State Roundup, April 28, 2016

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MARYLAND MAY HAVE ALL MALE CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION: Sen. Barbara Mikulski has spent much of her tenure in politics encouraging other women to run for office, speaking regularly and forcefully on the value she says diversity brings to policymaking, Michael Dresser and John Fritze of the Sun report. But the results of Tuesday’s primary election have underscored the challenges confronting that effort, even in her home state: With Mikulski leaving Congress, and Rep. Donna Edwards coming up short in her bid to take Mikulski’s place in the Senate, Maryland now faces the possibility of sending an all-male congressional delegation to Washington next year for the first time since 1971.

  • In the morning after the candidates to become her replacement were established, Sen. Barbara Mikulski was content with her decision to retire at the end of her current term. Speaking in Baltimore following Tuesday’s primary election, Mikulski said she fully supports U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, even though a victory by the Montgomery County Democrat over Republican nominee Kathy Szeliga could leave the Maryland congressional delegation without a woman member for the first time in 40 years, Michael Dresser writes in the Sun.

EDWARDS BLAMES STATE PARTY: In her loss to Rep. Chris Van Hollen in the Democratic Senate primary on Tuesday night, Rep. Donna Edwards accused the state party of sidelining women and people of color, actions that are likely to result in a mostly white, all-male congressional delegation, Ovetta Wiggins reports in the Post.

INSIDERS ARE IN IN MARYLAND: It’s the year of the outsider. But in Maryland on Tuesday, establishment Democratic candidates won up and down the board, Rachel Weiner and Arelis Hernandez report for the Post. Veteran politicians won in Maryland’s 4th and 8th congressional district primaries and in Baltimore’s mayoral race. In the marquee event — the Democratic contest for Senate — Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the ultimate insider, swamped his rival, Rep. Donna Edwards, who has clashed with party leaders.

ARUNDEL OVERSHADOWED: It’s a trend that has plagued Anne Arundel County for years — the idea that their votes will be overshadowed by other counties residing within its oddly shaped congressional districts. Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk isn’t the only candidate who may be wishing Anne Arundel played a larger role in primary races for Congress, writes Phil Davis in the Annapolis Capital.

WHO WILL REPLACE PUGH?: Two state delegates and one former lawmaker said Wednesday they would like to be considered to replace Democratic mayoral nominee Catherine Pugh in the Maryland Senate if she is elected in November. Dels. Barbara Robinson and Antonio Hayes, who represent Pugh’s district, said they expect to seek the position, Michael Dresser and Yvonne Wenger report for the Sun. So did former Del. Shawn Tarrant, who represented the district until his narrow primary defeat in 2014.

WALDEN TO FACE PUGH IN GENERAL: Alan Walden won the Republican primary in Baltimore’s race for mayor. The former WBAL radio anchor will face state Sen. Catherine Pugh, a Democrat, in the November general election, according to the Sun.

CITY BIZ GROUPS STEP UP: Business groups pledged to work with newly elected officials Wednesday, the day after primary voters tagged state Sen. Catherine Pugh as Baltimore’s likely next mayor and put eight of 14 city council seats in line for new members, writes Rick Seltzer for the Baltimore Business Journal.

RASKIN: HOW HE WON; WHAT SENATE LOSES: State Sen. Jamie Raskin entered Maryland’s 8th Congressional District Democratic primary race last April with a key question. Could he organize well enough to grow his base beyond the deeply loyal, staunchly liberal voters that elected him to three Senate terms? The initial answer seems to be yes. The one-year effort marched forward literally living room by living room in the form of nearly 170 “meet-and-greets” hosted by friends and supporters. Some drew as many as 60 to 70 prospective voters, Bill Turque reports for the Post.

  • Raskin’s all-but-certain election to Congress in his Democrat-dominated district will leave a void for many in the State House, where the scraggly haired legislator with the baggy suits has been his colleagues’ go-to guy on constitutional matters and an influential member of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, where he has been praised by Democrats and Republicans, Steve Lash reports in the Daily Record.

HARRIS CHALLENGER THINKS HE HAS A SHOT: Republican voters vastly outnumbered Democrat voters in Maryland’s First Congressional District during the primary election, writes Josh Bollinger in the Easton Star Democrat. This could signify that a Democrat running for the First Congressional District seat faces an uphill battle against Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Andy Harris. Harris got close to 48,600 more votes than the top vote-getter in the Democratic primary. But Harford County attorney Joe Werner thinks he can beat Harris by concentrating on a grassroots Democratic campaign.

FEW VOTING GLITCHES: Despite fears of a botched debut of Maryland’s new voting machines, state election officials say they received few reports of glitches and voter confusion in Tuesday’s primary, Fenit Nirappil writes in the Post. The election marked Maryland’s long-awaited switch to paper ballots tallied by scanner, nearly a decade after lawmakers decided to ditch electronic machines that leave no paper trail.

WA CO VOTER TURNOUT RISES: CJ Lovelace of the Hagerstown Herald Mail writes that, according to unofficial results, voter turnout in Washington County after Maryland’s primary election on Tuesday reflected a 9% jump over the last presidential primary in 2012.

HOGAN WARNS AGENCIES: State agencies were put on notice Wednesday as Gov. Larry Hogan threatened to kill the next contract brought to the Board of Public Works at the 11th hour, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. Hogan made his comments after joining with Comptroller Peter Franchot to delay a decision on an environmental consulting contract. The single-bid contract for $5 million over four years with Annapolis-based Environmental Resources Management had already come under scrutiny because the winning company was also the incumbent contractor.

HOGAN SIGNS MORE BILLS: Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday signed more than 170 bills into law including legislation that would allow college graduates to roll their student loan debt into the purchase of a home, expand voting access in the state, reduce the potential to abuse prescription pain medication and fund a new education initiative announced last winter, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record.

COSTLY, ABANDONED ASYLUMS: Six miles outside of Annapolis lie the decaying bones of a dinosaur, CNS’s Rachel Bluth writes in MarylandReporter.com. They don’t belong to a prehistoric animal, but to Crownsville Hospital Center, a mostly vacant former asylum that costs the State of Maryland around a million dollars a year. Many of the methods used to treat mental illness when Crownsville opened in 1911 have essentially gone extinct.

CITY LIQUOR BOARD APPOINTMENTS: Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and City Council President Jack Young have appointed three new commissioners to the Baltimore Board of Liquor License Commissioners. It’s the first time in recent history the board has been appointed by the city rather than the state. Gov. Larry Hogan appointed four commissioners last year but three were rejected by the state Senate Executive Nominations Committee last month, and Hogan withdrew the other’s nomination, Sarah Meehan reports in the Sun.

  • RT

    So Donna Edwards complains in her loser speech that she was not nominated because she is a woman and a minority. Mikulski says she wants to see more women in the legislature but yet supports a male white democrat. You can’t have it Both ways. It has nothing to do with you wanting a woman in office, its that you want a a woman democrat in office. Party comes before gender and race in both the Dem party and repubs. Period.