June 12, 2014

State Roundup, June 12, 2014

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EARLY VOTING: With more than a dozen new locations and longer hours, the State Board of Elections will begin Maryland’s most extensive early voting period today. Early voting will be available at 63 locations — including at least one in every county — from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily through June 19, reports Yvonne Wenger for the Sun. The early voting period opens for the third time in the state’s history, following a series of legislative hurdles and legal battles over constitutional questions and concerns that the system invites fraud and disproportionately favors Democrats.

INDEPENDENT VOTERS SHUT OUT: Early voting for Maryland’s primary begins today (Thursday), and Republicans and Democrats across the state will be able to select their candidates for the general election, Margaret Sessa-Hawkins writes in MarylandReporter.com. Over 600,000 independent or ‘unaffiliated’ voters in the state, however, will be left out of this process.

AWARDS FOR MARYLAND REPORTER: MarylandReporter.com has been named the top news blog in the region for the second year in a row by the D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Maryland Reporter stories were also honored with a top prize for Online News by the Maryland SPJ chapter and other stories were finalists in the online news and feature categories of the D.C. chapter’s annual Dateline Awards contest.

DISTRICT 4: Wendi Wagner Peters is a candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 4. In this Q&A with the Frederick News Post, she explains why she is running for delegate.

DISTRICT 20: Even before District 20 Del. Heather Mizeur formally announced last summer that she was running for governor, a small crowd of candidates was taking aim at the General Assembly seat she is vacating. Then, the decision earlier this year by Mizeur’s colleague, Del. Tom Hucker, to make a County Council bid created Montgomery County’s most wide open contest in the June 24 Democratic primary — with eight non-incumbents taking aim at two vacancies in Silver Spring/Takoma Park-based District 20, writes Louis Peck for Bethesda Magazine.

MCFADDEN VS. HENSON: An advocacy group that supports increasing tobacco taxes is weighing in on a hotly contested Senate Democratic primary campaign in Baltimore City, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. The Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative Wednesday released a radio ad Wednesday highlighting the difference between Sen. Nathaniel McFadden and Julius Henson when it comes to supporting an increased tobacco tax.

ATTORNEY GENERAL’S RACE: A veteran Maryland lawmaker and a relative newcomer with a familiar name are locked in a tight battle to become the state’s next attorney general, according to a new Washington Post poll. With less than two weeks until the Democratic primary, enough voters are undecided for the race to swing in either direction, Arelis Hernández writes in the Post.

CARDIN BACKS CARDIN: Jon Cardin’s wife, Megan, defends her husband’s record in the House of Delegates in this opinion piece for Center Maryland, as he runs for the Democratic nomination for attorney general, writing, “Integrity. Honesty. Positivity. These are not words typically used to describe a politician. They are, however, how I characterize Jon Cardin. They are who he is as a person and how he conducts his campaign for attorney general of Maryland.” (The piece also runs in the Sun online as a letter, and was sent to MarylandReporter.com as well.)

CARDIN UNDISTINQUISHED, TARNISHED: Jon Cardin has done something since the start of 2014 that he did not think was possible, opines Laslo Boyd for Center Maryland. He has taken an undistinguished record and tarnished it. Fortunately for Maryland voters, Brian Frosh is a candidate with both an impressive record of leadership in the General Assembly and the highest sense of ethics.

GOP GUB DEBATE: The four Republicans vying to be the next governor of Maryland are slated to meet Thursday for one final televised forum in advance of the June 24 primary, reports John Wagner for the Post. The event, hosted by NBC4 in Washington, is scheduled to air Sunday at 7 a.m. — the latest in a series of tape-delayed broadcasts for the Republican hopefuls. (Wake up, you sleepy heads.)

BARTLETT BACKS CRAIG: Maryland Republican gubernatorial hopeful David Craig picked up the endorsement Wednesday of former Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, who praised both Craig’s experience and “conservative values,” writes John Wagner for the Post.

GEORGE PROFILE: For Ron George, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor, Main Street is not merely an address, it’s a persona. Hardly a campaign appearance goes by without a reference to his connection to “Main Street” roots and values. The moniker is shorthand for his advocacy on behalf of small and midsize businesses, which he believes are overtaxed, and for his claim that his proposals are better grounded than those of his three GOP opponents. Jeff Barker writes a profile of George in the Sun.

GEORGE MUSIC VIDEO: With less than two weeks until the primary election, Del. Ron George is turning to the power of music. George, one of four candidates running for the Republican nomination for governor in the June 24 primary, posted to YouTube on Tuesday a two-minute music video called “The Rain Tax Song.” You can view the video at the bottom of article, by Alex Jackson of the Annapolis Capital.

GANSLER ATTACKS MIZEUR: Attorney General Doug Gansler, who has been relentless in his criticism of Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, diverted his fire Wednesday to the third Democrat in the race for governor, Del. Heather Mizeur. Appearing on WBAL radio’s C4 show with Clarence Mitchell IV, Gansler brought up Mizeur’s lack of a college degree and her business activities.

HOPE FROM CANTOR DEFEAT: Two Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls in Maryland are among those taking heart from the stunning upset of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R) in Virginia on Tuesday night, reports John Wagner for the Post.

3RD CONGRESSIONAL: Matthew Molyett is a candidate for the 3rd Congressional District seat, currently held by John Sarbanes. He writes, in an op-ed for the Annapolis Capital, that about a year ago, he decided to run for the U.S. Congress after getting some vaguely written form letters in response to his questions to the incumbent congressman.

ARUNDEL EXEC DEBATE: The Republican candidates for Anne Arundel County executive will meet for a third and final debate before a hotly contested June 24 primary. On Friday, according to Rema Rahman of the Annapolis Capital, the Anne Arundel County Republican Central Committee will host a forum between County Executive Laura Neuman and Del. Steve Schuh.

GRASSO BACKS NEUMAN: Anne Arundel County Council chairman John Grasso said in April he hadn’t picked a favorite for Anne Arundel’s next executive. When asked last week, the Republican from Glen Burnie said again he hadn’t decided. But on Wednesday, he released a letter endorsing incumbent Laura Neuman over Steve Schuh, a Republican from Gibson Island, reports Tim Prudente for the Annapolis Capital.

PATERAKIS’ CLOUT: You know someone has clout when he or she can make subway planners turn on a dime, say political commentator Fraser Smith for WYPR-FM. He’s speaking of the John Paterakis, mega-bun maker and Baltimore City developer.