Gov.-elect Hogan continues to work on his relationship with Comptroller Peter Franchot, who holds a key vote on the three-member Board of Public Works, which will review all of the major contracts of the Hogan administration. Hogan has continued to meet with key Democrats, office holders and interest groups throughout the state as he prepares to take office in a month and submit a budget.
One of the safest Democratic strongholds in the state – Montgomery County – is being tested this election season as Republican nominee for governor Larry Hogan Jr. closes in on Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown for what once seemed like his easy elevation to the top job.
Early voting tallies show Montgomery increased turnout by only a 1% compared to the 2010 gubernatorial election, and that is with roughly 60,000 more eligible voters added to the rolls. Montgomery is far below the statewide average of 8.3% and had the third lowest turnout in the state.
Democrat Del. Heather Mizeur caused quite a stir among supporters of Anthony Brown Wednesday when she wrote an op-ed for the Sun urging the 104,000 Democrats who voted for her for governor not to write in her name on the general election ballot, but to support Anthony Brown. What upset Brown supporters was not that message, but the lengthy criticism she heaped on Brown and his campaign. Here’s another point of view of the Mizeur article by a Hogan supporter and frequent commentator Rick Vatz.
On Tuesday, Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler and 33 other state attorneys general from around the nation wrote to the Federal Communications Commission asking it to clarify the federal law that the phone companies say prohibit them from using technology to block illegal telemarketing.
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is a rapidly expanding and politically prominent labor union who endorsed more than 80 for state office. Most were incumbent Democrats, and most won. Its sometimes brutal mailers and the union’s presence have permeated recent Maryland election cycles. While the candidates who enjoy an SEIU endorsement consider it a boon for their campaigns, other contenders consider themselves targets, and have derided the SEIU’s tactics as purely nasty.
The 2014 primary has a noteworthy number of high profile Jewish candidates running for statewide offices. Some are competing against each other, which could set off a secondary battle for candidates vying for the Jewish vote.
Now the important part of Maryland’s gubernatorial election campaign begins. The kickoff took place last week with the first televised debate among the three Democratic contenders.
Though far from inspiring, that debate finally focused voter attention on the election. Equally important, it riveted the attention of reporters, who are now intently following comments and policy statements of the three candidates.
Let’s get this out of the way up front: The answer to the headlined question is “no.” Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown didn’t graduate cum laude from Harvard and later from Harvard Law without having substantial intellectual chops.
Yet that inelegant question – does Brown have what it takes to be governor? – could become a defining issue as Maryland’s aimless gubernatorial campaign enters the stage where voters start paying attention.
We have two rather well known and established candidates for governor in Brown and Gansler – and yet, the more they campaign and the more people learn about them the less people seem to like them. Mizeur is the only candidate gaining ground.