May 30, 2013

State Roundup, May 30, 2013

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RACE FOR GOVERNOR: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who announced his 2014 gubernatorial bid this month, plans to name Howard County Executive Ken Ulman as his running mate Monday, according to several people familiar with the plans, reports John Wagner of the Post.

The 2014 governor’s race came into clearer focus Wednesday as Harford County Executive David Craig set a date to announce his Republican candidacy and Brown’s campaign confirmed that Ulman will be his running mate in his bid for the Democratic nomination, report Erin Cox and Michael Dresser of the Sun.

Alexander Pyles of the Daily Record lists other possible gubernatorial candidates on both sides of the aisle.

Wednesday’s appointment of former Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith as Maryland’s secretary of transportation removes one prominent name from the guessing game over who the leading Democratic contenders for governor will choose as their running mates, writes Michael Dresser in the Sun.

David Moon at Maryland Juice runs with some interesting speculation on the goveror’s race as it is shaping up, including what the Brown-Ulman ticket could mean for U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger’s prospects if, as some expect, his House colleague Elijah Cummings endorses the Brown-Ulman team.

Opinionator Laslo Boyd, writing in Center Maryland, says that none of the candidates running for governor has “significant name recognition beyond their geographical base, and even that’s not entirely a sure thing. None of them starts with the kind of “wow” factor — a well-known political name, accomplishments that make one of them a presumptive favorite, unlimited money — that has allowed candidates in some races to bide their time and wait until relatively close to the election.”

SMITH NEW TRANSPORT SECTY: When Gov. Martin O’Malley convinced Maryland lawmakers to raise the gas tax this year, he not only secured billions of new dollars for transportation projects. Finding a new transportation secretary also became a lot easier, writes the Post’s John Wagner. Both O’Malley and former Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith said Wednesday that the funding package was key to Smith’s decision to take the Cabinet-level post that had been open for close to a year.

Smith will oversee $4.4 billion in new transportation investment over six years, spending that was prompted by an increase in the state’s motor fuel tax adopted by lawmakers earlier this year, Daniel Leaderman reports in the Gazette.

HOUSING DEPT. MOVE OK’D: The three-member Board of Public Works approved Wednesday a much-debated plan to move the headquarters of the state’s housing agency — along with 380 jobs — from Anne Arundel County to Prince George’s County, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun.

Allison Bourg of the Capital-Gazette reports that Arundel Councilman Jamie Benoit worries about the hit that dozens of businesses will take with the pending move of the state Department of Housing and Community Development. The move will leave the 22-year-old, 155,900-square foot building at 100 Community Place in Crownsville largely vacant.

Daniel Leaderman of the Gazette reports that Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker said the project will be the first major transit-oriented development in his county, adding that New Carrollton was the most attractive site for such development in the Washington metropolitan area, as it has access to both Metrorail and Amtrak.

WHERE’S NEUMAN? Former Arundel County Executive John Leopold emerged from his involuntary retirement to criticize his successor, Laura Neuman, for failing to appear at a meeting Wednesday at which the Board of Public Works approved the move of the state Department of Housing a Community Development to Prince George’s County, reports Michael Dresser for the Sun.

OTHER BPW PROJECTS: The state Board of Public Works approved several projects for funding, along with contracts in Allegany and Garrett counties, including more than $1 million for a sewer rehabilitation project, writes Matthew Bieniek for the Cumberland Times-News.

STUNT GUN RESOLUTION: Carroll County is now a “Second Amendment sanctuary” by decree of the county commissioners. The resolution is mostly a political stunt pushed by one commissioner in particular who is doing everything provocative that he can to play to a base that he apparently hopes will propel him to grander things, opines columnist Dean Minnich in the Carroll County Times.

 

  • cwals99

    The Maryland Reporter has yet to announce all the candidates running for Governor and Lt Governor. We see with the media outlet, just as with all media in Maryland the deliberate focus on only the same incumbents and farm team of long existing political machines.,,..the voters in Maryland constantly go to the polls not knowing a thing about any of the challengers. I want to see two Baltimore candidates for these positions….Brian Vaeth and Duane Davis featured and interviewed with a good bio and policy stance.

    The idea that a state could have media that simply call the election a year before it happens with a complete blackout of challengers throughout the year is ridiculous…….Open Government? Come on.