State Roundup, May 22, 2018

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The Democratic candidates for governor at their first televised forum. From left: Rushern Baker, Valerie Ervin, Jim Shea, Alec Ross, Rich Madaleno, Krish Vignarajah, James Jones, Ben Jealous.

CANDIDATES DEBATE: In the first televised debate of the election season, Democrats running for Maryland governor attacked popular Republican incumbent Larry Hogan and attempted to stand out by highlighting what little differences exist among their campaigns, Erin Cox and Luke Broadwater of the Sun report.

ERVIN MULLS SUING STATE: Gubernatorial hopeful Valerie L. Ervin, fresh off her participation in the first televised forum of the Democratic primary Monday, served notice that she is prepared to sue the state to get her name onto the June 26 ballot. And she challenged, in direct terms, the legitimacy of the only other female candidate in the race, about whom residency questions have long simmered, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matter reports.

SHEA PROFILED: At 65, Jim Shea is one of the most respected attorneys in Maryland. As guests sipped white wine in a Bethesda home, Shea spoke of how difficult it’s been to become a politician seeking the Democratic nomination for governor. “One of the things you’re supposed to be able to do as a politician is deliver applause lines. That’s new to me,” Shea said. “There are no applause lines in the Court of Appeals. Never had a judge clapped when I made an argument.” Luke Broadwater profiles the gubernatorial hopeful.

HOGAN’s FLUSH: Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford will report today that they raised more than $1 million in about a month this spring, bringing their campaign cash total to more than $9 million — far more than their Democratic challengers, Luke Broadwater of the Sun reports.

REPLACING KAMENETZ: The Baltimore County Council is scheduled to hear public comment tonight on its selection of someone to replace the late Kevin Kamenetz as county executive, reports Pamela Wood for the Sun.

PUBLIC FINANCING IN MO CO: Glynis Kazanjian of MarylandReporter reports that Montgomery County candidates and voters are taking more notice of the source of campaign funds in the first election where public financing is an option. Former County Councilmember Phil Andrews, the architect of the public campaign financing program for county council and county executive races, said he believes some voters will favor candidates using the public financing system. Candidates who use public financing may not accept contributions from PACs, unions, corporations or political committees.

CHANGED ROUTE TO AID DETAINEES: The Montgomery County Council, which had intended to grant nearly $374,000 to a District nonprofit organization to provide legal representation for detained immigrants, plans to alter its approach after the group said it wouldn’t accept the grant because the council lengthened the list of criminal convictions that would disqualify someone from getting aid, Jennifer Barrios of the Post reports.

De SOUSA TO SURRENDER PASSPORTS, ARMS: Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa’s fall from top cop to criminal defendant came into sharp relief Monday, when he agreed in federal court to surrender his passport and any firearms he owns as he awaits trial on the tax charges that led to his recent resignation, Kevin Rector of the Sun reports.

RX POT BARRIERS RISE IN ARUNDEL: The Anne Arundel County Council unanimously voted Monday night to strengthen special requirements for medical marijuana developments, a move that will make it even harder for developers to find sites but will appease residents who have been frustrated with project approvals they view in defiance of county rules, Chase Cook of the Annapolis Capital reports.