- The Washington Post says "The county would be better served by Cheryl C. Kagan ..."
- Endorsed by the Firefighters and Police as "strong on public safety issues."
- Endorsed by the Sierra Club for my "proven track record" on the environment!
- Endorsed by SEIU as "a strong voice... committed to issues important to working families."
- Endorsed by the B-CC Chamber of Commerce PAC as a business-friendly candidate.
- Endorsed as the "better advocate for the environment" by MD League of Conservation Voters.
- Endorsed by MC NOW for my commitment to "promoting women’s equality."
- Endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland as the "real leader" in District 17.
- Endorsed by CASA in Action as a "courageous and effective" advocate for these difficult times.
Kagan concedes District 17 Senate race to incumbent Forehand
Former state delegate says she will remain active in the communityPublished: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 7:00 am By: Sean Patrick Norris Source: Gazette.net
The campaign State Sen. Jennie M. Forehand (D-17) called the toughest of her career is over.
Challenger Cheryl C. Kagan called Forehand sometime before 3 p.m. today to congratulate her on her win and to wish her luck in her next term.
Forehand has 308 votes more than Kagan, or 52.09 percent to 47.91 percent, with 32 precincts reported in the District 17 primary, according to the Montgomery County Board of Elections website. The results are not yet official. Absentee votes had not been counted by Tuesday night.
"She said she thought the votes were not there in the absentees to make a difference," Forehand said. "It was a very warm, courteous conversation."
Kagan said she felt at peace.
"I felt at peace knowing that the voters would speak their mind at the polls and knowing that win or lose I did the best I could," Kagan said. "When I first announced my campaign there were people who questioned whether the race was winnable, and over the course of the past many months we showed them that there was an alternative."
For several years, conversations between the two have been described as less than warm. They served together for eight years starting in 1995, when Kagan was elected to the House of Delegates and Forehand was first elected to the Senate, but friends and political observes saw that the two could become rivals further down the road.
Forehand said she was not surprised the contest was close, but was disappointed by the tone of the campaign.
"I thought it was nasty," Forehand said. "Negative campaigning was something we'd never had in our district and I thought it was inexcusable."
Kagan said her campaign was more informative than negative.
"When a challenger runs, they have to draw distinctions between themselves and the incumbent," Kagan said. "Jennie had a legislative record with some surprising votes on it and I thought it was important to educate the voters."
Throughout the campaign the two struggled to separate themselves on state issues. Both support finishing the Intercounty Connector, oppose county funding of teacher pensions and support closing the "LLC loophole," which allows companies to elude campaign finance laws and donate significant sums to candidates.
On local issues, however, Kagan took an active role in supporting Beall's Grant II, a 74-unit affordable housing project whose site-plan approval was recently overturned by the State Court of Special Appeals, while Forehand did not. The project has divided the community over the past two years. Kagan served as a consultant to the developer, Montgomery Housing Partnership, a non-profit in Silver Spring.
"If I lost because of Beall's Grant II, I can live with that because of my commitment to help create housing for working people," Kagan said. "I can live with that and regret that that's the conclusion (the voters) made."
Forehand said she is confident she will win in the general election and thinks the rest of the District 17 delegation, including Dels. Kumar Barve, John Gilchrist and Luiz Simmons, all Democrats, will also be back.
Barve, Gilchrist and Simmons had no challengers in the primary and will face Republicans Daniel Campos, Craig Frick and Josephine Wang in the general election on Nov. 2. The Republicans also had no primary run-off.
Forehand will face Republican Adol Owen-Williams in the general election. He had no primary race.
"We were never out of business," Forehand said. "We do a good job and our talents are diverse. We work well together. I've got a team and we deliver for our district."
Kagan said she is not sure what the future holds for her but promised to stay active in the community. First, she said, she has some catching up to do.
"I have laundry and housecleaning and everything that's been on hold for the past couple months," Kagan said. "And, of course, spending quality time with my husband and friends."
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