WCL professor launches bid for Congress
Washington College of Law professor and Maryland State Sen. Jamie B. Raskin entered the race to fill the seat for the state’s 8th congressional district on April 19.
Raskin (D), who represents Silver Spring and Takoma Park in the Maryland statehouse, is running for the congressional seat currently held by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D). Van Hollen is vacating his seat to run for the retiring Barbara A. Mikulski’s (D) senate seat.
Raskin said he has a progressive record that includes working to pass marriage equality, abolishing the death penalty and creating a medical marijuana program during his seven-year tenure as state senator.
“I want to bring that brand of effective, progressive leadership to Washington to fight for the values and priorities of this great community that we have in the 8th congressional district,” Raskin said.
Raskin has taught courses in constitutional law and American politics at WCL since 1990. He currently teaches a courses on legislative process and a course on political rhetoric and constitutional law. He says he’s meeting with the school’s dean soon to figure out a schedule that could work while he campaigns next year.
“It would be hard for me to leave AU on a full time basis, but I feel that my connections to the University are strong and enduring, and it will always be an essential part of my identity,” he said.
Raskin said he is unfazed by political gridlock in Congress. His accomplishments working with a conservative republican to legalize medical marijuana among passing other legislation show he can work across the political aisle on Capitol Hill, he said. However, he said he won’t shy away from pushing progressive ideas.
“I’m not going in as a transactional politician,” Raskin said. “I want to try to go in as a transformational leader, someone who is going to change the political dynamics.”
Raskin is the second declared candidate for the office; state Del. Kumar Barve (D) announced his intention to run early March. The Washington Post reported the Democratic primary field will likely grow.
Watch a clip of Raskin’s appearance on the WAMU Kojo Nnamdi radio show from April 17:Follow @cuneytdil