Today, the number of women in Maryland’s congressional delegation is down to two – and after Tuesday’s balloting, it could be zero. Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s career as the longest-serving woman in Congress is set to be followed by Maryland’s first all-male congressional delegation since 1973.
The only TV debate between the two major party candidates for U.S. Senate Wednesday night was what campaign debates used to be in the good old days before 2015. In an hour of crisp questioning, Republican Kathy Szeliga, minority whip of the House of Delegates from Baltimore County, and Democrat Chris Van Hollen, a seven-term congressman from Montgomery County, discussed a dozen different issues without rancor, interruptions or personal insults.
They are equal on the November ballot, but the three candidates for U.S. Senate sat together on the same stage for the first and possibly last time Saturday at a forum in Columbia sponsored by an African American coalition. Dr. Margaret Flowers, a physician representing the Green Party, appeared with Republican nominee Kathy Szeliga, the House of Delegates minority whip, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the Democratic nominee to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, just a year into his new post, is exploring a run for U.S. Senate, at the urging of campaign advisors, he said. Glassman, a Republican, authorized a poll by his campaign that shows him relatively popular in the Baltimore region and able to beat the other candidates in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. That includes Del. Kathy Szeliga who represents part of Harford County and formally announced her candidacy Tuesday.
Republican Kathy Szeliga is trying to connect her life story to disaffected and struggling families she hopes will put her in the U.S. Senate next year. At her formal announcement in Annapolis Tuesday, the House minority whip told a personal tale that contrasted with the poised legislator who jousts with Democrats from her seat in the front row of the House of Delegates.
Mostly Republicans and a few good government advocates lined up Tuesday night to tell the governor’s Redistricting Reform Commission why and how an independent commission ought to be created to take the politicians out of the partisan drawing of congressional and legislative district lines.
If legislators do nothing to stop it in the next 19 days, members of the Maryland General Assembly elected this fall — including probably two-thirds of the current members — will get a 16% raise over the next four years, bringing their annual salaries to $50,330. They currently make $43,500 for what is technically a part-time job.
Lawmakers have already allowed the next governor to get a 20% raise to $180,000 by doing nothing to stop it in the first 45 days of the current session.