State Roundup, June 28, 2018

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DEMOCRATIC VOTER, HOGAN BACKER: In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1, the popular Republican Gov. Larry Hogan appears to be inoculating himself from a backlash against a president many Democratic voters despise. After voting in the closed primary on Tuesday, many registered Democrats — even in blue strongholds such as the D.C. suburbs and Baltimore — said they either planned to vote for Hogan in the general election or are strongly considering doing so. Their comments illustrate the steep path facing Ben Jealous, a Bernie Sanders-style liberal campaigning on a progressive platform of universal health care, debt-free college and a $15 minimum wage, Steve Thompson and Fenit Nirappil report in the Post.

HOGAN, JEALOUS TRADE BARBS: The Sun’s Scott Dance and Luke Broadwater write that Republican Gov. Larry Hogan wasted little time kicking off his re-election effort Wednesday, declaring his newly minted Democratic rival, Ben Jealous, “too risky” and “too extreme” for Maryland. At precisely the same time in Baltimore, Jealous was railing against Hogan — painting him as an ineffective governor who partners with the Trump administration on far-right policies.

CAN JEALOUS WIN? The day after defeating a crowded Democratic field for Maryland governor, former NAACP president Ben Jealous predicted victory against his next opponent: Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Luke Broadwater of the Sun reports that Jealous on Wednesday compared his victory over five other competitive Democratic primary campaigns to climbing the second-highest mountain in the world.

WHY BAKER LOST: Arelis Hernandez of the Post looks at the problems surrounding the campaign of Rushern Baker and sees that Baker kept a small circle of advisers, was slow to react to national news, didn’t get out to meet voters enough and did not court the endorsements of organizations he should have had.

MILLER LOSES ALLIES: Of all the winners in the Maryland Democratic primaries on Tuesday, no one lost more than Mike Miller. The Senate president decisively beat a challenger in his own district. But the loss of allies in other races struck at the very foundation of his 32-year reign over the upper chamber, Michael Dresser of the Sun reports. Incumbent Senate Democrats in four races fell or were poised to fall to progressive challengers. “For the longest time, you would never put ‘Miller’ and ‘vulnerable’ together in the same sentence,” St. Mary’s College political scientist Todd Eberly said. “Now you can do it and it doesn’t sound preposterous.”

  • “I call it a political earthquake,” said Larry Stafford, executive director of Progressive Maryland, which backed candidates who defeated two powerful Democratic committee chairs and the Senate’s president pro tem. Rachel Chason and Teo Armus of the Post write that Stafford said progressive activists will now have much more leverage to push for a $15 minimum wage, which has previously stalled in the General Assembly; universal health care; and “policies to better protect immigrants.”
  • Del. Joseph F. Vallario Jr., the influential chair of the House Judiciary Committee for the past quarter-century, will leave the General Assembly in January – but not voluntarily, writes Steve Lash in the Daily Record. In a result few expected, the Prince George’s County Democrat finished third among House candidates in Tuesday’s primary election, when only the top two – Del. Marvin E. Holmes Jr. and former school board member Ron Watson – qualified for November’s General Election. “I’m unemployed,” Vallario said Wednesday.

MVA AIDS BALLOT REVIEW: The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has provided the state elections board with a spreadsheet listing all the voters affected by a data transfer glitch — information that will be a vital part of efforts to make sure the votes of thousands of affected people are counted. On the eve of Tuesday’s election, the MVA discovered that it had failed to send the election board voter registration information for 80,000 people, Ian Duncan and Yvonne Wenger of the Sun report.

NO DEM NOMINEE YET FOR BA CO EXEC: It could be the end of next week before a winner can be declared in the Democratic primary for Baltimore County executive, a race that ended Tuesday night with the top three candidates separated by just over 1,000 votes, Pamela Wood reports in the Sun. Former state Del. Johnny Olszewski Jr. held a 346-vote lead over state Sen. Jim Brochin. County Councilwoman Vicki Almond was 727 votes behind Brochin. Elections officials say there are thousands of absentee and provisional ballots still to count.

COUNTING NOT OVER IN MO CO EXEC RACE: The vote-counting process to determine the Democratic nominee for Montgomery County executive is expected to play out over the next week as absentee and provisional ballots are counted. Andrew Metcalf of Bethesda Beat writes. Potomac businessman David Blair trails at-large County Council member Marc Elrich of Takoma Park by 452 votes after all the county’s primary election day precincts reported results. The count is also expected to decide the race for the Democratic nomination for the third District 16 delegate seat in which teacher Samir Paul holds a 118-vote lead over former ACLU public policy director Sara Love.

MO CO STATE HOUSE RACES: Del. Jeff Waldstreicher of Kensington Tuesday came out on top of what was the county’s most visible—and arguably its nastiest—state legislative race this year: the battle for the District 18 Senate seat held for the last 12 years by Democrat Rich Madaleno. Meanwhile, Dels. Marice Morales of Silver Spring and Shane Robinson of Montgomery Village became the county’s first sitting legislators in eight years to be ousted from office, losing their seats in District 19 and District 39, respectively. Andrew Metcalf reports in Bethesda Beat.

WASHINGTON WON’T CLAIM VICTORY YET: Del. Mary Washington held a lead of more than 500 votes in her race against Sen. Joan Carter Conway for a Baltimore seat in the Maryland Senate Wednesday but said she was not yet prepared to claim victory. Conway, a 22-year veteran senator who chairs a powerful Senate committee, trailed Washington by 529 votes in the Democratic primary election with all but two of the 43rd District’s 55 precincts counted. Absentee and provisional ballots also remain to be tallied in the North Baltimore district, Michael Dresser reports in the Sun.

LAM BEATS SIGATY IN HOWARD SENATE RACE: In a race to replace retired District 12 state Sen. Edward J. Kasemeyer, state Del. Clarence Lam notched a wide victory over Howard County Council member Mary Kay Sigaty in the June 26 Democratic primary election, Cody Boteler of the Catonsville Times reports. In total, Lam received 9,243 votes and Sigaty, 3,466. District 12 stretches from parts of Columbia in Howard County into Catonsville and Arbutus in Baltimore County. Lam received 67% of the vote in Baltimore County and about 75% of the vote in Howard County.

SEN. WAUGH LOSES: In a hotly contested race between two GOP candidates for the District 29 senate seat, Sen. Steve Waugh (R-St. Mary’s, Calvert) was defeated by his challenger Jack Bailey on Tuesday in the Republican primary, reports Dandan Zou of the St. Mary’s Enterprise. Winning the race by a margin of 10 percentage points, Bailey will go on to face Democrat Thomas Brewer of Great Mills, who had no opponent in the primary, in November’s general election.

NO YEAR OF WOMAN IN MONTGOMERY: In deeply blue Montgomery County, where the June primary often determines who wins in the November general election, only one woman won the Democratic nomination for a council seat in Tuesday’s primary. So while Democrats chose four new faces in addition to the five Democratic incumbents on the County Council, Nancy Navarro, the council’s vice president, probably will be the only woman on the body for the first time in about 30 years, Jennifer Barrios of the Post reports.

RIEMER WINS AT-LARGE MO CO COUNCIL SEAT: Two-term Montgomery County Council member Hans Riemer of Takoma Park, the only one of four at-large incumbents allowed to seek re-election in the wake of the 2016 referendum imposing term limits, Tuesday finished first in a primary that attracted a record 33 candidates, reports Louis Peck in Bethesda Beat. The other three at-large nominations went to the three men who were widely seen as the favorites in the closing weeks of the primary—former Obama administration Will Jawando of Silver Spring, former journalist/long-time Silver Spring civic activist Evan Glass, and county Department of Recreation director Gabe Albornoz.

YEAR OF WOMAN IN ARUNDEL: The editorial board for the Annapolis Capital sums up the race in Anne Arundel County, writing that at least in Anne Arundel County, “the year of the woman” is no longer a mere slogan. At a minimum, the fall election will put two women on the currently all-male County Council: There are all-female general election races in Districts 1 and 5, and there is one woman candidate each in Districts 2, 3, 6 and 7.

ARUNDEL’s GOP TURNOUT DOWN: Anne Arundel County turnout was down for Republicans and up slightly for Democrats in a primary election where early voting foreshadowed record numbers that didn’t materialize, Chase Cook reports in the Annapolis Capital. Republican turnout was down about 5% with about 21% turnout compared to 26% in 2014’s gubernatorial primary. Democrats were up about 1% with about 24% turnout compared to 23% in 2014.

DELAUTER SHUNS PARTY UNITY: November’s general election could give Frederick County and the state a chance to see one of the biggest shifts of power in favor of Republicans in recent memory, says Sen. Michael Hough. But first, the party needs to present a unified front. Kirby Delauter, who lost his GOP primary race for Frederick County executive to Del. Kathy Afzali, has a different idea. He’ll be supporting the third party candidate, Allen Etzler reports for the Frederick News Post.

WA CO BOARD INCUMBENTS WIN: The three GOP incumbents for the Washington County Board of Commissioners survived a field of 10 competitors to advance to the Nov. 6 general election, Julie Greene reports for the Hagerstown Herald Mail. Incumbents Terry L. Baker, Jeff Cline and Wayne K. Keefer, an appointee who joined the five-member board in 2016, won on Tuesday. They will be joined by Randall Wagner and Cort Meinelschmidt in the fall race against Democratic — and potentially some unaffiliated— candidates.

TIGHT RACE IN HOWARD COUNCIL: Democrat Liz Walsh entered the District 1 Howard County Council race four months ago and has raised a fraction of the funds compared to her opponent, incumbent Jon Weinstein. Following Tuesday’s primary, 41 votes separate them. Weinstein got 50.3% of the district’s 6,137 votes during the primary and early voting. More than 1,500 absentee and provisional ballots remain to be tallied before election certification on July 6. So who is this political newcomer who could take down the seemingly popular incumbent?

10 SEPARATED CHILDREN IN MARYLAND’s CARE: Ten children who were separated from their families at the border under President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy against illegal immigration are being cared for in three Maryland facilities, federal officials told Gov. Larry Hogan this week. Ian Duncan of the Sun reports that a spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services said the three facilities provide foster care services and are in good standing with the state.