Sunday, October 30, 2011

Incumbent Edwards an Underdog?

As it stands now, two prominent opponents have announced they will consider challenging Congresswoman Donna Edwards in the April 3rd Democratic primary. Anne Arundel County Councilman Jamie Benoit and Prince Georges County States Attorney Glenn Ivey both have their eye on knocking off the suddenly vulnerable incumbent.

When the new lines got announced, Rep. Edwards loudly voiced her concerns. In particular, she condemned the new boundaries as an affront to her constituents and herself. Instead of serving the citizens of Montgomery County , Ms. Edwards will now acquire a sizable portion of Anne Arundel County . And though her district remains safely Democratic, she still maintains her opposition.

Perhaps Ms. Edwards realizes that her career in Congress may soon come to an end. After all, Glenn Ivey has won countywide in Prince Georges for the last three election cycles. Thus, it’s likely the two share some of the same supporters. As a result, voters will now have to choose which one they prefer as their Representative in Washington.

Meanwhile, Ms. Edwards has alienated much of the Anne Arundel County electorate by appearing unhappy about serving this area. In the same way, Glenn Ivey has limited name recognition outside of his home county. Therefore, this scenario plays out well for Jamie Benoit.

Mr. Benoit, a term limited councilman, enjoys widespread popularity, especially in the western suburbs of Anne Arundel County . In fact, he easily defeated his opponents in the past two elections. And, unlike the other aforementioned candidates, Mr. Benoit can focus his efforts mostly on this county. After all, while Edwards and Ivey battle it out in Prince Georges, Benoit can secure his standing among the large bloc of Anne Arundel County voters.

Really, I do not see race overshadowing this election. Instead, I see the candidate who can secure his or her backyard as the ultimate victor. As of right now, this sets up as a nice advantage to Jamie Benoit.

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