State Roundup, August 26, 2010

SEX & POLITICS: Baltimore County politics heat up as judicial and House of Delegates hopefuls mix sex and politics in unusual ways, writes Laura Vozzella of the Baltimore Sun.

LEOPOLD SUIT: The sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Anne Arundel County Exec John Leopold has sparked outrage from Democrats, and accusations of politicking from Leopold’s fellow Republicans, Erin Cox reports for the Annapolis Capital.

ABSENTEE VOTES: Maryland could struggle to meet an important deadline that affects absentee voters, including  military service members, Melissa Roeder reports for WBFF-TV.

EARLY VOTING: Andrew Schotz of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail reports that for the first time, Maryland will have early voting before an election — set for Sept. 3 through 9.

DONORS SHORT: Campaign donations are proving hard to come by in this poor economy, report Sherry Greenfield of the Gazette. Some candidates work harder to raise money, while others hope to win without financial donations.

RACE TO TOP: Gov. O’Malley’s re-election campaign issued an email newsletter touting the Race to the Top award is proof that the governor is “leading the way,” Annie Linskey blogs for the Sun. And the Sun’s editorialists say that winning the $250 million is just the beginning; the hard part will be making school improvement and innovation a reality. The Capital’s Editor’s Notebook kicks off with praise for the those who helped make the current crab harvest a success followed by a piece on the Race to the Top funds.

NO TAXES: The Associated Press is reporting that former Gov. Bob Ehrlich says he won’t raise taxes, and he isn’t planning any fee increases, if he gets his old job back. John Wagner blogs about the pledge for the Post, where you can also view an O’Malley commercial questioning Ehrlich on fees and taxes.

MURPHY’S PAL: Maryland governor hopeful Brian Murphy wants everyone in Frederick to know that he and Sheriff Chuck Jenkins are tight, Katherine Heerbrandt of the Gazette reports.

BENSON-EXUM: Megan Poinski of reports that Del. Joanne Benson and state Sen. Nathaniel Exum have spent a total of 55 years serving PG County, but now they are going head-to-head to be in the race for state senator.

BAY HEALTH: The U.S. Navy and Gov. O’Malley held a news conference at the Naval Academy in Annapolis to see how the state’s military bases could limit the negative impact on the Chesapeake Bay and its waterways. Read and view Don Harrison’s report for WMAR-TV.  Timothy Wheeler of the Sun reports that the Pentagon is one of the largest landowners around the Bay.

BACKGROUND CHECK: Center Maryland continues its Background Check feature with a look into court records of Baltimore City candidates.

HOCO EXEC CASH: In the race for Howard County executive, incumbent Democrat Kenneth Ulman has raised and spent far more than his Republican challenger, Trent Kittleman, Lindsey McPherson reports for the Howard County Times.

PG EXEC SPENDING: PG County exec candidate Rushern Baker has spent more than $800,000 in campaign funds this year, but county Sheriff Michael Jackson has more money on hand. Daniel Valentine reports on the soaring spending for the Gazette.

AA RACES: Paul Foer of the Annapolis Capital offers some insight into some of the more contentious races in Anne Arundel County.

BEATING HOYER: Trying to beat 15-term incumbent and U.S. House majority leader Steny Hoyer is a tall task for challengers, the Capital’s Liam Farrell reports. And the Frederick News Post editorializes on anti-incumbent sentiment and whether the Hoyer race will be an indication of how deep it runs.

FREDERICK FORUM: Candidates for state Senate from District 3 and 4 in Frederick County asked each other tough questions on campaign contributions, abortion, and the knowledge and experience they have for office, reports Meg Tully of the Frederick News-Post.

DISTRICT 31: Brian Griffiths of Red Maryland endorses James Braswell for one of three House of Delegates seats in District 31.

BERNSTEIN AD: A political ad for the city state’s attorney campaign of Gregg Bernstein is drawing many complaints for using photos of the Dawson family, who lost their lives when their home was firebombed, Dave Collins of WBAL-TV reports. Justin Fenton of the Sun writes that many are asking Bernstein to pull the ad.

HOLTON TRIAL: The state’s highest court has cleared the way for the trial of Baltimore City Councilwoman Helen Holton, indicted on charges of bribery and a campaign finance violation in a City Hall corruption probe, the Sun’s Julie Scharper reports.

BARTENFELDER AD: Bryan Sears of Patuxent Publishing examines the TV ads of Baltimore County exec candidate Joe Bartenfelder.

ENDORSED: Sears also gives a rundown on a raft of endorsements in Baltimore county and state races.

3rd DISTRICT: Pat Van Den Beemt of Patuxent profiles 3rd District Republican Baltimore County council candidates: George HarmanJim Christina; Todd Huff; incumbent Bryan McIntire; Jeff Srnec; and Glen Thomas.

SHOT AT: Greg Latshaw of the Salisbury Daily Times reports that a gunshot blast shattered a glass door at the office of the Maryland GOP. Here’s the WBAL-TV report on the incident. Aaron Davis blogs about it in the Post.  As does Julie Bykowicz for the Sun.

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