Maryland Forward Party

David Brown
David Brown

About David Brown

I live in Carroll County, MD and currently work on the Maryland Forward Party's web site as a software developer. I also volunteer at MFP events and help out the team in any way else I can. I have never been involved in politics, but the growing divide in the country and the threat to our great democracy has driven me to get involved to make a difference. Over time the political discourse in this country has evolved from one dominated by debates around ideas to one dominated by tribal identity and tribal allegiance. I do believe this country's political divide can be mended and that is why I joined the Maryland Forward Party. I believe voting reforms like Rank Choice Voting can make a difference. I also believe partisan primaries and state legislative district gerrymandering are just power plays and don't have a place in a vibrant democracy.
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Recent Activity
  • published Learn More 2024-02-15 20:31:25 -0500

  • published Volunteer Resources in Get Involved 2024-02-20 11:12:37 -0500

  • published Calendar in Get Involved 2024-02-06 15:41:07 -0500


    Follow us and our endorsed candidates on the campaign trail as they spread their message to the people of Maryland.


    To add to your calendar, click the event and then click "copy to your calendar". 
    Note: "copy to your calendar" functionality may not work on all mobile devices and configurations.

  • published Detailed Plan in Fundraising 2024-02-02 23:28:56 -0500

    Detailed Plan







    Maryland Forward Party


    Building Your Political Home - Fundraising 2024

    I. Overview


    The Maryland Forward Party is looking to create a credible, viable, durable political party in the state of Maryland. Our three core values are Free People, Thriving communities and Vibrant Democracy and our current focus is on Voting Systems Reforms (e.g., Ranked Choice Voting), Open Non-Partisan Primaries, and Independent Redistricting Commissions. With these changes, we hope that it will create better incentives for candidates and elected officials to better represent the communities that they serve, for independents to be allowed to participate in the selection process, and for people to choose their politicians free of gerrymandering. Our website contains information about our principles, priorities, team, events, petitions, candidate endorsements, and much more.

    Maryland Forward Party 2023 Summary


    As a newly formed 527 non-profit organization in April 2023, we immediately began laying the groundwork for forming the party. In 2023, with just under 20 volunteers, we :

    • Collected over 1,100 signatures by meeting people across the state at 13 events from the Eastern Shore to Western Maryland,
    • Raised over $11,000 for our operational fund and had continued growth of monthly donations throughout the year,
    • More than doubled our regular volunteer base,
    • Garnered over 600 followers on Twitter/X and over 1200 followers on Instagram,
    • Gathered almost 500 self-identified supporters on our website,
    • Celebrated James Kole, our first Forwardist being elected to local office,
    • Endorsed 4 other candidates for office with more in the pipeline, and
    • Hosted 2 workshops with multiple local elected officials in attendance.



    To continue our work at the Maryland Forward Party we are looking to raise $114,000 over the next year. Our major planned expense is a signature collection firm to satisfy the signature requirements to form a political party in Maryland. Also included in that budget is funding for more in person events across the state, digital advertisements to spread our message, as well as printed materials and other operational expenses.


    II. Fundraising Plan


    Current Fundraising and Budget


    2023 Fundraising for MD FWD Party:


    2024 Planned Budget

    Plan for 2024 Fundraising

    • Online/GrassRoots Fundraising

    With the use of our website, we will look to leverage email and social media to drive small dollar donations to our website. In addition to direct email asks, we can also leverage social media to promote “Giving Fridays” where we will try different methods to generate excitement around the donations (i.e., fun polls where the side that donated the most “wins”).

    • Phone and Direct Mailings

    As we increase our presence and look for other avenues to reach people, we will be including a link to our fundraising site with any communication that we will be sending out. Followup phone calls to interested people should also mention our fundraising campaign and how to find it on our website. In 2023, we contacted over 1100 people in our database via email or telephone and plan to extend that effort in 2024.

    • Partnerships and Collaborations

    Using and growing our network of partnerships is vital to our growth and success as a party. Having these partnerships will be valuable for us to learn from groups that have raised money in the past, and identify what is working for them and to avoid strategies that will not bear fruit. We currently have an advisor partnership with a professional fundraiser that is helping to craft our message.

    • Identification and Curation of Major Donors

    Find and grow our exposure to major donors that align with our values and can help us grow. Groups that are already in the political reform space are essential networking opportunities to connect with major donors. In addition, using tools such as DonorSearch and other fundraising tools we can identify major donors that have already expressed interest in the Forward Party.


    Membership Plans

    To encourage donors, we will establish Membership Plans. Membership can be obtained through direct donation or by raising money through a personalized, dedicated link on the Maryland Forward Party website.

    Friends of Forward ($1-$500)

    Francis Scott Key Club ($500-$1000)

    • Admission to Annual Appreciation Event
    • Social media appreciation (optional)
    • Friends of Forward perks
    • Maryland Forward Party Tie or Tote Bag

    Edgar Allan Poe League ($1000-$5000)

    Thurgood Marshall Society ($5000 +)

    • Francis Scott Key Club perks
    • Maryland Forward Party polo or T-Shirt
    • Invitation to Regular Board meetings
    • Edgar Allan Poe League perks
    • Personalize Maryland Forward Bomber Jacket
    • Introduction to National Leadership Team

    Financial Regulations and Transparency

    We are committed to transparency on spending and will be providing regular updates on the state of the budget as we go through the year as well as regular updates to this Fundraising plan. Funds raised will be shown on the website with daily updates. Funds spent will be detailed in regular Board meetings and available upon request.

  • published Volunteers Openings in Get Involved 2024-01-29 18:34:45 -0500

    17,500 signatures! Let's get this done.


    Join the team to help save democracy and fix our broken government.

    The work of building a new national political party from scratch is no easy task, but we're blessed with a community of talented, thoughtful, intelligent and humble activists, organizers and leaders. If you'd like to help grow this movement and build a thriving, community-driven coalition in your state, we'd love to have you. Join the Forward Party to fix our broken democracy and build a better future. Join the team below and you'll receive more information on how to get involved.

    To become an official political party in Maryland, we need to collect a minimum of 10,000 signatures.

    Because state officials regularly disqualify signatures for not meeting a series of rigid requirements, our goal is 17,500 signatures by May 31, 2024.

    We need your help to get it done and here are six areas we need your help!

    Become a volunteer

  • signed Petition 2024-02-14 08:32:43 -0500

    Help Us Collect 17,500 signatures

    Petition Drive Instructions

    129 pledges

    Moving Maryland Forward, One Signature At A Time

    In order for the Maryland Forward Party to become official recognized in the state of Maryland, we need to collect signatures from citizen across the state.  



    Important Facts You Should Know

    • Signing our petition DOES NOT CHANGE your voters registration party affiliation.
    • WE WILL NEVER use any information you provide for any solicitation purposes, unless explicitly given permission to do so.
    • All petition documents collected will be submitted to the state board of elections, for counting purposes. 

    It's that simple!

    Add Pledge

  • donated via 2024-05-29 15:40:02 -0400

  • published James Kole in Our Candidates and Affiliates 2023-11-01 09:00:08 -0400

    Forwardist James Kole



    Meet James Kole, Laurel City Council, Ward 1


    Incumbent City Councilperson for Laurel City, Ward 1.


    Two term President Pro Tempore of the Laurel City Council. Chairman of the Laurel Environmental Affairs Committee and Laurel Pride Day Planning Committee. Former Commissioner on the City of Laurel Ethics Commission.


    Landscape Professional with a BS in Landscape Contracting – Design/Build from Penn State University. Former Board Member for the Board of Directors for the Landscape Contractors Association of MD/DC/VA.

     * Canvassed for Vote 6 in 2012 to pass Marriage Equality through popular vote in the State of Maryland.

    Believes that all elected officials should work together collaboratively to come up with solutions that meet the needs of all residents.


    Policy Objectives - continued Fiscal Responsibility, Enhanced Environmental Sustainability Initiatives, and continued Commitment to Public Safety.


    I am excited to be endorsed by Forward. Until very recently, I was unaware that there was an actual third party that aligned with my views, leading me to believe the only way I could be a voice not beholden to a party, was to remain unaffiliated.


    I am running to continue hearing, serving, and representing ALL residents in Laurel, regardless of their political views and engagement. In my next term, I hope to introduce an independent Election Reform Task Force to make recommendations for changes to the City Charter for ways to make campaign rules clear and equitable for all candidates, as well as explore other voting options instead of winner take all.




    Jame's Forward Story: 

    I grew up in a Republican household. In college, I registered as a Democrat feeling that their party more closely aligned with my values. After observing National and State politics, I quickly learned that the two party system was not representing the majority of Americans on all of the issues, often times leading us to vote for a candidate that is the lesser of two evils versus a more qualified candidate that doesn’t make it to the general election ballot. Since then, I have been registered unaffiliated, only registering to participate in closed primaries. I believe that only through compromise and working together can elected officials truly solve the issues facing their communities.



  • published Our Team in About 2023-10-21 20:16:19 -0400

  • commented on Contact the Board 2023-10-21 20:31:15 -0400
    TEST TEST: I lied one final test.

    Contact the Board

    Send a message to the Board members.

    Send feedback

  • commented on Contact 2024-02-14 08:33:52 -0500
    This is a test, please ignore.

    Contact Us


    To contact us you can use an email address from the Maryland map or you can use the form found further below. All comments, suggestions and inquiries are welcome.

    Send message

  • published St. Mary's County 2023-09-12 16:36:46 -0400

    St. Mary's County Maryland


    County Lead: Ethan Chan

    Email: [email protected]


    Eligible Active Voters As of October 22, 2022 **


    Democrats: 25,474

    Republicans: 31,793

    Miscellaneous: 18,075

    Total Eligible Active Voters: 75,342

    ** Maryland Voter Registration Statistics


  • published Andrew Yang Aspen in Home Info Slider 2023-09-03 19:13:39 -0400

    Andrew Yang Aspen Ideas Festival

    • * The approval rating of the US congress is at 20%, yet 94% of incumbents win re-election.
    • * An incumbent candidate only has to please the 10-12% of their party that actually vote in the primary.
    • * In most states, which party is going to win the general election is already set before the party primaries start.
    • * The 10-12% of the party members who vote in the primaries tend to be very ideological.
    • * 75% of us live under one party rule.
    • * Win the primary, win the general.
    • * and much more........

          Watch the video here



  • published John Adams in Home Info Slider 2023-09-03 19:11:49 -0400

    John Adams

    “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

    ― John Adams, The Works Of John Adams, Second President Of The United States, letter to Jonathan Jackson, 2 October, 1780

    Maryland Forward believes John Adams was exactly correct and we think that the tribalism we see today is a direct correlation. We believe that through Ranked Choice Voting and Non-partisan primaries we can restore choice and compromise to our State and our Union.

  • published The Politics Industry in Home Info Slider 2023-09-03 19:10:03 -0400

    The Politics Industry

    Most people believe that our political system is a public institution with high-minded principles and impartial rules derived from the Constitution. In reality, it has become a private industry dominated by a textbook duopoly - the Democrats and the Republicans - and plagued and perverted by unhealthy competition between the players. Tragically, it has therefore become incapable of delivering solutions to America's key economic and social challenges. In fact, there's virtually no connection between our political leaders solving problems and getting reelected. 

    Katherine M. Gehl explains today's political system in this Ted Talk.  Get the book here

    Maryland Forward couldn't agree more and we think that we need to end the tribalism of the duopoly by instituting ranked-choice voting and non-partisan primaries. Taken together, these two reforms will:

    • 1. Allow voters to vote their conscience and still have their vote count if their first choice doesn't get enough votes to continue,
    • 2. By putting all the candidates in the same pool and eliminating party identification of voters we can bring independents into the primary system, dilute extremist primary voters, and elect more rational, moderate candidates.


  • published Home Info Slider in Home 2023-09-03 19:07:12 -0400

  • published Wicomico County 2023-08-31 19:53:55 -0400

    Wicomico County Maryland


    County Lead: Thomas Cropper

    Email: [email protected]


    Eligible Active Voters As of October 22, 2022 **


    Democrats: 26,749

    Republicans: 23,897

    Miscellaneous: 14,631

    Total Eligible Active Voters: 65,277

    ** Maryland Voter Registration Statistics


  • published Caroline County 2023-08-31 19:51:33 -0400

    Caroline County Maryland


    County Lead: Kristyn Williams

    Email: [email protected]


    Eligible Active Voters As of October 22, 2022 **


    Democrats: 6,250

    Republicans: 10,539

    Miscellaneous: 4,796

    Total Eligible Active Voters: 21,585

    ** Maryland Voter Registration Statistics


  • published Baltimore City 2023-08-31 19:48:38 -0400

    Baltimore City Maryland


    County Lead: PJ Benanati

    Email: [email protected]


    Eligible Active Voters As of October 22, 2022 **


    Democrats: 303,620

    Republicans: 28,211

    Miscellaneous: 63,303

    Total Eligible Active Voters: 395,134

    ** Maryland Voter Registration Statistics


  • published Anne Arundel County 2023-08-31 19:45:22 -0400

    Anne Arundel County Maryland


    County Lead: Mike O'Loughlin

    Email: [email protected]


    Eligible Active Voters As of October 22, 2022 **


    Democrats: 173,922

    Republicans: 129,893

    Miscellaneous: 102,677

    Total Eligible Active Voters: 406,492

    ** Maryland Voter Registration Statistics