Kweisi Mfume on Principles & Values

Democratic Senate Challenger (MD); previously U.S. Representative


Democratic establishment rejects; Joe Trippi supports him

Echoes of the 2004 Democratic presidential primary can be heard in Maryland. Mfume, a vocal critic of the war in Iraq, was the first to toss his hat in the ring and looked pretty strong, but the Democratic establishment wouldn’t get behind him, claiming he couldn’t win in the general election. Now Joe Trippi, the guru behind Howard Dean’s campaign, is volunteering his services for Mfume and it’s d‚j… vu all over again.

Mfume, with five terms in the House and nine years running the NAACP under his belt, is that rarest specimen among Democrats: someone who isn’t afraid of the risk of standing up and talking about the progressive values he stands for.

Mfume’s sick of mushy Democrats. “People want principled leadership that will stand up and fight for what they believe in,” he says. “There has to be a counter-propaganda program in this state that says no, what the extreme far-right-wing is saying is not right. And no, we don’t have to accept it.”

Source: Joshua Holland, AlterNet, “Can Kweisi Make It” , Feb 21, 2006

First to announce after Sarbanes’ retirement

When Mfume threw his hat in the ring 3 days after Sarbanes announced that he wouldn’t seek reelection, it looked like it would be a smooth sail for him. Maryland went big for Kerry, by a 13-point spread, and in 2004 Democrats had a 56 to 30 registration advantage. Blacks and Latinos account for around 40% of the state’s Democrats.

But this is the Democratic Party, and in the ensuing months Mfume would run up against a timid party establishment, some ugly racial politics and the idea that he’d have a tough time against the likely GOP candidate, Michael Steele, a hard-right African-American backed heavily by DC’s conservative establishment.

That can be a self-fulfilling prophecy; the money follows candidates who have the best chance of winning. If you’re labeled “unelectable,” it’s hard to raise the cash you need to prove your critics wrong. For 6 weeks after his announcement, Mfume was the lone candidate [Then several other candidates entered the race, at the urging of the party establishment].

Source: Joshua Holland, AlterNet, “Can Kweisi Make It” , Feb 21, 2006

A bachelor with six children (one adopted)

[Some people are] concerned with Mfume’s “baggage” -- the flip side to his inspiring personal story. Mfume’s a bachelor with six children (one adopted) by five mothers. There were rumors that he left the NAACP after some female staffers had accused him of favoritism towards employees with whom he had a romantic involvement, a charge he and several board members denied. Mfume points out that he served nine years at the NAACP on a five-year contract, and the board of directors was willing to extend his tenure. But he concedes that he did get involved with at least one staffer, which he now calls a “boneheaded” mistake.

According to some analysts, the right is drooling for a showdown against Mfume.

Mfume promises to see it through to the end, and his campaign strategy has the hallmarks of the kind of populism that Joe Trippi injected into Howard Dean’s run. Mfume says, “this has to be a campaign about issues, not about personality. This has got to be a people’s campaign.”

Source: Joshua Holland, AlterNet, “Can Kweisi Make It” , Feb 21, 2006

Turned around his life in his early 20s; elected at 31

Mfume’s personal story sounds more like an afterschool special than real life. He was a high-school dropout and self-described “hustler” who turned his life around in his early 20s. He went back to school, worked his way through a master’s degree at Johns Hopkins, and was elected to the Baltimore City Council at 31, where he served for seven years before being elected to Congress in 1986.
Source: Joshua Holland, AlterNet, “Can Kweisi Make It” , Feb 21, 2006

2021-22 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Principles & Values: Kweisi Mfume on other issues:
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Alec Ross
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John B. King
John Delaney
Kelly M. Schulz
Larry Hogan
Martin O`Malley
Maya Cummings
Peter Franchot
Richard Madaleno
Robert Ehrlich
Robin Ficker
Shawn Quinn
MD Senatorial:
Arvin Vohra
Benjamin Cardin
Chelsea Manning
Chris Van Hollen
Donna Edwards
Kathy Szeliga
Margaret Flowers
Michael Steele
Richard Douglas
Sam Faddis
Tony Campbell
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AL-1: Jerry Carl(R)
AL-2: Barry Moore(R)
CA-8: Jay Obernolte(R)
CA-50: Darrell Issa(R)
CO-3: Lauren Boebert(R)
FL-3: Kat Cammack(R)
FL-15: Scott Franklin(R)
FL-19: Byron Donalds(R)
GA-9: Andrew Clyde(R)
GA-14: Marjorie Taylor Greene(R)
IA-2: Mariannette Miller-Meeks(R)
IA-4: Randy Feenstra(R)
IL-15: Mary Miller(R)
IN-5: Victoria Spartz(R)
KS-1: Tracey Mann(R)
KS-2: Jake LaTurner(R)
LA-5: Luke Letlow(R)
MI-3: Peter Meijer(R)
MI-10: Lisa McClain(R)
MT-0: Matt Rosendale(R)
NC-11: Madison Cawthorn(R)
NM-3: Teresa Leger Fernandez(D)
NY-2: Andrew Garbarino(R)
NY-22: Claudia Tenney(R)
OR-2: Cliff Bentz(R)
PR-0: Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon(R)
TN-1: Diana Harshbarger(R)
TX-4: Pat Fallon(R)
TX-11: August Pfluger(R)
TX-13: Ronny Jackson(R)
TX-17: Pete Sessions(R)
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TX-23: Tony Gonzales(R)
TX-24: Beth Van Duyne(R)
UT-1: Blake Moore(R)
VA-5: Bob Good(R)
WI-5: Scott Fitzgerald(R)
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CA-53: Sara Jacobs(D)
GA-5: Nikema Williams(D)
GA-7: Carolyn Bourdeaux(D)
HI-2: Kai Kahele(D)
IL-3: Marie Newman(D)
IN-1: Frank Mrvan(D)
MA-4: Jake Auchincloss(D)
MO-1: Cori Bush(D)
NC-2: Deborah Ross(D)
NC-6: Kathy Manning(D)
NY-15: Ritchie Torres(D)
NY-16: Jamaal Bowman(D)
NY-17: Mondaire Jones(D)
WA-10: Marilyn Strickland(D)

Republican takeovers as of 2021:
CA-21: David Valadao(R) defeated T.J. Cox(D)
CA-39: Young Kim(R) defeated Gil Cisneros(D)
CA-48: Michelle Steel(R) defeated Harley Rouda(D)
FL-26: Carlos Gimenez(R) defeated Debbie Mucarsel-Powell(D)
FL-27: Maria Elvira Salazar(R) defeated Donna Shalala(D)
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MN-7: Michelle Fischbach(R) defeated Collin Peterson(D)
NM-2: Yvette Herrell(R) defeated Xochitl Small(D)
NY-11: Nicole Malliotakis(R) defeated Max Rose(D)
OK-5: Stephanie Bice(R) defeated Kendra Horn(D)
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Special Elections 2021-2022:
FL-20: replacing Alcee Hastings (D, SPEL Jan. 2022)
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LA-5: Julia Letlow (R, March 2021)
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OH-11: replacing Marcia Fudge (D, SPEL Nov. 2021)
OH-15: replacing Steve Stivers (R, SPEL Nov. 2021)
TX-6: replacing Ron Wright (R, SPEL July 2021)
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