Kaiser, District 14
• Former Delegate Tod Sher, District 14
• Senator Robert J. Garagiola, District 15
• Delegate Kathleen M. Dumais, District 15
• Delegate Brian J. Feldman, District 15 – Chair, Montgomery County House Delegation
• Delegate Craig L. Rice, District 15
• Delegate William C. Frick, District 16
• Delegate Susan C. Lee, District 16 – Vice Chair, Montgomery County House Delegation
• Delegate Kumar Barve, District 17 – House Majority Leader
• Delegate James W. Gilchrist, District 17
• Delegate Luiz R. S. Simmons, District 17
• Senator Richard Madaleno, District 18 – Chair, Montgomery County Senate Delegation
• Delegate Alfred Carr, Jr., District 18
• Former Delegate John Hurson, District 18 – Former House Majority Leader
• Delegate Jeffrey D. Waldstreicher, District 18
• Delegate Henry Heller, District 19
• Delegate Benjamin F. Kramer, District 19
• Delegate Sheila E. Hixson, District 20
• Delegate Tom Hucker, District 20
• Delegate Charles E. Barkley, District 39
• Delegate Kirill Reznik, District 39
• Montgomery County Councilmember Marc Elrich, At-Large
• Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin, Vice-President , District 5
• Montgomery County Councilmember Mike Knapp, District 2
• Montgomery County Councilmember George Leventhal, At-Large
• Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro, District 4
• Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy
• Montgomery County Register of Wills Joseph Griffin
• Montgomery County Clerk of the Court Loretta Knight
• Montgomery County Deputy Sheriff Darren Popkin
• Commissioner Michael Acierno, President Town of Brookeville Commissioners
• Mayor Peter Fosselman, City of Kensington
• Mayor Sidney Katz, City of Gaithersburg
• Mayor Charles W. “Willard” Oland, Town of Laytonsville
Dem duel in 4th District?
It looks like Herman Taylor is ready to reveal his long-anticipated bid for Congress in the 4th District.
The Montgomery County delegate has scheduled an announcement for May 8 to unveil his plans. The invitation doesn’t say which office he’s running for, and he declined to offer details about the event. But one giveaway is that it’s taking place in Prince George’s County, well within the boundaries of the congressional district currently represented by Donna Edwards.
If Taylor challenges Edwards, his seat in the House would become open. Republican Patricia Fenati is the only candidate to have filed with the state elections board, but Craig Zucker, deputy chief of staff for Peter Franchot, is widely expected to jump into the race, having raised nearly $50,000 this past year.
— Alan Brody
Monday, February 01, 2010
Campaign Finance Shorts, Part One
Adam: Senator Rona Kramer’s total does not mean very much since she can access the vast Kramer family fortune if she faces real trouble. Delegates Anne Kaiser and Karen Montgomery are solid incumbents. Delegate Herman Taylor may be running for Congress against Donna Edwards, but if he changes his mind to run again for his current Delegate seat, he will have to deal with challenger Craig Zucker. Zucker ran a strong campaign in 2002 and has waited patiently for his next opportunity. He is doing so well financially that he could conceivably cause problems for the incumbents if Taylor came back.
Marc: Delegate Herman Taylor has indicated he is running for Congress. No federal report is up yet. All the funds Taylor raised in his state account in 2009 he turned around and spent to promote himself.
Craig Zucker has an impressive total, with more cash on hand than one of the incumbents and a little less than the other. But the best news for Zucker is that there do not appear to be any other challengers in the district actively raising money. He has also lined up strong union support, with $20,000 of his donations coming from union PACs.
Eric Luedtke, who cut short his campaign for the State Senate, raised around $5,000 in only six weeks of fundraising. While not a candidate in 2010, Luedtke will be back in the future. (Full disclosure, I donated to Luedtke).
Monday, January 18, 2010
Craig Zucker to Report Over $50,000
Our spies tell us that District 14 Delegate hopeful Craig Zucker will be reporting over $50,000 in cash on hand in his campaign fund. Zucker lost the 2002 Delegate primary to Anne Kaiser by just 327 votes and has kept his account open ever since. Zucker is Comptroller Peter Franchot’s Deputy Chief of Staff and knows his way around both Montgomery County and Annapolis. We hear that Zucker’s contributions have come from a mix of business, labor and individual donors.
MPW picked Zucker as the early leader for a potential open Delegate seat in District 14 way back in August. It appears that Delegate Herman Taylor is challenging Congresswoman Donna Edwards, creating a potential opening for other Delegate candidates. Zucker is showing impressive strength eight months before the primary that will be hard for other hopefuls to overcome.