RAWLINGS-BLAKE WON’T SEEK RE-ELECTION: Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, whose once-bright political future dimmed this spring with the death of Freddie Gray, shocked the city Friday with the announcement that she will not run for re-election next year, Yvonne Wenger reports in the Sun.
- “Every moment that I spent planning for a campaign . . . was a time that I was taking away from my current responsibilities to the city, to the city that I love,” said Rawlings-Blake (D), who had begun holding fundraisers and “Mondays with the Mayor” events to meet voters at local bars and restaurants, Josh Hicks of the Post writes.
- Adam Bednar of the Daily Record writes that at a 10:20 a.m. news conference at City Hall, she ticked off a list of accomplishments she said had lifted up the city, adding that she was determined to help Baltimore heal in the aftermath of the April riots and with the upcoming trials of six city police officers charged in Freddie Gray’s death.
- Here’s some images of SRB through the years from the Daily Record archives.
- Scott Dance and Natalie Sherman of the Sun fact-check come of Rawlings-Blake’s claims on her record of public service, which she said she is proud of. At a City Hall news conference she said, “I’ve always done what I knew would move the city forward, and my record reflects that.”
- Childs Walker, in a humorous story for the Sun, writes about Anthony Watson, the last person to beat Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in an election — and that happened when they were in the eighth grade.
WHAT’S NEXT?: The Sun’s Mary Carole McCauley writes that life goes on after leaving the mayor’s office — at least, that’s one conclusion that can be drawn from examining the histories of Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s seven most recent predecessors. The list that follows details the years they were mayor, how they left office, and what they did next.
- Yvonne Wenger, Doug Donovan and John Fritze write that whatever her motivation in not seeking re-election, some observers say, Rawlings-Blake’s decision could make governing harder — not easier — as Baltimore faces a critical period in rebounding from April’s rioting.
- Adam Bednar of the Daily Record writes that Rawlings-Blake’s unexpected announcement that she’s not seeking re-election caught business leaders off guard, but some are now wondering if that decision presents an opportunity to get behind a candidate sympathetic to their needs.
- Here’s KAL’s editorial toon on SRB’s decision.
- The editorial board for the Sun opines that Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was the right person at the right time when Sheila Dixon was forced to resign as mayor. “She was calm, steady and deliberative … and she methodically took on reforms that were vital to the city but for which she got little credit. This spring, when the city erupted into rioting, exposing the injustice, anger and despair that has long raged just below the surface in many Baltimore neighborhoods, she was the same person — to a fault. Baltimore needed, and needs, a bold and dynamic leader who can heal its wounds … We mean no insult, but that is not who Ms. Rawlings-Blake is.”
- Political columnist Barry Rascovar writes in MarylandReporter.com that history will be kinder to SRB than is currently believed. She was too cerebral (much like former Mayor Kurt Schmoke) and too deliberative to deal effectively with a terrible crime wave and civil unrest that required quick, firm decisions and public assertiveness. And she’s not the first Baltimore mayor to lose her appetite for Baltimore’s top elective office following days of destructive rioting, looting and arson.
REDISTRICTING REFORM MEETINGS: Gov. Larry Hogan’s recently formed Redistricting Reform Commission will hold the first of five regional meetings Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Sept. 15, in the Minnegan Room at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium. MarylandReporter.com lists all the upcoming meetings.
SCHUH TO SEEK BAN ON MEDICAL POT: On the day when regulations will be adopted in Maryland’s state law, Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh is seeking to ban growing, processing and dispensing medical marijuana in Anne Arundel County, Rema Rahman reports for the Annapolis Capital. Schuh is poised to announce his plans to send such a measure to the County Council on Monday at the Arundel Center. The bill will be introduced at the council’s Sept. 21 meeting.
DEL. PROCTOR’S WIDOW WILLING TO SERVE: The widow of Del. James E. Proctor Jr. will seek to fill her husband’s seat in the Maryland House of Delegates at the urging of one of the state’s top Democrats, Arelis Hernandez reports for the Post.
DEL. CAMPOS RESIGNS: Arelis Hernandez of the Post follows up on the story from last week that Del. William A. Campos (D-Prince George’s) has resigned from the Maryland House of Delegates for personal reasons, nine months after he was sworn in to represent the state’s only majority-Hispanic district.
CAUTION ON STATE SURPLUS: The editorial board for the Frederick News Post urges the state to be cautious in its decisionmaking when it comes to the $295 million state surplus. Giving back to the taxpayers sounds like a good idea, but in practice, it is not.
FURNITURE, IRAN & MANDEL: Barry Rascovar of politicalmaryland.com takes a closer look at the O’Malley furniture “scandal” and how other governors have handled these purchases, the strange bedfellows that the Iran nuclear deal is making and some assessments of his recent columns on the late Gov. Marvin Mandel.
LOBBYIST JEFFRIE ZELLMER LAID TO REST: Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com writes that it was an old-fashioned funeral service for an old-school lobbyist at the Old Wye Church in Talbot County Friday afternoon. More than 150 Annapolis insiders, family and friends bid adieu to Jeffrie Zellmer, 73, who represented the Maryland Retailers Association at the State House for the past 20 years.
HOGAN’S CANCER ADVOCACY: Ovetta Wiggins of the Post writes that soon after Gov. Larry Hogan announced he had cancer, letters of support pushed the first-term governor into what he refers to as his newest “calling” — advocating for cancer patients and their families. Since he was diagnosed in June, Hogan (R) has invited people with cancer to the State House, set up a #HoganStrong fundraising effort that has raised $35,000, and visited the pediatric oncology ward at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
- David Lublin in his Seventh State blog writes the Hogan’s pre-cancer budget tried to cut state funding for cancer research.
IVEY LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR CONGRESS: Former Prince George’s County state’s attorney Glenn F. Ivey formally launched his candidacy for Maryland’s 4th Congressional District Saturday, unveiling a new video, website and issue platform, writes Arelis Hernandez in the Post.
DELANEY PLANS TO SEEK RE-ELECTION: Julie Greene of the Hagerstown Herald Mail writes that U.S. Rep. John Delaney said Sunday that, as of now, he is planning to run for re-election to represent the state’s 6th Congressional District.
IRAN DEAL WORTH RISK: State Del. Kirill Reznik, in an op-ed for Washington Jewish Week, writes that the Iran nuclear deal is a risk worth taking.
DELANEY FOR IRAN DEAL: Rep. John Delaney, the last member of Maryland’s congressional delegation to offer a position on the Iran deal, voted for the measure on Friday, reports John Fritze for the Sun.
REGIONAL TRANSIT GROUP: The new regional transportation organization Anne Arundel County joined — but Annapolis shut out — is past a successful but challenging first year and a partnership with the city may come, Brandi Bottalico reports for the Annapolis Capital. John Powell Jr., administrator of the Regional Transportation Agency of Central Maryland, said that the partnership among the city of Laurel and Howard, northern Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties was established last July to reduce expenses and give jurisdictions more oversight than they had when bus service was run by Central Maryland Regional Transit.
DIXON KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN: Former Baltimore City Mayor Sheila Dixon kicked off her campaign for re-election Sunday with an ice cream social in Pigtown, saying she wants to address illegal dirt bikes, improve public transportation and foster mutual respect between police and the communities they serve, Yvonne Wenger writes in the Sun.
CHEVY CHASE CHANGES TACK ON PURPLE LINE: The town of almost 2,800 people in Chevy Chase that spent half-a-million dollars to fight the Purple Line no longer will focus on outright opposition of the light-rail system, Aaron Kraut writes for Bethesda Beat.
TRACKING PLEA AGREEMENTS: When Anne Arundel State’s Attorney Wes Adams was running for office last year, he vowed to cut back on what he called “lenient” plea agreements in criminal cases. Last week, the Severna Park Republican told the Capital Gazette editorial board that he has begun tracking case dispositions in an effort to measure his office’s performance, Tim Pratt reports.