July 23, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Former Equality Maryland staffer announces House of Delegates bid
Kevin Walling, Maryland House of Delegates, gay news, Washington Blade

Former Equality Maryland staffer Kevin Walling has announced his Maryland House of Delegates campaign (Photo courtesy of Kevin Walling)

A former Equality Maryland staffer last week announced his candidacy to represent portions of Montgomery County in the House of Delegates.

Kevin Walling in an e-mail to supporters on July 18 declared his bid to represent House District 16 that includes Bethesda, North Bethesda, Potomac, Cabin John and Glen Echo.

Walling, who was Equality Maryland’s former director of communications and development from 2008-2010, told the Washington Blade in an interview last week that he developed “a real love for Maryland politics and how Annapolis works” while working to build support for marriage rights for same-sex couples in the state.

He said securing passage of a bill a state Senate committee killed earlier this year that would have banned anti-transgender discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation would be among his top legislative priorities in 2015.

“We need to right that wrong,” Walling said.

Walling, who currently works with the D.C. Democratic consulting firm Stone’s Phones, noted passing a gun control measure is another priority. He added protecting the environment and reducing traffic congestion in House District 16 through construction of the Purple Line from Bethesda to New Carrollton in Prince George’s County are among his other top campaign issues.

“Building more roads and driving more traffic is not the solution,” Walling said.

Walling, 27, is the latest candidate to officially declare their candidacy to represent House District 16 in Annapolis.

Jordan Cooper, Marc Korman and Hrant Jamgochian hope to succeed state Del. Susan Lee (D-Montgomery County) who is expected to run for state Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery County)’s seat in 2014 once he formally announces his expected campaign for attorney general. State Del. Bill Frick (D-Montgomery County) in February announced he will seek the post that likely gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler currently occupies.

Orlee Panitch, a Potomac emergency physician, is also expected to enter the House District 16 race.

Korman reported $33,867.20 in his campaign account in a report he filed with state officials in January.

Campaign finance reports for Walling, Cooper, Jamgochian and Panitch were not available.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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