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The 18th Legislative District of Maryland has three Delegates and one State Senator.  One of the delegates of the 18th, Richard Madaleno, is an openly gay father living with his partner and is running for State Senate unopposed. That's right.  Not only will the Dems not fight him for the seat, the Republicans are not daring to fight him either; he owns a "get into Senate free" card and does not even need to fundraise.  The 18th is a very liberal, very wealthy district, running from the District of Columbia line north through Chevy Chase and Kensington, with about 120,000 residents.

Did I mention that this is where Ben Domenech will live with his box turtle as a domestic worker for a lesbian couple once he is safely in Hell?  I love Maryland!  But Madaleno is not the big story....

The bigger story is Dr. Dana Beyer, a former eye surgeon with experience providing medical care in the third world who is running for a Delegate seat along with multiple other challengers and two very popular incumbents.  Dr. Beyer is running on a pro-transit, pro-alternative fuel and pro-universal health care platform.  All admirable goals, in my view, but that's not what makes her campaign unique.

After 9/11, Dr. Beyer decided that life was short and she should not put off further the things that were meaningful to her.  After years of considering herself a transgendered woman in a man's body, she flew to San Francisco, and had a sex-change operation.  She flew back as Dr. Dana Beyer.  The following is modified from my endorsement of her on my website, Crablaw Maryland Weekly.  While cross-posts are discouraged here at Daily Kos, this modified document differs enough from the original to qualify, in my view, as a "non cross-post."  If Senior Trusted Users disagree, please advise and I will attempt in good faith to conform to guidelines more comprehensively while sharing this content with Kossack readers.

It should be noted that Maryland is about to be in a nasty blood bath of a fight over same-sex marriage, with a major challenge going up to our red-robed Court of Appeals in the next few months and the political fallout therefrom falling on the next General Assembly being elected this fall.  I suspect that a transgendered person would have a meaningful contribution to make to such a House of Delegates debate.


Crablaw is focusing on this race because its editor in chief lives in District 11 in NW Baltimore County, where the politics are "dull blue." Blue, because Democrats do predominate. Dull, because Democrats predominate, and therefore may get a little bit of a sense of entitlement. No boat-rockers here, nice liberal people but no guts. I am sick of their style, more because I have swallowed too much of it and have developed a little bit of an allergy.

District 18 and nearby District 20 give me hope not just of a more liberal social policy but of a new model of politics and civic life, where courage is more common than central casting polish. It is quite likely that the Senators from those two districts will be an openly gay man and an aggressive campaigner and legislative expert witness for same-sex marriage equality. Up here in the 11th, long-term ambitions and a remarkably conservative institutional outlook would preclude many such courageous candidates from even hoping to win.

Only one candidate to whom a questionnaire was sent has returned it to date from District 18: Dr. Dana Beyer. She doesn't know me from Adam, doesn't know that I am not a plant for one of her competitors (I am not, but she cannot know that for sure), and my questions hit some sensitive topics such as the alignment, track grade and rolling stock of the proposed Purple Line. Yet she answered them - very quickly and confidently, though she was taking a risk in doing so. I found her answers blunt and to the point, which means that Dr. Beyer is probably my kind of people.  Her Purple Line response was logical, though Crablaw, with its editor-in-chief suffering a nearly 120-minute one-way commute every night and every morning, is very opinionated itself about the priority of high-quality rail transit to the subordination of many other important public values.

As her website indicates, she is a transgendered citizen, but that fact does define the totality of her or her potential value to the community. The General Assembly has many lawyers; maybe over half are attorneys this current Assembly. Dr. Beyer is a physician who has provided care in a multitude of environments, areas far different from her current District 18. She has raised children, which experiences as any parent knows leaves an indelible mark upon your identity, under any circumstances.

Politics is frequently the art not of "the possible" but rather the art of tolerating permanent disappointment, but with serenity. Leaders are never as humane, wise or forthright as you might hope or talk yourself into believing they are. But Crablaw has the hunch that a candidate with the guts to compete for public office as an openly transgendered citizen - even in a rather progressive district - has the guts to be honest on matters of the public trust. Dr. Beyer's blunt style in answering Crablaw's questionnaire gives air, light and water to this hunch. You have to take risks and show courage in this world to get a meaningful return: it's true on Wall Street, in friendships, love and raising children and true in public life as well. Furthermore, it is safe to say that her perspective and life experiences are approximately unique and would certainly be unique in the Maryland House of Delegates among the navy-suited waves of criminal and real estate attorneys otherwise filling that august hall. It is likely that the benefits of her service in office would inure to the people of Maryland at large and not just to the 18th District.

Crablaw endorses Dr. Dana Beyer for one of three Democratic nominations for Delegate in Maryland's 18th District.


The links above will provide additional insight into the personal side of Dr. Beyer's life.  I am not GLBT, I am SWTCBAWOMA (straight with two crying babies and wife on my ass), but we all - if we are decent - should want a community where differences, even some pretty big differences, become an opportunity to learn rather than an opportunity to fight.  I suspect that the Maryland General Assembly could learn a lot from a Delegate Beyer for the next four years.  So I endorsed her.

Those who would like to donate to her campaign can reach her donation portal here.  Thanks.

<font color="green">LATE UPDATE</font>: The Washington Post has an article today about Dr. Beyer.

Originally posted to tbrucegodfrey on Fri Sep 01, 2006 at 10:14 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for the diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PatsBard, slksfca

    Candidates like Beyer are changing America one seat at a time. I hope she wins.

  •  Quite the list of endorsements! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon in MD, slksfca

    Emily's List is pleased to endorse Dr. Dana Beyer for delegate in District 18.

    President Bill Clinton's Press Secretary, Mike McCurry endorses Dana Beyer.

    The Maryland Nurses Association is pleased to endorse Dana Beyer's candidacy for the Maryland House of Delegates in the 2006 election.

    Montgomery County Police (FOP Lodge 35) is pleased to endorse Dr. Dana Beyer for delegate in District 18.

    Maryland NOW and Montgomery NOW are pleased to endorse Dr. Dana Beyer for delegate in District 18, in appreciation of the good work she has done for the women of Maryland and Montgomery County!

    The Montgomery County Public Schools Retirees Association (MCPSRA) endorses Dana: "Your ideas, thoughtful responses and energy gave us the confidence that you will be a terrific representative of the people of our organization and of Montgomery County."

    She's also endorsed by the Victory Fund.

  •  Thank you for this coverage (0+ / 0-)

    Go, Dana!

    I hope this will get rescued tonight, but if it doesn't get on the FP, I'll certainly add it to the comments.


    Teacher's Lounge opens each Saturday, sometime between 10am and 12 noon EST

    by rserven on Sat Sep 02, 2006 at 11:55:03 AM PDT

  •  I'm hoping to profile the D18 race and others (0+ / 0-)

    if I get time next week.  There are so many great primary races in MoCo since all but one of the districts is Democratically controlled.

    And Dana is a fantastic candidate and person.  We'll know in less than 10 days if she'll be going to Annapolis. :)

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