Washington raises political profile with New 7th post
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 13:30

Delegate hopeful takes leadership post in local club

by Ben Boehl

    House of Delegates candidate Eric Washington assumed a new position of prominence in local Democratic circles as he was appointed the new vice president of the New 7th Democratic Club on Nov. 15. Washington takes over for Frank “Buddy” Howard, who was named president.
    It was a bittersweet moment for Washington, as he said he was honored by the appointment, but sad that it resulted from the passing of his longtime mentor, Fred Thiess.

    Thiess was president of the club, and the vacancy caused by his death led to Washington’s appointment.   
    Washington first met Thiess through the world of politics. The two men had lunch and started a friendship.
    “Fred has had impact on so many people and he had an influence on me,” Washington recalled. “He was an energetic person and he saw a bigger picture.”
    Washington was a member of  the New 7th Democratic Club before his appointment and hopes to recruit other Democrats to join the club.
    “The goals are the same. We know that a lot of people are in multiple [Democratic] clubs [in the Dundalk-Edgemere area], and that is okay,” Washington said. “We are trying to build up our membership.”
    Washington is looking ahead to 2014, having already declared his candidacy for the House of Delegates at an event at the Ironworkers Local 16 hall earlier this year.
    He ran for the same office in 2006, but lost in the Democratic primary.    
    In the 2010 election cycle, he decided to skip the race to spend time with his family and he helped work on the Joe Bartenfelder campaign as well as for the local legislative incumbents.
    Washington is confident that there will be an open seat in the 6th Legislative District, as he believes that at least one of the incumbents will not seek re-election or will seek higher office.
    However; if the three delegates do decide to run for re-election, he will still “throw his hat into the ring.”
    “I look forward and I hope we become one community,” Washington said. “We really do need people to focus on the issues and not their personalities.”
    Just like the Christmas season that most agree arrives earlier every year, the same applies in politics. Washington said that national presidential candidates are already lining up for 2016, and the same is true of the 2014 races in Maryland.
    The new dilemma candidates face is that the gubernatorial primary has been moved to June 24 from its traditional September date. The races are going to start a lot sooner.
    “I had my first fundraiser in May,” Washington explained. “The primary is going to be earlier and everyone has to start [campaigning] a little earlier.”