Local leaders weigh Alsobrooks’ legacy, her chances in Senate race against Hogan


Photo courtesy of Angela Alsobrooks for U.S. Senate

As Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks prepares to take on former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan for a seat in the U.S. Senate, Bowie residents and other local leaders reflected on her time as county executive and her chances of winning the race.

While one Bowie voter worried that Hogan would be tough to defeat, others were confident that the county executive is a strong leader and proud to see the born-and-raised Prince Georgian vying for a Senate seat.

Bowie City Councilmember Wanda Rogers said she is thrilled that Maryland Democrats have nominated Alsobrooks to represent the state. Alsobrooks is known for her grassroots efforts, giving many voters the opportunity to talk to the county executive personally, Rogers said.

“Her ability to actually connect and be seen as one of us is a great thing,” said Rogers, who won an at-large seat on the City Council last year.

Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee chair Antwan Brown has worked with Alsobrooks on grassroots efforts throughout her time as county executive. They canvassed door-to-door together and she has spoken at central committee meetings, Brown said.

“Her being Prince Georgian through and through, that makes me feel comfortable to know that I got somebody that understood where our county came from and where it should go,” Brown said.

Longtime Bowie resident David Grogan said he supported Alsobrooks during previous elections, having worked on her campaigns for both state’s attorney and county executive.

A Democrat, Grogan said he believes it will be tough for Alsobrooks to defeat two-term governor Hogan and is unsure who he will vote for in the Senate race.

Alsobrooks will need massive voter turnout to secure a victory in November, said Grogan, a retired U.S. Marshal who ran unsuccessfully for Prince George's County sheriff, Bowie City Council and state Senate.

During the primary, Grogan said he had concerns about Alsobrooks’ level of experience compared to that of her Democratic opponent U.S. Rep. David Trone, whom she ultimately defeated.

"I wasn't sure how the county executive’s experience could even match up with Congressman Trone," Grogan said.

A sign at Piney Branch and New Hampshire Avenue (pictured May 27, 2024) marks the dividing line between Montgomery and Prince George's counties. Catherine Hollingsworth/The Bowie Sun

Alsobrooks and Hogan are seeking to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Ben Cardin (D) and will face off in the general election Nov. 5.

The last five polls showed that Alsobrooks had a 0.6% lead over Hogan, The Hill newspaper recently reported.

Jesse Peed, chair of the Republican Central Committee for Prince George's County, said the race looks like it will be “a coin toss.”

He added, "I personally think that she's gonna be tough to beat. Obviously, Trone found out that she was really tough to beat. He spent, what, $60 million and lost."

Alsobrooks handily won the Democratic primary against Trone, who far outspent the county executive with $60 million of his own money. Trone came up short to secure his party's nomination for the Senate, losing to her in his home turf of Montgomery County and other highly populated counties, election results showed.

Fresh off her poll-defying primary win, the county executive has so far raised more money than Hogan, $7.7 million compared to Hogan's $3 million, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Hogan is heading to reliably blue Prince George’s County later this month for a fundraiser in Beltsville.

The Republican governor and Trump critic is hoping to convert some Democrats. His campaign has formed a Democrats for Hogan coalition led by two former Democratic state senators.

Democratic voters in the state outnumber Republicans 12-to-1, Peed said, acknowledging the statistical advantage.

A business owner, Peed unsuccessfully ran for state Senate as a Republican in Bowie-based District 23, which was redrawn in 2022 to extend toward the Baden-Brandywine line where Peed lives.

There is only one Republican in the Maryland delegation in Congress, U.S. Rep. Andy Harris.

Maryland voters would be sending their next U.S. senator to "a generational seat," Peed said, because historically Maryland members of Congress have held office for at least three terms.

If Hogan is elected, his seat could flip the Senate to majority-Republican; the former governor has said he would caucus with his party.

If Alsobrooks secures a victory in November, she would become the first Black woman from Maryland in the U.S. Senate and the fourth Black woman ever to serve in the chamber. Currently, all 10 of Maryland’s congressional representatives are men.

Rogers, as a Black woman herself, acknowledged that while Alsobrooks is making history with her candidacy, she will represent everybody in her constituency.

“She will be a senator for all people, not just Black people, not just women. She will look out for the rights of everyone,” Rogers said.

As a member of the Black community, Grogan said Black people across the country need someone that is going to take a more aggressive stance on Black issues.

“I live in a blue state,” he said. “I want to see us win, but I don't want to see us win if winning doesn't mean progress, if winning means status quo.”

Tori Newby is a Maryland native who previously covered community news for The Daily Tar Heel in North Carolina and wrote about tech startups in the Triangle area for GrepBeat.

Bowie Sun Editor Catherine Hollingsworth contributed to this report.

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