Warren Christopher officially kicked off his campaign Wednesday for Maryland’s 4th Congressional District at the Addison Road-Seat Pleasant Metro station in Capitol Heights for two reasons: he’s a military veteran and to talk with commuters who live inside the Beltway.
Christopher, with about three dozen supporters present, acknowledged being a political novice, but said his 24 years of service in the Army allowed him to understand how to work hard and help others.
“I want to make sure that folks inside the Beltway know that you have a champion in Warren Christopher,” said Christopher, who retired from the Army about four years ago as a lieutenant colonel. “On this Veteran’s Day, I want to personally thank our veterans for the sacrifices they have made and continue to make on behalf of a grateful nation. I am not a career politician, but I am a career leader and mentor. We can create a better hope for tomorrow.”
Christopher, who was born in Alabama, outlined his campaign platform that includes equal pay for women, expand Social Security for seniors and increase capital and prime government contracts for small businesses.
He also stressed affordable housing and medical benefits should be offered for veterans and their families in the 4th District that include portions of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties. Municipalities in Prince George’s include District Heights, Forest Heights and parts of Bowie.
Christopher will run in the Democratic primary in April against eight other challengers to replace Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Maryland), who’s seeking a senate seat held by the retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski.
One of Christopher’s opponents, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, held a similar event Saturday, Nov. 7 at his new campaign headquarters in Largo. Brown raised the most money during the third-quarter election financial cycle by doubling his fundraising efforts with almost $180,000.
The other seven candidates include: former Prince George’s County state’s attorney Glenn Ivey; state delegates Joseline Peña-Melnyk (D-District 21) and Dereck E. Davis (D-District 25); former Prince George’s County Councilwoman Ingrid Turner; long-time educator and former Prince George’s County School Board Chairman Alvin Thornton; Lisa Ransom of Bowie; and Terence M. Strait Jr. of Capitol Heights.
Because the 4th District is heavily Democratic, the April primary winner may likely become the next Congressional representative.
However, two Republican candidates are on the ballot: George E. McDermott of Forest Heights and Rob Buck of Severna Park, Anne Arundel County.
As for Christopher, of Upper Marlboro, he’s receiving support from those who want to see new leaders in office.
Alicia Coleman of Bowie took a break from her job to hand out campaign literature and wear a red “Warren Christopher: Democrat for Congress” T-shirt.
“He is bringing fresh new leadership,” she said. “Single parents working but just bringing home pennies and still need [to pay for] rent and other things should not be happening. Warren will help fight for people in those situations.”
Christopher even received support from friends who don’t live in the state.
Army Col. Quacey Davis drove from Alexandria, Virginia, to stand by Christopher. They served together in Korea about 30 years ago.
“It is important to support folks who are genuine and not a lifetime politician. Warren is that guy,” he said.
Although Christopher has used the majority of his own money to finance his run for Congress that exceeded $70,000, campaign director Micah Sims urged supporters to contribute in the final five months before the primary. Four of the candidates have at least $200,000 cash on hand.
“We need your dollars. Whatever you can contribute to this campaign…to help make this man a congressman for the 4th Congressional District,” he said. “We need you to pray every single day for Warren Christopher, Team Christopher and for the constituents of the 4th Congressional District. Without prayer, we can’t do this.”