State Roundup, June 26, 2018

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REGISTRATION PROBLEM HITS 80,000: In a stunning last-minute development on the eve of Maryland’s primary election, the state Motor Vehicle Administration admitted Monday that the number of residents who thought they changed their voter registration, but actually had not because of an agency computer glitch, is now estimated to be 80,000 – more than four times the number officials initially reported over the weekend, reports William Zorzi in Maryland Matters.

VOTERS GUIDES: If you’re still trying to make up your mind about Tuesday’s election, here are links to several voters guides:

190 WOMEN RUNNING: With the #MeToo movement and the ongoing national conversation of sexual harassment and discrimination in the workforce, a record number of women have signed up as candidates for political office. Maryland is right in the thick of it: More than 190 women in Maryland registered as candidates for offices ranging from Congress, governor, comptroller and the state legislature for Tuesday’s primary. Currently the Free State’s record is mixed, Marie Robey Wood of Maryland Matters writes.

BAKER’s WIFE TAKEN TO HOSPITAL: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rushern L. Baker III missed a scheduled campaign stop Monday morning at the Silver Spring Metro Station because his wife was taken the hospital early that morning. But wife Christa Beverly “is doing well and is now home resting,” Baker said in a tweet Monday afternoon thanking people for their concern, Glynis Kazanjian of Maryland Reporter reports. Beverly suffers from dementia and Baker is her caregiver. 

SHEA FOCUSES ON HOME TURF: The way Jim Shea sees it, it’s a good sign that there are a lot of undecided Democratic voters in the gubernatorial race. It could still make him the upset victor Tuesday in a crowded race of six major candidates and become the party nominee to face Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the fall. And Shea has turned his attention back to his home turf – Baltimore City and Baltimore County – after having criss-crossed the state campaigning for months, in an effort to squeeze out a few more votes in his favor and increase his vote margins in those outlying areas, William Zorzi of Maryland Matters writes.

QUICK GUIDE TO GOV PRIMARY: Just now tuning in to the Maryland race for governor? You’ve got a lot of company. Here is the Sun’s quick guide to everything you need to know about the gubernatorial primary.

ON THE RACES: On the eve of today’s primary election, Sun reporters Erin Cox, Luke Broadwater and Pamela Wood talk with columnist Dan Rodricks about the campaigns for Maryland governor, Baltimore County executive, Baltimore State’s Attorney and other offices.

GROWING SPLIT IN DEM PARTY: Analysts say the races for governor, county executive in Prince George’s and Baltimore counties and seats in the state legislature reflect the growing tension in the party between party establishment and progressives, reports Ovetta Wiggins of the Post. “It’s up and down the ballot,” said Todd Eberly, a professor of political science at St. Mary’s College.

VOTING IN ARUNDEL: Chase Cook of the Annapolis Capital offers a primary primer on what you need to know before you go to vote in Anne Arundel County.

VOTING IN WASHINGTON CO: Tamela Baker of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail explains what voters in Washington County can expect when they go to the polls today.

VOTING IN CECIL: There are a bunch of local races in Cecil County and the Cecil Whig has rounded them up in one long list.

VOTING ON THE MID-SHORE: The Easton Star Democrat rounds up not only the statewide races but those that impact the mid-shore counties of Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester and Kent.

DEM CENTRAL COMMITTEE TO CHANGE: Samuel Manas of Maryland Matters writes that the Baltimore City Democratic Central Committee has 42 seats, and this year an unprecedented 109 people are running in the primary for seats on the body. About half of the sitting members of the Democratic committee chose not to file for reelection, meaning that at least half of those seats will be filled by outsider candidates and interest in these downballot races is running high.

GILCHRIST BACKS DEMOCRAT OVER HARRIS: Democrats in Maryland’s 1st Congressional District are poised to decide who will take on four-term incumbent Rep. Andy Harris (R) in November. And one longtime Harris foe — fellow Republican and former congressman Wayne Gilchrest — hopes they choose Jesse Colvin (D).

STEM GROUP BACKS DEL. MILLER: Leading off Bethesda Beat’s Politics Roundup column, Louis Peck and Andrew Metcalf write that Del. Aruna Miller, who has sought to highlight her engineering background in her bid for the District 6 congressional seat this year, is getting a late boost from a political committee that, according to its website, is devoted to “electing more STEM [Science Technology Engineering Math] candidates to office.”

UNION YANKS EFFORTS FOR TWO IN PRIMARY: In the run-up to today’s Democratic primary, a major union in Montgomery County has pulled back on efforts to elect two state legislative candidates it earlier had endorsed. While Gabriel Acevero and Julian Haffner—running in competitive primaries for House of Delegates in District 39 and District 17, respectively—retain the formal endorsement of UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO, union President Gino Renne confirmed reports that MCGEO had halted canvassing and voter outreach on behalf of the two candidates in the closing days of the campaign, Louis Peck reports in Bethesda Beat.

MUSE FAILS TO FILE CAMPAIGN REPORT: A sitting member of the Maryland legislature appears to have blown off the most recent deadline for filing fundraising reports. Sen. Anthony Muse (D), a candidate for Prince George’s County executive, failed to file an updated contribution and expenditure report 10 days ago, as required by law, Bruce DePuyt reports in Maryland Matters.

SMITH PAC PUSHES ALMOND: A political committee controlled by a top aide to Mayor Catherine Pugh continues to send out flyers advocating Vicki Almond as Baltimore County’s next executive. The Baltimore County Victory Slate, founded and controlled by Jim Smith, Pugh’s director of strategic alliances, authorized attack mailers against Jim Brochin, Almond’s chief rival, describing him as a liar in the pocket of the National Rifle Association. The misleading flyers were issued last week, Mark Reutter of Baltimore Brew reports.

FEDERAL AID FOR FLOOD DAMAGE: Gov. Larry Hogan has asked President Donald Trump to declare last month’s deadly Ellicott City flood a major disaster for Baltimore, and Howard and Baltimore counties, which would qualify those areas for federal relief funding, Colin Campbell of the Sun reports.

FEDS CONSIDER I-295 OWNERSHIP TRANSFER: The federal government has agreed to study ways of transferring ownership of a 19-mile stretch of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (Interstate 295) to Maryland, federal and state officials announced Monday — a key step in Gov. Larry Hogan’s $9 billion highway expansion plan, Colin Campbell of the Sun reports.