State Roundup, July 16, 2018

Maryland officials investigate Russian investor’s ties to software vendor that maintains portion of state’s voter registration system, say that there is no indication of election interference; thousands of voters may have opted out after MVA registration glitch forces provisional ballot use; after recount, Johnny Olszewski again declared winner in Democratic primary for Baltimore County exec; now he faces Republican Al Redmer; mostly older, white Democrats line up behind Republican Gov. Larry Hogan; foes find Facebook post from third-party Montgomery exec hopeful Nancy Floreen decrying third-party voters in 2016 presidential election; and MGM National Harbor expansion adds more gambling venues.

State Roundup, July 13, 2018

State lawmakers grill MVA, Board of Elections over glitch that impacted 72,000 people attempting to register to vote; retired state workers rally over pending elimination of prescription drug coverage; Gov. Hogan’s real estate business, in a trust, continues to thrive; Republican Governors Association launches negative ad campaign against Hogan’s Democratic rival for governor Ben Jealous; as recount begins in Baltimore County executive race, in Montgomery County, David Blair considers asking for one as well; prosecutors ask judge to sentence former Sen. Oaks to five years; U.S. Senate passes resolution honoring Capital Gazette murder victims; Howard County Exec Kittleman gets police union backing that eluded him four years ago; and Muslim group accepts Hagerstown mayor’s apology, while encouraging him to meet with members.

State Roundup, July 12, 2018

Gov. Hogan backs former foe Ron George for state Senate as Republicans “Drive for Five” to get critical 19 votes in Senate to block veto overrides; Nancy Floreen jumps into Montgomery County exec race as independent to offer alternative to “flawed extremes;” Comptroller Franchot says sports betting issue should wait till new session starts instead of allowing “lame duck” lawmakers to handle it; U.S. Congress pauses to honor slain Capital Gazette employees as plans get under way for memorial, press freedom festival; with Liz Walsh winning by a whisper, Howard County Council to have all new members; and Hagerstown mayor rethinks labeling London mayor a “terrorist,” apologizes.

State Roundup, July 11, 2018

The recount in Democratic primary for Baltimore County executive will begin Thursday; former state Sen. Oaks asks judge for 18-month prison sentence as opposed to eight to 10 years recommended; GOP opponent to Comptroller Franchot files ethics complaint over his embossed medallions; U.S. Rep. Hoyer released from hospital after bout with pneumonia; Hagerstown Mayor Bruchey labels London’s Muslim mayor a “terrorist;” Maryland falls six spots to No. 31 in latest business friendly state ranking; and in Baltimore County school news: embattled interim Super Verletta White gets a one-year contract and board candidate Peter Beilenson drops out of race to take job in California.

State Roundup, July 10, 2018

President Trump picks conservative Marylander Brett Kavanaugh, a appellate judge, to serve on the Supreme Court as Democrats begin to find fault; Montgomery business leaders look to potential independent candidate Nancy Floreen instead of progressive Dem Marc Elrich as Montgomery County exec hopeful to back, but Dems see problem with splitting their votes between the two; Jim Brochin to file for recount in Baltimore County exec race; recounts expected in other tight races in Howard, Anne Arundel and Montgomery counties; extensive repairs to Lawyers Mall means Thurgood Marshall statue will have to be moved; and slain journalist Wendi Winters charged shooter, saving others’ lives.

State Roundup, July 9, 2018

With 9 vote lead, Del. Olszewski declared winner in Baltimore County executive race; state Sen. Brochin plans to seek a recount; in Montgomery County exec race, Marc Elrich wins by 80 votes; HoCo Council incumbent loses by 2 votes; African American establishment cautiously optimistic on Progressive’s Ben Jealous’ chances to beat Gov. Hogan; Hogan releases three years of tax returns, which show he made $2.4 million, most from real estate business; elections board, MVA agree on exact number of voters with errors in registration; state investigating complaint by ex-employees of pesticide use at medical marijuana grower; as waters rise, Smith Islanders rely on government-built jetties, God to protect their homes; Del. Washington claims victory over Sen. Carter Conway; and Schuh-Pittman race for Arundel County executive hits the ground running.

State Roundup, July 6, 2018

With provisional, absentee ballots still uncounted, gap closes in Elrich-Blair race for Montgomery executive; Howard County Council incumbent now only four votes ahead; transportation group says state’s BaltimoreLink bus service falls short of state plans for reliable service; special session on sports betting more likely; despite President Trump’s announcement rescinding Obama era order on race, UM to continue commitment to diverse student population; newsrooms around the country observe moment of silence in honor of slain Capital Gazette staffers; and the brother of a candidate for House of Delegates is arrested after threatening her.

State Roundup, July 5, 2018

Ben Jealous challenges Gov. Hogan over commitment to women’s reproductive rights as President Trump on verge of nominating SCOTUS pick; Google stops accepting state and local political ads in Maryland; Maryland can company seeks exclusion from Trump steel tariffs; state looks to recruiter to fill 1,000 corrections positions; Rep. Sarbanes confirms that Trump initially refused to request on lowering flags to honor slain Capital Gazette employees; U.S. Rep. Hoyer being treated for pneumonia; Montgomery County exec nominee Robin Ficker to get public campaign funds after all; and a former Prince George’s councilman to retake his seat.

State Roundup, July 3, 2018

Pretrial jail population in Prince George’s rose after bail reform, new study finds; President Trump OKs disaster aid for Ellicott City, other Maryland towns impacted by May storms; retired state employees given two months to switch prescription drug programs; park panel asks Supreme Court to hear Bladensburg Cross case; Democratic Comptroller Franchot won’t endorse Ben Jealous for governor; two independents seek county executive ballot spots: Earl Robbins in Frederick and Nancy Floreen in Montgomery; GOP candidate for Montgomery exec Robin Ficker sues over public campaign financing; Capital Gazette murder suspect apparently sent three threatening letters on day of shooting; and Annapolis mayor plans press freedom celebration, fundraiser in honor of slain Capital Gazette employees.

State Roundup, July 2, 2018

As news organizations throughout the state continue to come to grips with last week’s mass murder at the Capital Gazette: we can read of first-person accounts of the shooting in the Annapolis Capital, an editorial reveals that along with the outpouring of sympathy came more death threats and cheers over the murders, a Salon writer draws a line between the suspect and his sympathies for League of the South ideology, and WYPR-FM gives a summation of all the lawsuits brought by the suspect against the Capital Gazette and many connected to his harassment claims. In political news: the Bay’s blue crab population has declined again; yesterday ushered in a new minimum wage; the state Senate’s power will see a huge shift following last week’s primary; former Veep Biden joins Ben Jealous at Camden Yards rally; pundits ponder: Will progressive Jealous hurt or help the Democratic Party?; no matter who wins in November, Montgomery County’s school board will be made up of women; and Asian Americans ask Montgomery school board to sanction Lunar New Year as an official holiday.