State Roundup, September 17, 2010

September 17, 2010 at 3:47 pm

REVENUES GROW: For the first time in 2½ years, Maryland officials are forecasting government revenues will grow slightly more than expected this year and next — but Comptroller Peter Franchot is urging that this new revenue “be saved and not spent,” Len Lazarick reports in MarylandReporter.com. Annie Linskey has the story in the Baltimore, with comments from the governor and AFCME. The AP’s Brian Witte has other reactions.

EHRLICH UPDATE: Maryland Dems are hoping that an interview Bob Ehrlich gave will cause a permanent split between the GOP gubernatorial candidate and the supporters of his losing primary rival Brian Murphy, John Wagner blogs for the Post. Tea Party voters tell The Gazette’s Sarah Breitenbach and Alan Brody their support is likely to shift to Ehrlich as “the lesser of two evils.” Ehrlich also released a “Road Map” outlining his initiatives if elected and a new TV commercial, which you can view at Wagner’s blog. 

VOTER MOBILIZATION: Pundits and senators say that the O’Malley-Ehrlich race will have a lot to do with who can best motivate his base of supporters, reports The Gazette’s Sarah Breitenbach. 

ANTI-INCUMBENT SENTIMENT: In the defeat of Sen. George Della and the skin-of-the-teeth win of Del. Norman Stone, Maryland sees anti-incumbent feelings present elsewhere in the nation, reports The Gazette’s Alan Brody. And Donald Fry, in Center Maryland, writes that while Maryland’s primary election results yielded no surprises among statewide candidates, results at the local levels appear to confirm that many voters are in a mood for transition.

RESULTS DELAYS: Aaron Davis of the Post reports that the state elections board believes that delays in getting results were in part caused by counting of early votes  overlapping with counting of election day votes.

WORST TURNOUT: Despite six days of early voting opportunities, turnout in Maryland’s primary appears to have been the lowest on record, the Associated Press reports in the Carroll County Times. The overriding theme of Tuesday’s primary, if there is one, is low voter turnout, writes Gazette columnist Laslo Boyd.

KISS AND MAKE UP: This year’s bitterly contested primary left many wounds behind, and most — but not all — unsuccessful candidates are beginning to put Tuesday’s election behind them, reports The Gazette’s Alan Brody.

BALLOT PROBE:  Brian Shane and Jennifer Shutt of the Salisbury Daily Times report that Worcester County detectives confiscated dozens of envelopes that had contained District 2 absentee ballots, launching what officials described in vague terms as a voting integrity probe.

KRATOVIL POLL: Greg Latshaw of the Salisbury Daily Times reports that an internal survey from the Frank Kratovil campaign shows the freshman congressman leading his GOP opponent Andy Harris, by 6 percentage points.

ORPHANS’ COURT: Rob Roblin of WBAL-TV interviews Ivan Shutinya, who Barbara Pash of MarylandReporter.com wrote about last week, a disabled lawyer who is seeking to become a judge on the Baltimore County Orphans’ Court. Here’s a link to Shutinya’s Facebook page.

JESSAMY-BERNSTEIN: Pat Jessamy’s legal team is scrutinizing the results of the Baltimore state’s attorney’s race as challenger Gregg Bernstein’s lead widened after the first round of absentee ballots were counted. Tricia Bishop has the story for the Sun. Ben Mook of the Daily Record reports that Bernstein continued to hold onto the lead after absentee ballots were counted. Meanwhile, Jessamy’s spokeswoman as state’s attorney made statements that should have been made by her campaign spokeswoman. Peter Hermann of the Sun reports that this may have crossed the line into politics, raising questions about whether a public employee can and should speak on a political issue that calls into question the integrity of the voting system. Here’s Andrea Fujii’s report for WJZ-TV, where you can also view the statements from Jessamy’s state’s attorney spokeswoman. And Sun photographer Kim Hairston was busy recording the tally. View some of her work in this gallery.

LANSEY-JESSAMY: She may well go down as a footnote in Baltimore politics. But the note that will include the name of Sheryl Lansey grew a lot longer. She’s the third candidate in the tight two-way race for city state’s attorney. And the 2,361 votes she garnered may have given Bernstein the edge over Jessamy, the Sun writes.

BAKER’S PLANS: Newly elected Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker promises to improve schools and reduce crime, The Gazette’s Daniel Valentine reports.

TOO CLOSE IN HOUSE: Adam Bednar reports for the Carroll County Times that two races for House of Delegates remain too close to call. And Meg Tully of the Frederick News Post reports that two House of Delegates races there also remain too close to call.

LOWER SHORE RACE: State Senate candidate Del. Jim Mathias, D-38B-Worcester, met with local business owners to “reintroduce” his campaign, he said, and discuss the challenges that small, family-owned businesses face, writes Brian Shane of the Salisbury Daily Times.

WINNERS AND LOSERS: Gazette reporters go through the politicians, groups, and factions who had the biggest victories and defeats at the primaries.

PRIMARY LESSONS: Gazette columnist Blair Lee looks at what did and did not happen during the primary.  Gazette columnist Barry Rascovar runs down seven lessons to be learned from this primary.  

CAMPBELL FUNDS: Republican primary winner William Campbell wants to be elected in November as Maryland’s first Republican comptroller in more than a century, but wants to know how much financial support the party will give him in the General Elecion, reports The Gazette’s C. Benjamin Ford.

WASHINGTON CO. RACE: A state election official said it’s too late for a Democrat to get on the Nov. 2 general-election ballot and challenge Christopher Shank, who beat incumbent Donald Munson in the GOP primary race for state Senate in Washington County, reports Andrew Schotz of the Hagerstown Herald Mail. But a local official says the rules aren’t that clear.

WICOMICO STATE’S ATTY: For the first time in 23 years, there will be a new top prosecutor in the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office, with the primary defeat of Davis Ruark to Seth Mitchell. Mitchell will face Republican Matt Maciarello on Nov. 2, Greg Latshaw reports for the Salisbury Daily Times.

MOCO SHERIFF RACE: An ethics complaint has been filed against Montgomery County Sheriff frontrunner Darren Mark Popkin by one of Popkin’s primary foes, Thomas Falcinelli Jr., reports The Gazette’s Margie Hyslop. Falcinelli said that Popkin wore parts of his uniform and his badge while campaigning.

WICOMICO COUNTY EXEC: With the field now set, the Wicomico County executive’s race has taken on a spirited tone, with Republican challenger Joe Ollinger questioning Rick Pollitt on several fronts, Greg Latshaw reports for the Salisbury Daily Times.

MOCO FEE: Opponents of Montgomery County’s ambulance fee are anticipating a short shelf life for the new charge, saying the political backing is essentially in place to spike the measure, Brian Hughes reports for the Washington Examiner.

GAZETTE NOTEBOOK: Gazette reporters’ weekly collection of political happenings include bipartisanship at Sen. Barry Glassman’s fundraiser; former Del. Carmen Amedori back in politics after all; dueling family picnics in Howard County Exec race; Ali’s big plans to take a nap; O’Malley shares a beer with a local soldier; and Rolle ponders re-activating his campaign.

ARUNDEL HAPPENINGS: Find out what’s happening in Annapolis Capital’s Political Notebook.

SLOTS TWIST: Nick Sohr of the Daily Record reports that the two-year history of slot machines in Maryland, already marred by false starts and legal battles, took another odd twist Thursday when the state awarded a gaming license to a casino owner that didn’t want it.

MOCO SCHOOLS: The search for a new superintendent to replace Jerry Weast has started, reports The Gazette’s Andrew Ujifusa. 

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