Theresa Mitchell Dudley, president of the Prince George’s County teachers union, was standing on a chilly street corner in West Baltimore Tuesday morning, helping to promote the state union’s endorsement of Democrat Ben Jealous for governor that she and her members helped engineer. The endorsement of Jealous on Saturday by teachers from across the state was a major boost for him and a firm rejection of Rushern Baker, the Prince George’s county executive who the teachers there detest for multiple reasons — one of the few points of view they share with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.
In a record year in which 3,127 bills and joint resolutions were introduced, 890 bills or 28% were passed and 142 have already become laws, most of them (114) in Tuesday’s bill signing. At the signing ceremony, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan continued to tout bipartisan cooperation and the contrast with Washington inaction, a theme he plans to carry through his reelection campaign in heavily Democratic Maryland.
Gov. Larry Hogan won this legislative session by not losing too much and not giving Democrats ammunition against his reelection campaign. Hogan also won with success on issues where he cooperated more than usual with Democrats, and by choosing to fight them, and lose, only on issues where he held the high ground.
It was the coldest final day of the Maryland General Assembly that anyone could remember. Sine Die (sign-ee die) in State House speak is usually warm and sunny. For at least nine senators and 29 delegates, it will be the last session in their current posts. Here is a gallery of photos to give a flavor of the day.
Montgomery County legislators continue to advocate many proposals to encourage people to vote, such as same-day voter registration. But one of the most daunting aspects of voting in Montgomery County is the ballot itself.
Maryland’s governor has long been considered one of the most powerful in the country, mainly because of his control over spending and appointments. The Maryland General Assembly has for decades sought to chip away at the governor’s power, mainly through spending mandates and other legal restraints. Last week’s action in the Senate and House to pass a new mandate on school construction and take the governor out of the decisions on what schools should be funded is just another chapter in that ongoing drive to shift the balance of power.
As many a state senator faces a tough primary race or general election, four senators are getting free rides back to the State House with no candidates filed against them in either the primary or the general election by last Tuesday’s filing deadline. The Republican Party named challengers to two Democrats who initially had no opponents after the filing deadline.
The crowded and competitive race for the Democratic nomination to unseat Republican Gov. Larry Hogan was on full display Tuesday night in Columbia as five candidates for governor and four for lieutenant governor wooed and wowed an overflow crowd of about 160. “Any one of them would be better than the person we have now” as governor, said Rushern Baker, the Prince George’s County executive who has a slight edge in favorability over the others in recent polling.
We were so impressed with this analysis of the 30-year career and current political standing of Comptroller Peter Franchot by Adam Pangnucco in the Seventh State blog published Thursday that we asked for permission to publish it in full, unedited except for style. As one confidant of the comptroller said: “He nailed it.” Franchot has a life-time of taking on the establishment and winning