One of our own - a young progressive, blogger, political activist and operative, and a seminal figure in the evolution of the blogosphere - is now running for office himself in the state of Maryland.
Judd Legum is a graduate of Pomona College and Georgetown Law Center, and worked for three years at the Center for American Progress as their research director. While there, he founded the Center's blog, ThinkProgress, which has since become one of the most prominent and most widely respected political blogs on the Internet.
He has also worked in electoral politics, having served as the research director for then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign.
Judd is now running for a position as State Delegate in Maryland's Annapolis-based 30th District. The district elects three Delegates, currently two Democrats (including the House Speaker) and one Republican, Ron George.
George won very narrowly in 2006 over a third Democrat (Barbara Samorajczyk, the first wife of now-Sen. Jim Webb). He's ardently opposed to abortion rights and gay rights, and has a lousy record on environmental issues.
Here is Judd's statement on why he's running (from his ActBlue page):
I’m running because we have big challenges in Maryland – a failing effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, a looming energy shortage and a struggling economy. I know we need new energy and a new perspective in Annapolis if we want to stop treading water and start making progress.
The Republican incumbent in my district has the wrong priorities for Maryland, but is a prolific fundraiser. I need to raise money to compete and get our message to the voters. And I’m not taking anything from PACs or Maryland lobbyists. I’m counting on you.
He has already raised over $11,000 on ActBlue, which is quite substantial for a Delegate race this early in the cycle.
Being a first-time candidate is never easy, and several bloggers-turned-candidates can attest to this. Beating incumbents, as a first-time candidate, can be even harder. But Judd Legum has the political experience and policy knowledge and insight to be a very strong candidate, and perhaps become one of the first candidates to emerge from the netroots to win high political office.