Speaker Busch makes major leadership changes, presuming his own re-election

House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch announced major changes in the House leadership Tuesday that presumes he and many of his Democratic appointees will be re-elected against Republican opponents and he himself will be re-elected speaker to an unprecedented fifth term. The most dramatic change is the generational shift in the House Judiciary Committee where Del. Luke Clippinger, 45, of Baltimore City becomes chairman and Del. Vanessa Atterbeary of Howard County, 43, becomes vice-chair, the only first-term legislator to hold such a key role in a major standing committee.

Photo Gallery: Politicos work the Tawes crab feast

The crowds seemed a little thinner this year around the corporate tents of the 42nd annual Tawes crab feast in Crisfield, although they did bunch up around Gov. Larry Hogan as he worked the event for three hours, posing with all comers. The day was cooler than usual, in the mid-80s with lower humidity and nice breeze from the northwest.

Franchot opponent claims ethics violation over comptroller coins

Comptroller Peter Franchot’s little known Republican opponent, Anjali Reed Phukan, said she plans to file an ethics complaint this week against the three-term incumbent for passing out embossed medallions that bear the authority line of his campaign committee. Franchot has been passing out the coins to thousands of people for at least five years, reviving a tradition started by the late Comptroller Louie Goldstein.

Democratic primary voters move to the left, with Jealous at the top

Democratic primary voters in Maryland moved their party to the left on Tuesday. Younger, more progressive candidates beat older establishment liberals in key races, led by the energetic performance of former NAACP president Ben Jealous, who will face Republican Gov. Larry Hogan as their nominee in the fall. The strong showing by Jealous, carrying all but two counties against an underfunded Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, may have been a key factor in progressive victories down the ballot, particularly in the Baltimore region. Jealous got almost 40% of the vote statewide against eight opponents.

In MoCo exec race, Comcast refuses Blair request to take down attack ad

David Blair, a Democratic candidate for Montgomery County executive, objected so strongly to a cable TV ad attacking him that his lawyers told Comcast Spotlight that it “should remove or reject it.” But after reviewing the ad by the Progressive Maryland Liberation Alliance PAC, Comcast Spotlight said it found the ad part of “reasonable political debate” and continues to run the ad on cable channels in Montgomery County.

Chinese sister state promoting more trade with Maryland

This week, Anhui province has sent its largest delegation to Maryland with the aim of increasing trade and tourism. Gov. Larry Hogan declared the week Maryland-Anhui Promotion Week, and “both want to re-invigorate the partnership,” said Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford Tuesday kicking off a two-day event at the Rockville Hilton.

Ballot afterlife: To support Ervin, vote for Kamenetz

Kevin Kamenetz may have been buried May 11, but he remains very much alive on Democratic primary ballots. The death of the Baltimore County executive as he campaigned for governor exposed problems with Maryland election laws, as well as long-standing constitutional issues with the job of lieutenant governor.

State Roundup, May 18, 2018

Valerie Ervin will run; cites national funding base; picks Johnson as running mate; Ervin seen as more progressive that Kamenetz; Ticket could catch lightning; nine Dems to debate; would-be challengers agree – more transit; Jealous won’t play it safe; public will get input in Kamenetz replacement; Alsobrooks launches ads; bill defines ‘agritourism’