On the eve of Maryland’s unexpectedly close gubernatorial election, some tentative conclusions can be drawn:
Anthony Brown did quite well in attracting Democrats to the polls during last week’s early voting. Republican Larry Hogan can take comfort in the hefty early voting on the Eastern Shore. That Congressional District cast more votes last week than anywhere else.
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.
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.
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.
The thousands of seats at Towson University's basketball arena were not occupied by screaming fans Thursday evening, but by roughly 40 Baltimore locals, business owners and a smattering of students, the audience for a forum with the three Democratic gubernatorial candidates.
Many minimum wage workers will be getting a raise now that a hike to Maryland's wage has been signed into law. But while advocates are ascribing the increase as a win, there's a bitter aftertaste for one group that was left behind.
Following hours of hot debate, negotiation and shouting, the House of Delegates Saturday approved removing criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana in a 78-55 vote. The measure already approved by the Senate, SB364, would make possessing 10 grams of marijuana or less a civil offense, like a parking ticket. A first-time offender would pay $100, while second and third breaches would get a fine of up to $250 and $500, respectively.