By Howard R. Fletcher, Jr.
Dr. Dana Beyer, a retired eye surgeon and civil rights activist, announced that she will once again be running for the District 18 state Senate seat in Maryland.
“We are currently living through a constitutional crisis, a scandal the likes this country has never seen. The republic is at risk and I even include the Civil War in that,” said Beyer, 65, in a phone interview. “So, now is the time with all of the many issues going on that Maryland needs someone who will address those things in addition to what is usually the job of a state senator. I’d like to be the one who will make that contribution.”
The District 18 seat is currently held by Sen. Richard Madaleno (D), who Beyer unsuccessfully challenged for the job in the 2014 election. Madaleno has represented District 18 since 2006.
The state senator announced in July that he will be leaving his seat for to challenge the incumbent, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in the next election.
Beyer is the Executive Director of Gender Rights Maryland, an independent 501(c)4 and 501(c)3 foundation. The purpose of Gender Rights Maryland is to promote civil rights, education, tolerance, equality and acceptance on the basis of sex and gender identity/expression in the State of Maryland, according to the group’s Facebook page.
“I have experience and success as an advocate,” said Beyer. “Based on our federal system, it is very important that a state like Maryland – that is very liberal – have leadership that is willing to stand up and work with Democrats and like-minded people in other parts of the country.”
Beyer, a retired eye surgeon, has lived and worked in Chevy Chase since 1994, she said.
District 18 encompasses the cities of Wheaton, Kensington, Silver Spring, Kemp Mill, Glenmont, Bethesda, and Chevy Chase. Beyer says she will be running as a Democrat.
“Dana has been active in our community ever since I’ve lived here,” said Town of Chevy Chase councilmember Joel Rubin. “Whenever we have a need for a resident, someone in the community to lend a hand, she always seems to be there. I’m glad she is throwing her hat in the ring again.”
Beyer will be running against Maryland state Del. Jeff Waldstreicher (D), who announced his intentions to run for the state Senate seat soon after Madalano disclosed his gubernatorial aspirations last summer.
Waldstreicher, 37, lives in Kensington. He was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2006 and is now completing his third term, according to his website.
“This state Senate seat was never mine by right,” said Waldstreicher in a statement given to Bethesda Magazine last week. “The only way I’ll earn it is by continuing to fight for economic justice, resisting the Trump administration at every turn and recommitting myself to the impeccable constituent service my office is known for.”
Besides District 18, the only other open Senate seat in Montgomery County in the forthcoming 2018 primary is in neighboring District 19, which extends from Silver Spring to the outskirts of Rockville and Gaithersburg.
The closed primary election will be held on June 26, 2018, and the general election will be held on November 6, 2018. The candidate filing deadline is February 27, 2018, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections website.