Hoyer: ‘Don’t write any obituaries’

There’s been some speculation that longtime U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, who just turned 84, might be retiring soon.

Not so fast, Hoyer told a crowd of more than 800 fellow Democrats who gathered in Woodlawn to fête him this week.

“I think I’ll keep on keepin’ on for some time, folks, I want you to know that,” Hoyer said. “So don’t write any obituaries.”

Hoyer was the man of the night at the Maryland Democratic Party’s annual gala, which was organized as a party to honor the man known as the “dean” of the Maryland Congressional delegation and who served as Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s second-in-command for two decades. Pelosi and Hoyer stepped down from their leadership roles in January when Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives.

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Hoyer said he was flattered by the accolades and praise at the gala.

“I was listening to this program going and I said: ‘Isn’t it a shame Steny died?’” Hoyer joked. “I’m just glad I could hear it.”

Hoyer said he plans to keep fighting for Maryland and for Democrats. And he’s got something else to look forward to: This weekend, he’s marrying Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. (Hoyer’s first wife, Judith P. Hoyer, died from cancer in 1997.)

In honor of Hoyer’s nuptials, Maryland Democratic Party Chair Yvette Lewis led the crowd in a round of singing “Chapel of Love,” released by The Dixie Cups in 1964.

pamela.wood@thebaltimorebanner.com

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Will Moore endorse in U.S. Senate race? ‘Potentially yes’

One of the hottest elections in Maryland in 2024 is for a seat in the U.S. Senate that is open because longtime U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin plans to step down.

A competitive Democratic primary is shaping up, which means Gov. Wes Moore is being asked who he’s backing.

So far he hasn’t made any endorsements or hints of who he favors.

But when asked during a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington this week, Moore allowed that he might eventually get involved.

Moore said the field of actual and potential candidates is talented and “most of them are friends.” He said he’s expecting the candidates to focus on substance and issues and remain positive.

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“If I see any inclinations that it’s not going in that direction, I will step in quickly,” Moore said.

“So,” he continued, “while I’m not prepared to say anything or make an endorsement today, at some point, will I make my voice heard? Potentially yes. At some point am I making sure that when my voice is heard that it is heard thoroughly and forcefully? Potentially yes.”

The field of announced Democratic candidates so far includes: U.S. Rep. David Trone, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, Montgomery County Councilman Will Jawando and socialist philosopher Jerome Segal. U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin has said he’s considering whether to run.

pamela.wood@thebaltimorebanner.com

Moore finds new role for unsuccessful stadium authority nominee

After Maryland Gov. Wes Moore failed to get his nominee Yolanda “Maria” Martinez confirmed to the Maryland Stadium Authority, he found a new position for her.

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Martinez will be a special secretary of Small, Minority and Women’s Business Affairs, the Democratic governor announced this week.

Martinez’s confirmation stalled in the Maryland Senate earlier this year after the website Maryland Matters reported that she had extensive personal and business financial challenges. Some allies took up Martinez’s cause and rallied for her, but the Senate never took a vote.

Martinez now will lead the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority and Women Business Affairs, which connects small firms with business opportunities, both in the private sector and with government.

In a statement issued by the governor’s office, Martinez said: “As an entrepreneur and minority small businesswoman, I have a perspective shared by thousands in our state who have found it challenging to enter and thrive in Maryland’s business environment.”

She noted the state’s complex procurement practices could be addressed to improve the business climate in Maryland.

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Martinez starts on July 5.

pamela.wood@thebaltimorebanner.com

Pamela Wood covers Maryland politics and government. She previously reported for The Baltimore Sun, The Capital and other Maryland newspapers. A graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, she lives in northern Anne Arundel County. 

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