Member Statements on ER6: Endorse Mckayla Wilkes – U.S. House of Representatives, Maryland District 5

Statements from chapter members in favor and against ER6: Endorse Mckayla Wilkes – U.S. House of Representatives, Maryland District 5 will be posted in this thread.

Statements will be posted as they are received, until the deadline of 8:00 pm ET on Sunday, December 12, 2021.

Statement from Saqib A - IN FAVOR - regarding ER6: Endorse Mckayla Wilkes

McKayla Wilkes is exactly the kind of person we need to represent Marylanders in Congress. She is smart. She is a leftist. And she is unafraid to speak truth to power. She would be a huge improvement over Steny Hoyer. Furthermore – and this is critical – McKayla is battle tested. Two years ago, she ran a good race and came up short. This election cycle she starts with a large pre-existing base of support that she didn’t have last time. I emphatically urge all DSAers to support McKayla Wilke’s endorsement.

Statement from Larry M - IN FAVOR - regarding ER6: Endorse Mckayla Wilkes

Strategically, an endorsement of McKayla is a no-brainer, if you want to strengthen multiracial working class and DSA power in PG County. We can use this race to identify and mobilize a corps of new organizers working in the working class, Black and immigrant communities of this county. And we can challenge corporate, developer power in the home district of the House Democratic Leader.

Statement from Nicole Z - AGAINST - regarding ER6: Endorse Mckayla Wilkes

As a fellow branch leader, I am very sympathetic to the PG branch members’ support for McKayla Wilkes and I totally respect them. I am also sympathetic to their desire to have an easy campaign to plug their branch into and to try to use that campaign to build the branch. I am opposed to endorsing McKayla for two main reasons:

  1. I agree with the National Electoral Committee’s recommendation that DSA chapters only engage in federal races when there is a solid coalition around that candidates. I have not seen that McKayla has the kind of coalition that current Squad members had for their victories.

  2. It’s very concerning to me that major progressive groups asked McKayla to run for state senate and she declined. To me, with McKayla’s name recognition, fundraising and support from these groups, she would have had a strong chance at winning. I believe that we can and will build power in the electoral space by winning and taking over state and local bodies.

As socialists, we have limited resources and we should focus our collective efforts and money into races that are winnable so it’s concerning that McKayla would choose to divert resources into a much longer shot campaign instead of a winnable campaign.

Statement from Stu K - AGAINST - regarding ER6: Endorse Mckayla Wilkes

I am voting against Mckayla Wilkes’s endorsement because this is not one of the recommended endorsements of the PEC. Chapter members can read the PEC endorsements here:

The political engagement committee recommended endorsing Del. Gabriel Acevero for Maryland House of Delegates District 39, Max Socol for Maryland State Senate District 18, Brandy Brooks for Montgomery County Council At-Large, and Zachary Parker for D.C. Council’s Ward 5 seat.

I am also voting against this endorsement because it was revealed yesterday on the convention call that Mckayla Wilkes had the opportunity to run for Maryland State Senate seat—with the likely backing of a left-labor coalition—but opted instead to run for Congress. This type of coalition has been critical for the success of our chapter’s endorsed candidates. As the PEC noted in their report:

Our chapter has never succeeded electorally when we were not part of a broader labor-left coalition. Such a coalition is not a guarantee of victory, but the absence of one—based on outcomes from the past four years—almost certainly indicates a loss.

If I lived in Mckayla’s district, I would vote for her and I hope she wins. But for the reasons above and for those expressed by the PEC, I do not think our chapter should endorse in this race.