Group aimed at training Democratic women yields 6 Anne Arundel candidates

Upcoming local and state elections this year and next have already spurred a wave of candidates filing or announcing a run for office. At least a half-dozen are graduates of an organization that aims to help more Democratic women get elected in Maryland and across the country.

So far, six alumnae of Emerge Maryland have announced their intentions to run for office in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County in 2017 or 2018, including former school board members Debbie Ritchie and Allison Pickard. The organization, a chapter of the national Emerge America group, has been grooming female candidates for office since it was established in 2012.

This year, it graduated its largest class ever with 23 women completing the six-month candidate training course. The group celebrated Saturday with a graduation ceremony at the Prince George’s Educators Association building in District Heights.

In another first, all 23 women intend to run for office, according to Emerge Maryland Executive Director Diane Fink. Alumnae from previous classes are running for election or re-election, as well.