State Roundup, June 5, 2018

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JUDGE SIDES WITH ELECTIONS BOARD ON BALLOTS: Siding with state elections officials Monday, a circuit court judge allowed them to proceed with Maryland’s forthcoming primary with ballots that do not include the name of Valerie Ervin, the last-minute Democratic candidate for governor, Ian Duncan of the Sun reports. Ervin’s name will appear instead on ballots as the running mate of the late Kevin Kamenetz, the former Baltimore County executive who had been one of the leading contenders in the June 26 Democratic primary before dying of a heart attack in early May.

POLL: DEMS UNDECIDED ON GOVERNOR: Three weeks before their primary, Maryland Democrats remain largely undecided about who to nominate for governor, according to a new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll, in a race overshadowed by record popularity for incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Former NAACP president Benjamin Jealous and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker lead the sizable Democratic pack, the survey finds. But the outcome of the race probably will depend on the nearly four in 10 likely voters who have not yet settled on a candidate, reports the Washington Post.

DEM TV DEBATE TODAY: With just 10 days left before early voting begins, the seven major Democratic candidates in the race for Maryland governor today are scheduled to engage in their longest televised debate yet, writes Erin Cox in the Sun. The candidates will be questioned by a trio of panelists from the Sun, WJZ-TV and the University of Baltimore’s Schaefer Center for Public Policy during a debate that will air at 6 p.m. on WJZ-TV.

CRIME WEIGHS ON GOVERNORS RACE: With years of record-breaking homicide rates in Baltimore and a police department facing continued upheaval, the Democratic contenders for Maryland governor often talk about how they would tame crime in the state’s largest city when discussing public safety policy, Lyn Bui of the Post reports. The focus on Baltimore makes sense practically and politically.

ARE YOU READY TO VOTE IN PRIMARY?: The editorial board of the Carroll County Times reminds voters that Maryland’s primary election is just three weeks from today. That also means that today, Tuesday, June 5, is the last opportunity to register to vote if you wish to cast a ballot in the Tuesday, June 26, primary election or during the early voting period which begins June 14 and continues through June 21. If you’re already registered, you have nothing to worry about. If you’re not sure, you can easily check by visiting www.elections.maryland.gov and clicking on “Look up your voter information.”

POOR PEOPLE’s PROTEST: Five people were arrested at the Maryland State House on Monday as they participated in civil disobedience as part of the revived Poor People’s Campaign originally launched by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years ago, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun. The five were among several dozen people who rallied outside the State House in the name of social and environmental justice. It was the fourth such protest in Annapolis in as many weeks. As at the others, there were arrests when participants entered the State House and refused to end their protests.

JENNINGS ENDORSES LARKIN FOR DELEGATE: In an unusual move for Senate Minority Leader J.B. Jennings in a competitive GOP primary, he has endorsed his former district director Tammy Larkin for delegate in District 7 for the seat being vacated by Del. Pat McDonough. Besides incumbent Dels. Rick Impallaria and Kathy Szeliga in this Baltimore County-Harford County district, there 11 Republicans seeking the third seat. Larkin was a founder of Conservative Women for Maryland, co-founder of Club Conservative in Baltimore County, state director of Women for Ehrlich, and has worked on the Change Maryland campaign for candidate Larry Hogan in 2014. MarylandReporter.com

JENNINGS AIDS ACCIDENT VICTIM: Sen. J.B. Jennings, in an extremely personal note on his Facebook page, tells what happened to his babysitter a mere four minutes after she left his family to return home. A drunk driver crossed the center line and hit her car, breaking her femur in two places and trapping her upsidedown in the overturned vehicle. He stayed with her all the way to Shock Trauma to comfort her.

DISTRICT 20 TICKET: With less than two weeks to go until the start of early voting in the June 26 primary, three incumbent Democratic legislators seeking re-election in Silver Spring/Takoma Park-based District 20 have tapped Lorig Charkoudian—a Takoma Park activist who heads a statewide organization promoting community mediation—to join their slate, Louis Peck of Bethesda Beat reports.

MO CO PRIMARY GUIDE: Here’s Bethesda Beat’s Primary Election Guide. Bethesda Beat gathered biographical information from candidates running for Montgomery County executive and council, as well as the congressional and Maryland General Assembly seats representing Montgomery County and for other county offices. Only a few candidates did not respond after multiple attempts to reach them.

ON DONNA EDWARDS: In the 2nd of a series of profiles of people running for Prince George’s County executive, Rachel Chason of the Post writes that when Donna F. Edwards was studying for the bar exam, she could afford review classes but did not have enough money to pay for a sitter for her toddler. Determined to pass, she came up with a solution: forgo the class, buy review books and study in a park — her son on a blanket at her side. Her supporters say that sort of persistence has defined Edwards as she has gone from local activism to Congress to a failed bid for Senate and, now, to the race to become Prince George’s County’s next county executive.

RACE FOR BA CO EXEC: Democratic voters in Baltimore County soon will be making a choice between three political veterans who are running for the party’s nomination for county executive, John Lee of WYPR-FM reports. Early voting begins next week, on June 14. The hotly contested three-way race is between state Sen. Jim Brochin, County Councilwoman Vicki Almond, and former state Del. Johnny Olszewski Jr.

GREEN CANDIDATE DROPS OUT: Green Party candidate Sterling Sanders confirmed Monday afternoon that he plans to withdraw from the race for Washington County Board of Commissioners, Julie Greene reports in the Hagerstown Herald Mail. “I have some personal issues that I need to take care of … ” Sanders said in a phone interview. About an hour earlier, he had posted a message on his Facebook page that he was going to leave the political race.

JUDGE QUESTIONS DEL. IMPALLARIA: A federal judge questioned state Del. Richard Impallaria on Monday on his motivations for organizing town halls and sending letters to Harford County officials urging them to cease issuing permits to a retirement community being marketed to Muslim buyers, Heather Cobun of the Daily Record reports. U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III frequently addressed Impallaria, R-Baltimore and Harford, while the delegate was on the witness stand as part of a multiday hearing about a Joppatown development the builders allege has stalled after the county gave into public into public pressure to halt the project because of its connection to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

FOAM CONTAINER BAN DEBATE IN ARUNDEL: Polystyrene foam take-out containers were the topic of lively debate Monday night as the Anne Arundel County Council considered prohibiting restaurants from using the controversial material, reports Chase Cook in the Annapolis Capital. Bill 49-18 would ban the use of polystyrene foam containers, which are commonly given out as containers and cups when traveling with food.