Senate incumbents pick up challengers on filing deadline

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John Bishop

John Bishop

Maryland State Senate (Photo by MarylandReporter.com)

Maryland State Senate (Photo by MarylandReporter.com)

Maryland Senate incumbents who were running unopposed picked up challengers at Tuesday’s filing deadline, but other senators without any opponents must wait until Monday to find out if the opposition parties will name a candidate to run against them.

In Baltimore County’s District 8, former Republican Del. John Bishop will run as a Democrat challenging Democratic Sen. Kathy Klausmeier.

“I was an effective legislator as a Republican,” said Bishop at the State Board of Elections in Annapolis Tuesday night. “I’ll be an effective legislator as a Democrat.”

Bishop switched parties eight years ago because the GOP has moved too far to the right. “These people are just off the edge… They’re dangerous,” Bishop said. “Ronald Reagan couldn’t get elected in this party.”

In neighboring District 7, Sen. J.B. Jennings got a Republican opponent in Joe Krysztoforski, who twice ran for Congress against U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. Krysztoforski thought he was filing in District 42, now represented by Sen. Jim Brochin, but apparently found out he actually lived in adjoining District 7.

John Bishop

John Bishop

In Howard County’s District 13, Del. Guy Guzzone, running to succeed retiring Sen. Jim Robey, is being challenged by Republican Jody Vankatesan, who lost the Republican primary for the seat in 2010.

In an odd turn of events in District 13, businessman Nayab Siddiqui filed Tuesday to run for delegate in the same race where his wife Janet Siddiqui, a member of the Howard County school board, is running on a ticket with Guzzone, and Dels. Shane Pendergrass and Frank Turner.

Sen. Steve Hershey, appointed to the seat in District 36 after the abrupt resignation of Senate Minority Leader E. J. Pipkin, will not be challenged by Del. Michael Smigiel, as the delegate had promised last year. But Hershey is opposed in the Republican primary by former Del. Richard Sossi, whom Hershey had defeated in 2010. See the separate story on Smigiel.

In District 16, where longtime Democratic incumbent Sen. Brian Frosh is running for attorney general, Del. Susan Lee, who been running unopposed in the Democratic primary since July, picked up two challengers on the last day to file, J’aime Drayton and Hugh Hill.

Incumbent senators currently without opponents in either the primary or general election are Republican Sens. George Edwards, District 1; Chris Shank, District 2; Ed Reilly, District 33; and Democratic Sens. Roger Manno, District 19; Jim Rosapepe, District 21; Nancy King, District 39; and Catherine Pugh, District 40.

–Len Lazarick

Len@marylandreporter.com