July 8, 2014

State Roundup, July 8, 2014

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Choose Sugar

WATER PLANT UPGRADES: Sens. Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski toured Baltimore’s 99-year-old Montebello water treatment plant Monday to draw attention to the needs of municipalities nationwide for federal help to upgrade their aging infrastructure, reports Tim Wheeler in the Sun.

COMPREHENSIVE ELECTION LISTS: The staff at MarylandReporter.com compiled comprehensive and useful lists for a wrapup of the General Assembly primary races, as it looks toward the General Election. Information includes: who 14 senators, 21 delegates running unopposed in the fall; incumbents who lost their primaries and to whom; incumbents who did not run for their current seats, some with explanation; endorsements;  and candidates by district including latest campaign finance information.

MCCONKEY’S WRONG STUFF: Mike Collins, in a column for the Annapolis Capital, says that he was not surprised by Del. Tony McConkey’s behavior to Del. Cathy Vitale at a recent post-primary Republican gathering. After all, writes Collins, he too has been the subject of McConkey’s public anger.

MORE FROM COLBURN: Phil Davis of the Salisbury Daily Times offers up a political wrap up with quotes from Sen. Richard Colburn, who lost his primary race in District 37. These quotes, which didn’t make it into last week’s article on Colburn, address Perdue and the Shore economy and former U.S. Rep. Wayne Gilchrist, among other things.

MUST WE VOTE? Sun columnist Dan Rodricks writes, “I realize it’s impolite to stand up in the 21st century and declare something that was established in Colonial Maryland — say, the election of sheriffs in every county and Baltimore City — to be archaic, inefficient and unnecessary. But with all due respect to the old snuff-sniffers in powdered wigs who mandated it, I can no longer remain seated. Voting for sheriffs is as silly as silk pants. So is voting for registers of wills. Ditto for orphans’ court judges, clerks of the court, and even state’s attorneys.”

HARMAN TO FACE KAMENETZ: Nearly two weeks after the primary election, the Republican primary for Baltimore County executive came down to 18 votes, with George Harman of Reisterstown edging out Tony Campbell of Towson, reports Alison Knezevich for the Sun. County election officials on Monday formally completed the task of counting ballots. Unless a potential recount yields different results, Harman will face Democratic County Executive Kevin Kamenetz in the November general election.

DELEGATE WINS MO CO COUNCIL RACE: Evan Glass has conceded to Del. Tom Hucker in the tightly contested Democratic primary for the District 5 seat on the Montgomery County Council, reports Bill Turque in the Post.

DELEGATE LOSES PG COUNCIL RACE: First-time candidate Deni Taveras won the Democratic primary for the Prince George’s County Council District 2 seat Monday, defeating state Del. Doyle Niemann by a scant six votes, Arelis Hernández reports in the Post.

PEROUTKA WINS IN ARUNDEL: Rema Rahman of the Annapolis Capital reports that Michael Anthony Peroutka has beaten Maureen Carr-York by 38 votes in the Republican primary for Anne Arundel County Council in District 5.

A PICKLE WITH PEROUTKA: The editorial board for the Annapolis Capital addresses Michael Anthony Peroutka’s apparent victory for Anne Arundel County Council in District 5, writing, “It’s not our business to tell voters they got it wrong. But … almost one-third of the GOP voters who bothered to go to the polls on primary Election Day — have definitely gotten their party into a pickle. Monday’s canvassing confirmed … Peroutka’s narrow lead over runner-up Maureen Carr-York. … Peroutka, to put it as politely as we can, is a highly unusual sort of Republican.

CURRY PUBLIC VIEWING: Prince George’s County residents are invited to pay their respects to former County Executive Wayne Curry at two public viewings later this week. Curry, 63, died July 2. He announced in April that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer, Kirsten Petersen writes in the Gazette.

HOWARD SCHOOL WOES: Howard County’s public schools are considered among the best in the country and its teacher salaries are near the top in Maryland, but such attributes haven’t kept the system and its teachers’ union from butting heads in a continuing contract dispute, reports Blair Ames for the Sun. In a county whose slogan is “Choose Civility,” rhetoric between the Howard County Education Association and school system leadership has been tense during the standoff over raises and other issues that lasted much of the school year and is drifting now into the summer.

SUGAR IN HOWARD COUNTY: The editorial board of the Sun comes out in defense of the restrictions on sugary soft drinks at Howard County events imposed by the County Executive Ken Ulman.

Choose Sugar

The folks at Red Maryland cooked up a bumper sticker mocking Howard County’s crusade against sugar, which led to restrictions on soft drinks at Friday’s fireworks. The fake sticker is modeled after the county’s “Choose Civility” campaign.