Maryland Divided Part 1: Rural counties hope to gain political clout

The first in a five-part series in the divide between rural Maryland and the rest of the state. Earlier this year when Gov. Larry Hogan took the stage in Annapolis at P.A.C.E., a conference dedicated to Western Maryland, he opened with the following: “When I was sworn in two years ago, I said the war on rural Maryland was over — and I meant what I said.”

MoCo Council candidate closing the gap on qualifying for public funding

Ed Amatetti may become the first Republican to qualify for up $125,000 in matching county funds in the 2018 elections. He is running for Montgomery County Council in District 2, the seat now held by Democrat Craig Rice, who is seeking reelection. Amatetti has raised $8,150 in small dollar donations of the $10,000 needed to qualify for the county’s new public campaign financing fund.

Rascovar: Is Maryland like Georgia and Wisconsin?

Taken together, developments in Georgia (a special election) and Wisconsin (redistricting lawsuit) have been read by some Maryland Republicans as positive indicators that things finally are moving in their direction in a state overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats. a closer look at these two developments paints a far less rosy picture for Maryland’s minority party, outnumbered 2-1 by Free State Democrats.

Term limits create opportunities for women to run for Montgomery County Council

Only one of the two women currently serving on Montgomery’s nine-member County Council — Nancy Navarro — is up for re-election next year when four incumbents must vacate their seats because of new term limits. This leaves plenty of opportunity for new female candidates to fill those seats on what has historically been a council dominated by men. So far, three women are running for council seats, and at least two others are considering it. The list is likely to grow longer.

In competitive MoCo council race, Democrat turns to crowdfunding; two Republicans already filed

A Democratic candidate seeking public campaign financing in Montgomery’s most competitive County Council District said he will use Crowdpac, an Internet-based crowdfunding platform that draws donors from across the country, to raise money for his campaign. Montgomery’s public campaign finance laws prohibit candidates from accepting campaign contributions from PACs or organized political committees. Fundraising through Crowdpac, however, is permitted, according to the State Board of Elections.

Fed up with Annapolis, McDonough sets sights on Towson executive

Delegate Pat McDonough has “had it with the legislature,” he said. “It will be torture for me even to go back for the last session,” said the populist conservative from Middle River in Baltimore County. Now the four-term delegate has set his sights on the Towson courthouse, hoping to become county executive for Maryland’s third largest county that has turned more Republican over the past decade, particularly on its east side.