Van Wye campaign literature raises questions over work history

Andy Van Wye is one of nine Democrats running in the packed District 15 contest.

The 27-year-old first-time candidate’s campaign was first announced in Wootton High School’s student-run newspaper last November. Van Wye is a 2009 Wootton High School graduate.

Van Wye, who lives in North Potomac, recently left his legislative researcher/reporter job at the Washington-based CQ/Roll Call and is campaigning and canvassing the district full time.

A District 15 homeowner contacted A Miner Detail after Van Wye left his campaign literature at their home. After arriving home, the homeowner said they noticed Van Wye’s literature and visited his campaign website.

Having not heard of Van Wye or his campaign for District 15, the homeowner initiated a Google search on him, discovering they said what they belive is a “discrepancy” in his work history.

Van Wye’s lit piece (see below) states he “has worked for some of Maryland’s finest public servants, including: Sen. Chirs Van Hollen, Reps. Steny Hoyer Brown, and Governor Martin O’Malley.”

The District 15 homeowner discovered Van Wye’s LinkedIn page (see below) in a Google search and noticed he interned for Van Hollen, Hoyer, Brown and former Gov. Martin O’Malley, telling A Miner Detail that “the distinction between working and interning – between being employed and going through the hiring process – is important, especially as a candidate for public office.”

“Mr. Van Wye’s campaign materials led me to believe he was on the payroll for Senator Van Hollen, Congressmen Hoyer, Brown and Governor O’Malley,” the District 15 homeowner wrote to A Miner Detail in an email.”

“While I believe that interns are an important function within congressional and gubernatorial offices, for a candidate to imply that he worked for these elected officials when he only interned appears, at least on the surface, to be somewhat disingenuous and misleading.”

The District 15 homeowner requested that A Miner Detail not print their name.

Van Wye, when reached for comment on Saturday evening, told A Miner Detail that his intention was not to mislead anyone. He said he would be willing to edit his campaign literature to include the correct verbiage.

Van Way emailed A Miner Detail the following statement:

“It’s come to my attention that some people have taken exception to a statement within my literature indicating that I previously worked for Sen. Van Hollen, Reps. Hoyer and Brown, and Gov. O’Malley.  To be completely clear, I worked as an intern for these fine public servants.  Learning from these individuals was a true privilege and gave me the opportunity to attend policy briefings, train fellow interns, and talk to the citizens of Maryland.  I obviously had no intention of misleading anyone. The fact that I worked as an intern has always been listed on my website and I’ve even shared stories specifically mentioning this to many individuals while campaigning.  Again, I am sincerely sorry for any confusion this may have caused.”

A three-member district, incumbent Democrats Kathleen Dumais of Rockville and David Fraser-Hidalgo of Boyds are seeking re-election. Del. Aruna Miller of Darnestown, who was first elected to District 15 in 2010, is exiting the Maryland General Assembly in an effort to succeed U.S. Rep. John Delaney in Congress.

Delaney, a Democrat from Potomac, announced his 2020 White House bid last summer and is spending significant time in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Van Wye also faces off against Lily Qi, a top aide to Montgomery County Executive Isaiah “Ike” Leggett; Kevin Mack, the district director to Rep. John Delaney; Democratic activist Tony Puca; education consultant Jaye Espy; political consultant Hamza Khan; U.S. Air Force Reservist Amy Frieder; and Anis Ahmed, who works for the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights.

The last day to file for public office in Maryland is Feb. 27 at 9:00 p.m. The primary is set for June 26.

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