Emerge Maryland accepts 3 Mid-Shore women into program

By JOSH BOLLINGER jbollinger@stardem.com

EASTON — Emerge Maryland has new candidates for its second round of classes, and three of the women are from the Mid-Shore.

Susan Delean-Botkin of Talbot County, Patrice Stanley of Dorchester County, and Suzanne Hogan of Queen Anne’s County, have all been accepted into the Emerge Maryland program.

Emerge Maryland, a program for Democratic women in the state to learn how to better themselves in the political world and network with other like-minded Democratic women, is part of the Emerge America program, which includes 13 other states besides Maryland including Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Virginia, Wisconsin and Vermont.

The program offers courses in fundraising, campaign management, networking, public speaking and other key aspects of running a successful campaign.

Diane Fink, executive director of Emerge Maryland, said the program received a large response from applicants this year.

“We had many women apply and it was a very tough choice to narrow down to the class that we have, but the women who we have in ... are going to do great,” Fink said.

Fink said classes start on Friday, Oct. 25, and end in the beginning of April.

She said there are probably more women in the current class with a political background than in the first year’s classes, but, still, “some do and some don’t.”

Stanley previously ran for a District 37B House of Delegates seat in 2010. After winning the Democratic primary, she got about 18 percent of the vote and lost to Republican Del. Addie Eckardt.

However, Stanley said she’s not taking the courses with aspirations to run for a delegate seat again, she is taking them to “hone her skills.”

“It just seemed like the right thing to do. You can never stop learning and honing skills, and i just like the idea,” Stanley said.

She said she’s excited about the opportunity the class provides to go in and work with the assorted network of Democratic women from around the state.

“That, for me, was one of the selling points of applying for the program and getting accepted,” Stanley said.

Others, like both Delean-Botkin and Hogan, do have aspirations to run for office in the future.

Hogan filed in the beginning of October to run for a seat as a commissioner of Queen Anne’s County in the upcoming 2014 election. Currently, she is the only Democrat who has filed for the primary election.

Hogan has helped a number of other Democratic candidates seeking elected office with their campaigns, and said she’s decided to seek office because there are a lot of opportunities for the Eastern Shore and for Queen Anne’s County in the future.

“We have to be very careful about how we (Queen Anne’s) grow and what we do to sustain the people that are here and way of life that’s here while not missing the ... right kind of economic opportunities that would be good for our current workforce,” Hogan said.

She said she wants to help build a “Queen Anne’s County that doesn’t happen more by accident, but more by design,” and that hasn’t “necessarily been the course leading up to this point.”

Hogan said she’s looking forward to every single aspect of the Emerge Maryland program, but, in particular, the lineup of Democratic women who have worked on campaigns on a national level and will speak to the women throughout the program.

Delean-Botkin is also looking forward to that part of the program. “I think it’s very important for women to be involved in politics. Particularly from my standpoint, I have an ear in the community for what’s going on,” she said. “I think that being the voice of the people is a very important thing, whether on a board or elected position.”

Currently, Delean-Botkin works as a nurse practitioner in Easton and has worked on and written legislation for the General Assembly for the past five years, and said she would think about running for office in the future.

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