State Roundup, August 29, 2018

Print More

JEALOUS’s COFFERS: Heading into the post-Labor Day homestretch of Maryland’s governor’s race, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has about $9 million more in campaign cash than his Democratic challenger Ben Jealous, according to fundraising totals. The Jealous campaign said Tuesday the former NAACP president and his running mate Susan Turnbull had raised more than $1 million in about two months, but only had about $386,000 on hand — compared to more than $9.4 million for the Hogan campaign, Luke Broadwater writes in the Sun.

JEALOUS SETS TV AD DATE: Gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous and his Democratic allies said Tuesday that they plan to begin airing television ads after Labor Day to rebut the onslaught of negative messaging Republicans have put on the airwaves since early July, and they say turnout — not spending — will determine the winner in November, Ovetta Wiggins and Erin Cox report in the Post.

JEALOUS EYES STATE CENTER FUTURE: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous released a new policy paper Tuesday focused on moving ahead quickly with the State Center redevelopment project in West Baltimore, Luke Broadwater reports in the Sun. If elected governor, Jealous pledged to drop the state’s lawsuit against the previous developer of State Center, Ekistics LLC; renegotiate a pricey lease agreement that Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration says is too expensive; and green-light a redevelopment plan backed by a dozen community groups near the project.

DEMS DISS HOGAN ED FUN AD: A new digital ad released this week by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan calling on voters this fall to approve a so-called “lockbox” to ensure casino revenue increases funding for public schools is rankling Democrats, reports Luke Broadwater in the Sun. The state’s Democratic Party argued Tuesday that Hogan is taking credit for their work with the six-figure ad buy and misrepresenting his record on public education.

GUN LAWS TO BE REVIEWED: A Maryland legislator says laws regarding firearms possession and mental health will be revisited in the next General Assembly session. Sen. Bobby Zirkin, who chairs the Judicial Proceedings Committee, said Tuesday the shooting at a Florida video game tournament by a suspect from Maryland highlights the need to examine laws regarding the time someone can be voluntarily admitted to a psychiatric facility and still pass a background check, the AP is reporting.

TARGET ON KOPP? Democrats who have grown irritated at the use of a powerful three-member state panel as a bully pulpit are drawing a bead on one of their own. Comptroller Peter Franchot, long reviled by members of his own party for his bipartisan bromance with Republican Larry Hogan, is surprisingly not the focus, Bryan Sears reports for the Daily Record. Instead, some lawmakers are taking a critical look at Treasurer Nancy Kopp as they look for ways to strengthen their voice on the Board of Public Works.

PARCC SCORES: The scores of Maryland elementary and middle school students inched up this year on the annual math and English assessments, with an unusually strong increase in Baltimore City, Liz Bowie and Talia Richman report for the Sun. The increase in the pass rate among city students outpaced nearly all other school systems in the region, and was nearly twice the state average in reading on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, tests. Under schools CEO Sonja Santelises, the city has focused intensely on academic improvement.

STATE SENATE RACE FUNDS: Incumbents – and quasi-incumbents – continue to have a fundraising edge in Maryland’s most competitive state Senate elections. But the gap between the incumbents and their challengers appears to be narrowing. Six races – all in districts that Gov. Larry Hogan Jr. (R) won handily four years ago – will be closely fought this fall. At most a handful of others could be reasonably competitive, Josh Kurtz writes in Maryland Matters.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT ROUNDUP: Incumbents are winning the money chase in three highly competitive county executive elections. But the challengers are picking up the pace with the general election just 10 weeks away, Josh Kurtz writes in this roundup of campaign finance reports.

BUCKS FOR FLOREEN: Nancy Floreen, the Democrat turned independent making a bid for Montgomery County executive, has raised more than $340,000 for the effort — much of it from real estate developers and business leaders. Floreen, a 16-year at-large County Council member, shed her longtime party affiliation to run for Montgomery’s top elected position after Marc Elrich was declared the winner of the June 26 Democratic primary, Jennifer Barrios reports in the Post.

OLSZEWSKI LEADS REDMER: Democrat Johnny Olszewski Jr., who survived a bruising Democratic primary with a 17-vote victory over state Sen. Jim Brochin to run for Baltimore County executive, reported that he has about $421,000 in the bank heading into the final months before the Nov. 6 general election, Pamela Wood reports in the Sun. His Republican opponent Al Redmer has reported having a little more than $118,000 in the bank.

FICKER SCOUTS AMAZON HQ1: Every city, county and state trying to lure Amazon’s second headquarters is looking for any possible advantage. Could Montgomery County’s secret weapon be gadfly and Republican nominee for county executive Robin Ficker? Ficker arrived in Seattle late Monday night for what he called “meetings” at the e-commerce giant’s headquarters on Wednesday, Bruce DePuyt reports in Maryland Matters. “I’m going to be taking a look at HQ1, because we want to know what we’re going to be doing with HQ2,” h said. “And what better way to do that than to see HQ1?”

ALSOBROOKS A SHOO IN: It appears that Angela D. Alsobrooks’ bid to become Prince George’s County executive has just gone from cakewalk to coronation, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters writes. Jerry Mathis, her Republican opponent, has declined to accept his party’s nomination, according to paperwork filed with the Maryland State Board of Elections.