Jawando Profile

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Fifth in a series by Bill Turque on the nine candidates in the CD8 race.

Parts of Will Jawando’s biography are deja vu all over again: white Kansan mother, African father, wife named Michele. When then-Sen. Barack Obama hired Jawando as an aide in 2005, the future president introduced him as “apparently my long-lost brother.”

But Jawando wants to rewrite at least one chapter of the Obama story: that 2000 congressional primary loss in Chicago. He is hoping for better in the April 26 primary for the Democratic nomination in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District.

The Silver Spring attorney, 33, is one of nine candidates chasing the open seat created by Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s decision to run for Senate. Jawando is the youngest in the race and the only African American, two demographic identifiers that lie at the heart of his message.

He contends that Van Hollen’s successor should reflect the diversity that is remaking the 8th District and the country.

“There are a lot of people who aren’t represented in Congress,” Jawando says. “That’s a factor in how you move these conversations.”

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