General Assembly candidates: Dec. update on filings, announcements

By Meg Tully

State House domeThis monthly roundup covers Maryland election news in November and lists every candidate who has filed and most who have announced. Each district is listed by county and, in most cases, incumbents (in parentheses) with their status. The districts reflect new district lines, which have placed some incumbents into a different district. If we have missed any candidates who have announced and have a website, but have not officially filed, please email

Maryland General Assembly

District 1A: One delegate, Garrett and Allegany (Edwards filed; Beitzel filed) Sen. George Edwards filed for re-election Sept. 12.

District 1B: One delegate, Allegany (Kelly filed)

District 1C: One delegate, Allegany and Washington (Myers is running for Washington County Board of Commissioners) Running: Republicans Michael McKay president of the Allegany County Commissioners and Hancock resident Ray Givens.

District 2: (Shank filed) Sen. Chris Shank filed for re-election Sept. 9.

District 2A: Two delegates, Washington (Parrott filed, Serafini filed)

District 2B: One delegate, Washington (Donohue)

District 3A: Two delegates, Frederick (Retiring: Del. Patrick Hogan) Republican Chris Huckenpoehler filed Sept. 3.

Republican Paul Smith filed Nov. 13.

District 3B: One delegate, Frederick Running for delegate: Republican Darren Wigfield.

District 4: Three delegates, Frederick, Carroll (Brinkley, Afzali, Hough; Schulz filed)

Running for delegate: Republican former Mount Airy town councilwoman Wendi Peters.

Jason Miller, a Republican, filed Nov. 26 for Senate.

CMPNON_BannerAds_320x250District 5: Three delegates (four incumbents), Carroll (Getty; Krebs filed; Ready filed, Elliott filed; Stocksdale )

Running for delegate: Republican County Commissioner Haven Shoemaker has filed, as has Joshua Stonko.

District 6: Three delegates (two open delegate seats, open Senate seat), Baltimore County (Stone retiring, Minnick retiring; Olszewski filed for Senate, Weir)

Running for Senate: Johnny Ray Salling, a Republican

Running for delegate: Republican Robin Grammer has announced he is running for delegate, as has Bob Long, who was the top Republican candidate in the 2010 General Election. Dan Liberatore, a Republican, has filed in the delegate race, as has Ric Metzgar, an Essex Republican, Three Democrats: Marcus Foreman, Jonathan Campbell, Eric Washington

Michael Weir

Michael Weir

Del. Mike Weir Jr., a Democrat, filed Nov. 6.

District 7: Three delegates, Baltimore County and Harford (Jennings filed, Impallaria, McDonough; Szeliga filed.)

Running: Incumbent Del. Kathy Szeliga, a Republican, has filed, as has Democrat Norman Gifford filed in June for the delegate seat.

District 8: Three delegates, Baltimore County (Klausmeier filed, Bromwell, Cluster filed) Running for delegate (one open seat): Republican Christian Miele, Republican Del. John Cluster filed Oct. 16.

Sen. Kathy Klausmeier filed Nov. 6.

District 9: Carroll, Howard (Kittleman runs for executive; Bates for Senate, Miller filed for reelection) Running: Del. Gail Bates, a West Friendship Republican, is seeking the open Senate seat and said she has raised about $15,000 so far this year, reports Amanda Yeager in a political notebook for The Baltimore Sun. Democrat Dan Medinger is running.

9A: Two delegates (one open seat), Carroll, Howard;

Kathy Kalusmeier

Kathy Kalusmeier

Incumbent Del. Warren Miller has filed for delegate, as has Republican Trent Kittleman in April, and former Republican congressional nominee Frank Mirabile filed for delegate in July; Eric Bouchat is also in the running, as is Kyle Lorton, a Republican.

James Ward Morrow, a Democrat, is the first Democrat to file, reports Amanda Yeager for The Baltimore Sun.

9B: One delegate (open seat), Howard

Republican Carol Loveless has announced and filed, Democrat Tom Coale announced in June. Republican Bob Flanagan, a former delegate and secretary of transportation, has announced. Retired teacher Rich Corkran, a Democrat, filed Oct. 1.

Coale and Corkran held fundraising events within a week of each other in November, reports Amanda Yeager in the Baltimore Sun.

District 10: Three delegates, Baltimore County (two open seats)

(Kelley filed, Burns retiring, Jones filed, Nathan-Pulliam running for Senate in redrawn district 44) Sen. Delores Kelley filed for re-election in May. Stephanie Boston who ran against Kelley last time is running again. Much of the district is new. Running for delegate: Democrats Rob Johnson  and Frederick Strickland have filed.

Del. Adrienne Jones

Del. Adrienne Jones

Democrat Benjamin Brooks filed Nov. 4 for delegate.

Del. Adrienne Jones, a Democrat, filed Nov. 4 for delegate.

Carin Smith, a Democrat, filed Nov. 4 for delegate.

District 11: Three delegates, Baltimore County (Zirkin; Cardin runs for AG, Morhaim, Stein) Democratic incumbents Sen. Robert Zirkin, Del. Dan Morhaim and Del. Dana Stein are running as a slate. Del. Jon Cardin is running for attorney general instead of seeking re-election.

Running for delegate: Democrat Don Engel is the only candidate who has filed.

Democrat Shelly Hettleman plans to announce for delegate.

District 12: Three delegates (three open seats), Baltimore County and Howard

(Kasemeyer filed; DeBoy, Malone, Bobo all three retiring)

Joe Hooe

Joe Hooe

Sen. Ed Kasemeyer, a Democrat, filed for reelection in July. Democrats filed for delegate: Rebecca Dongarra, Brian Bailey, Terri Hill, Eric Ebersole, Clarence Lam, Renee McGuirk-Spence, Mike Gisriel, Nick Stewart and Adam Sachs.

The Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department hall was packed with people at a candidate forum featuring nine Democratic candidates seeking three seats for House of Delegates, reports Julie Baughman in the Baltimore Sun.

Republican Joe Hooe filed Nov. 20 for delegate.

District 13: Three delegates, Howard (Robey retiring, Guzzone filed for Senate, Pendergrass filed, Turner filed)

Del. Guy Guzzone is seeking the open Senate seat.

Running for delegate: Columbia resident Fred Eiland, school board member Janet Siddiqui has announced she will seek a delegate seat, and has been included on the incumbents’ ticket, Republican Danny Eaton filed for delegate in April.

District 14: Three delegates, Montgomery Co. (Montgomery, Kaiser, Luedtke, Zucker all filed for re-election)

Running for delegate: Democrat John Paul Evans of Gaithersburg, along with the incumbents listed above.

Sen. Karen Montgomery is seeking a second term and plans to focus on the environment, education and transportation, reports Terri Hogan in the Gazette.

District 15: Three delegates, Montgomery Co. (Feldman now a senator and filed for election, Dumais filed, Miller filed)

David Fraser-Hidalgo

David Fraser-Hidalgo

Gov. Martin O’Malley named David Fraser-Hidalgo as the new delegate in the open seat left by Brian Feldman’s appointment to the Senate, reports the Washington Post. He filed for election on Nov. 18.

Former Del. Saqib Ali, a Democrat who formerly represented District 39 before re-districting, filed Sept. 13 for delegate. He had sought appointment to the seat.

Former Del. Robin Ficker, 70, and his son Flynn Ficker, 31, have formed a “Fickers for District 15? slate, with the senior Ficker running for Senate and the younger running for delegate.

District 16: Three delegates, Montgomery (Frosh and Frick running for AG, Lee filed for Senate, Kelly) Aspirations for higher office have produced an open Senate seat and two open delegate seats.

Del. Susan Lee is the only announced candidate for the Senate race, after Reggie Oldak announced she had decided against running, blogs Louis Peck for Bethesda Magazine. But other contenders are said to be considering a run.

All the candidates so far are Democrats. Bethesda resident Jordan Cooper has announced for delegate, as has Kevin Walling, former communications director for Equality Maryland, Marc Korman, a Democrat, is also running for delegate, as Hrant Jamgochian has filed for delegate. He also ran in 2010. Former Del. Gareth Murray, a Democrat, filed Oct. 1 for delegate.

Del. Luiz Simmons

Del. Luiz Simmons

District 17: Three delegates, Montgomery County (Forehand, Barve, Gilchrist, Simmons)

Democrat Andrew Platt filed for delegate and Democrat Laurie-Anne Sayles has announced for delegate.

Del. Luiz Simmons will seek the seat held by Sen. Jennie Forehand, reports Ryan Marshall in the Gazette. The Rockville Democrat has lined up an endorsement from U.S. Rep. John Delaney. Forehand will announce after the General Assembly session begins in January whether she will run again.

Former Delegate Cheryl Kagan is also challenging Forehand. The Democrat challenged Forehand in 2010, losing by only 356 votes, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. Forehand isn’t expected to announce whether she will run until after the start of the General Assembly session, reports Ryan Marshall in The Gazette.

District 18: Three delegates, Montgomery (Madaleno filed, Carr, Guitierrez, Waldstreciher filed)

Filed for Delegate: Democrat Al Carr.

Democrat Elizabeth Matory filed Nov. 20.

Democrat Jeff Waldstreicher filed Nov. 13. Democrat Emily Shetty, an attorney, announced for delegate Dec. 2.

Cheryl Kagan

Cheryl Kagan

Sen. Richard Madaleno filed for re-election Oct. 24.

District 19: Three delegates, Montgomery (Manno running, Arora retiring, Cullison running, Kramer running) Filed for delegate: Democrats Marice Morales, an aide to Sen. Roger Manno, Democrat Melodye Berry who had run in 2006. Sen. Roger Manno and Dels. Bonnie Cullison and Ben Kramer are running as a slate.

Del. Sam Arora announced at the beginning of Nov. that he would not be seeking re-election. The press release, carried in full by Maryland Juice, makes no mention of the pounding Arora was taking from Juice and other Maryland progressives for reneging on his promise to vote for same-sex marriage.

District 20: Three delegates (one open delegate seat), Montgomery (Raskin filed, Hixson filed, Hucker filed ; Mizeur is running for governor)

Incumbent Sen. Jamie Raskin filed for re-election on Oct. 4 as did Dels. Sheila Hixson and Tom Hucker.

Running for delegate: Democrat Justin Chappell, Silver Spring resident Will Smith, David Moon of Maryland Juice, and George Zokle, a Democrat.

Darian Unger

Darian Unger

Darian Unger, a Democrat, filed Nov. 15.

District 21: Three delegates, Anne Arundel, Prince George’s (Rosapepe filed, Barnes filed, Frush, Pena-Melnyk)

Democratic Del. Ben Barnes became the first filed candidate on Oct. 28.

Sen. Jim Rosapepe filed Nov. 19

District 22: Three delegates, Prince George’s (Pinsky, Gaines, Healey, Washington filed) Rushern L. Baker IV filed for delegate. He is the son of the Prince George‘s County executive.

Del. Alonzo T. Washington, a Democrat, filed Nov. 21 and announced Nov. 22 at an event attended by U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, according to a press release.

District 23: Prince George’s (Peters, 23A Vallentino-Smith, Hubbard; 23B Holmes filed, Vallario filed)

Alonzo Washington

Alonzo Washington

District 23A: One delegate, Prince George’s

District 23B: Two delegates, Prince George’s (Holmes, Vallario have both filed)

District 24: Three delegates, Prince George’s (Benson; Howard and Vaughn filed, Swain) Erek Barron, a Prince George‘s Democrat, filed for delegate Oct. 10.

Greg Hall, a Democrat, filed for delegate Nov. 6. He was nominated for the seat now held by Swain, but Gov. O’Malley rejected the nomination, and asked for another name, eventually appointing Swain.

District 25: Three delegates, Prince George’s (Currie, Braveboy, Davis, Griffith running for Senate) Filed for delegate: Democrat Tony Jones, who lives in Upper Marlboro.

Del. Melony Griffith has announced her challenge against incumbent Sen. Ulysses Currie.

Democrat Stanley Onye filed Oct. 9 for delegate.

District 26: Three delegates, Prince George’s (Muse, Turner, Valderrama, Walker)

Veronica Turner

Veronica Turner

The party elite want to “get rid” of Sen. Anthony Muse, backing instead challenger Del. Veronica Turner, writes Hassan Giordano at DMVDaily. Attorney Brian Woolfolk filed July 25 for Senate.

Filed for delegate: Democrats Vernon Holmes and Keith Gary, who filed Sept. 19. David Sloan, a former O’Malley aide, is planning to run for delegate.

District 27: Charles, Calvert (Miller)

District 27A: One delegate, Charles, Calvert (Proctor filed)

Democratic Del. James E. Proctor Jr. filed Nov. 6.

District 27B: One delegate, Calvert, Prince George’s

District 27C: One delegate, Calvert (Fisher)

Running for delegate: Former Democratic Del. Sue Kullen

District 28: Three delegates, Charles (Middleton filed, Jameson filed, Murphy, Wilson filed)

Democrat Larry Green withdrew his candidacy on Nov. 13.

Sen. Mac Middleton, a Democrat, filed Nov. 6.

C.T. Wilson

C.T. Wilson

Dels. Sally Jameson and C.T. Wilson, both Democrats, both filed in November.

District 29: St. Mary’s, Calvert (Dyson announced)

Filed for Senate: Republican Steve Waugh, a Lusby resident.

St. Mary’s County Commissioner Cindy Jones, a Republican, is running for Senate against Sen. Roy Dyson, a Democrat. Jones wants to rein in government spending, reports Jesse Yeatman for the Gazette.

District 29A: One delegate, St. Mary’s (Wood)

Bryan Barthelme, a Republican, filed for the delegate seat on Oct. 4. He announced his candidacy in a letter to the editor in The Chesapeake.

District 29B: One delegate, St. Mary’s (Bohanan) Filed: Retired Air Force officer Deb Rey, a Republican.

District 29C: One delegate, St. Mary’s, Calvert (O’Donnell)

District 30: Anne Arundel (Astle filed, Busch filed, George runs for governor, McMillan)

Running for Senate: Former Republican congressional candidate Eric Delano Knowles

Sen. John Astle filed for re-election Oct. 24.

District 30A: Two delegates, Anne Arundel (Busch filed, McMillan)

Filed for delegate: Democrat Maria Triandos.

Incumbent Del. Mike Busch, a Democrat who is Speaker of the House of House delegates, filed on Oct. 23.

Democrat Laurie Sears Deppa filed for delegate on Oct. 24.

District 30B: One delegate, Anne Arundel

Bryan Simonaire

Bryan Simonaire

District 31: Anne Arundel (Simonaire filed, Dwyer, Kipke; Schuh runs for executive)

Sen. Bryan Simonaire, who filed Nov. 25, is proposing a “sunshine” tax credit for jurisdictions that charge a stormwater fee, reports Alex Jackson in the Capital-Gazette. The stormwater fee is known as a rain tax, and Republican Simonaire said that residents should be given a credit for sunshine that evaporates runoff.

Filed for Senate: Democrat Anthony Scott Harman.

31A: One delegate, Anne Arundel CORRECTED 12/3, 3:30 P.M.

Democrat Ned Carey filed Sept. 3 for delegate.

31B: Two delegates, Anne Arundel (Kipke filed)

Filed for delegate: Republican Gus Kurtz and Democrat Stan Janor who ran for delegate in 2010. Republican Meagan Simonaire, daughter of state Sen. Bryan Simonaire, has announced for delegate.

Del. Nicholaus Kipke filed on Nov. 25.

Janor, a public defender in Glen Burnie, kicked off his campaign at the end of Nov., reports the Capital-Gazette.

Stan Janor

Stan Janor

Del. Don Dwyer started serving his weekend jail time for drunk driving and boating charges, reports Zoe Read in the Capital-Gazette. He has requested a shortened sentence – if it is not granted, he will leave the General Assembly session that starts in January on Fridays to serve his sentence.

District 32: Three delegates, Anne Arundel (DeGrange filed, Beidle filed, Love retiring, Sophocleus filed)

Del. Mary Ann Love has not officially announced her plans, but she has been telling people privately that she will not seek another term.

Running for delegate: Republican Jesse Mayer, Republican Josh Kiracofe.

Democrat Tonja McCoy is running for delegate, and wants to make sure residents are heard on issues, reports Rick Hutzell of the Capital Gazette.

Steven Wyatt, a Democrat, filed Nov. 7. He is retired from the U.S. Navy and worked at Fort Meade before becoming an insurance agent, reports Rick Hutzell of the Capital-Gazette.

District 33: Three delegates, Anne Arundel (Reilly filed; Costa is retiring; McConkey, Vitale)

Jeff Ferguson

Jeff Ferguson

Republican Jeff Gauges filed for delegate in June. Sid Saab announced his candidacy, but did not file. Saab ran in 2010. Republican Nora Keenan also filed for delegate in May.

Republican Jeff Ferguson filed Nov. 6.

District 34: Harford (Open Senate seat, open House seat)(Jacobs is retiring, James running for Senate, Glass, Rudolph)

Filed for Senate: Republican Derek Howell, chairman of the Harford County Republican Central Committee and Bob Cassilly, a Republican.

Longtime Democratic Del. Mary-Dulany James is running for the Senate seat.

34A: Two delegates, Harford (two members, Glass, James):

Filed for delegate: Republican Mike Blizzard, Democrat Marla Posey-Moss

34B: One delegate, Harford (McComas filed)

District 35: Harford, Cecil (Open Senate seat, two open House seats) (Glassman runs for executive, Norman runs for Senate, Stifler retiring)

Filed for Senate: Thomas J. Wilson, who filed Sept. 9. Del. Wayne Norman announced for Senate.

Republican Michael A. Dawson, a former Perryville commissioner, withdrew his candidacy with the Maryland Board of Elections on Nov. 19.

Donna Stifler

Donna Stifler

District 35A: One delegate, Cecil (Rudolph, Stifler retiring)

Del. Donna Stifler will not seek re-election due to health concerns, David Anderson reports in the Baltimore Sun. Stifler, a Republican completing her seventh year in the House of Delegates, said her ongoing battle with fibromyalgia prevented her from giving her constituents “vigorous and energetic representation.”

District 35B: Two delegates, Harford, Cecil

Filed: Republicans Andrew Cassilly, and Teresa Reilly.

District 36: Three delegates, Cecil, Kent, Caroline, Queen Anne’s (Hershey, J. Jacobs filed, SmigielArentz)

Del. Stephen Hershey was sworn into the Senate Oct. 1, filling the seat left by Sen. E.J. Pipkin. J.D. Uhler filed for delegate in April.

Republican Jeff Ghrist filed Oct. 22 for the delegate seat.

Gov. Martin O’Malley appointed Republican Steven Arentz to the House of Delegates, replacing Hershey. Arentz, president of the Queen Anne’s County Board of Commissioners, won the support of three of four county Republican central committees.

Cecil County is seeking legal sanctions against Del. Michael Smigiel, an Elkton attorney, for filing a lawsuit on behalf of the chairman of the Cecil County Republican Central Committee, reports Cheryl Mattix in the Cecil Whig.

District 37: Dorchester, Talbot, Wicomico (Colburn filed)

Filed for Senate: Democrat Cheryl Everman and Republican incumbent Sen. Richard Colburn.

37A: One delegate (Cane filed), Wicomico County Councilwoman Sheree Sample-Hughes, a Democrat, is running for delegate. Del. Rudolph Cane, a Democrat, filed for reelection Aug. 21.

Addie Eckardt

Addie Eckardt

District 37B: Two delegates (one open seat), Talbot, Dorchester, Caroline, Wicomico

(Colburn, Eckardt filed, Haddaway-Riccio runs for lieutenant governor)

Attorney Philip Cronan has announced for the open seat left by Haddaway-Riccio.

St. Michael’s resident Johnny Mautz, a Republican, is seeking Haddway-Riccio’s seat.

Christopher T. Adams, a Republican, filed for delegate Oct. 15.

Incumbent Del. Addie Eckardt filed Oct. 30 and wants to help improve infrastructure throughout her district, Jennifer Shutt reports in the Salisbury Daily Times.

District 38: Somerset, Worcester (Mathias, Otto filed, McDermott filed for Senate)

Del. Mike McDermott, a Republican, filed Sept. 16 for District 38 Senate after being drawn into the same district as another Republican, Del. Charles Otto.

District 38A: One delegate Del. Charles James Otto filed July 16 to run in the new single-member District 38A.

District 38B: One delegate, Wicomico (Conway)

Judy Davis

Judy Davis

38C: One delegate, Worcester Filed: Democrat Mike Hindi and Republican Mary Beth Carozza.

Judy Davis, a Democrat, filed Nov. 12.

District 39: Three delegates, Montgomery (King , Barkley, Reznik, Robinson; all filed for reelection)

Filed for delegate: Republican Xiangfei Cheng,

District 40: Three delegates, Baltimore City (Pugh filed, Conaway filed, Robinson filed, Tarrant filed)

Running for delegate: Marvin “Doc” Cheatham, a longtime civil rights leader in Baltimore. Democrats Rob “Bobby” LaPin, a former Baltimore City teacher and U.S. Army veteran, Quianna Cooke. Del. Barbara Robinson, a Democrat.

Del. Frank Conaway, Jr. filed for re-election on Nov. 12.

Bobby Lapin

Bobby Lapin

District 41: Three delegates, Baltimore City (Gladden filed, Carter filed, Oaks, Rosenberg filed)

Will Hanna announced he is running for state Senate against incumbent Lisa Gladden, reports Luke Broadwater in the Sun. Hanna is a Park Heights community leader who served 11 years in the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Command.

Filed for delegate: Michael Pearson and Joyce Smith

District 42: Baltimore County (Brochin, 42A Lafferty, new 42B, Aumann; Frank retiring, Boteler, Kach runs for council)

Republican Chris Cavey filed for Senate on Nov. 14.

42A: One delegate, Baltimore County

42B: Two delegates, Baltimore County (Boteler filed) Del. Susan Aumann filed Aug. 21 for District 42B delegate. Running for delegate: Republican Chris West is running for delegate.

Del. Joseph C. Boteler III, a Republican, filed Oct. 16.

Republican Jesse Filamor filed for delegate Oct. 24.

Mary Washington

Mary Washington

District 43: Three delegates, Baltimore City (Conway filed, Anderson filed, McIntosh filed, Washington filed)

Filed for delegate: Del. Maggie McIntosh, a Democrat and Del. Mary Washington, a Democrat.

District 44: Baltimore City and County (Jones-Rodwell filed, Haynes, Mitchell, Stukes all filed for the same single-member district, 44A)

Del. Emmett Burns, now in the redrawn District 44 but formerly of District 10, is retiring. Sen. Verna Jones-Rodwell, a Democrat, filed for Senate Sept. 10, pitting her against Del. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, who has filed for Senate. She is formerly of District 10.

44A: One delegate, Baltimore City (one member)

Three incumbent delegates have filed for what has been redrawn to a single-member district: Del. Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr. Del. Keith Haynes, a Baltimore Democrat, filed Aug. 28, Del. Melvin Stukes filed Sept. 18.

44B: Two delegates, Baltimore County (two open seats)

Filed for delegate: Rainier Harvey, Charles E. Sydnor, III, Woodlawn resident Aaron Barnett and Pat Young. More information is on Young’s campaign website.

Frederick Ware-Newsome

Frederick Ware-Newsome

Frederick Ware-Newsome, a Democrat, filed Oct. 2.

District 45: Three delegates, Baltimore City (McFadden filed, B

ranch, Glenn, Harper ) Running for delegate: Cory McCray and Larry O. Wardlow, a Republican.

Announced for Senate: Julius Henson, a political consulted convicted in the 2010 Ehrlich robocalls case, who was profiled in The Baltimore Sun in November.

Democrat Harry Spikes filed for delegate Nov. 18.

CMPNON_BannerAds_320x250District 46: Three delegates, Baltimore City (Ferguson, Clippinger, Hammen, McHale)

Running for delegate: Civil rights lawyer Brooke Lierman, a Fells Point Democrat (Speculation is that Del. Brian McHale is retiring.)

District 47: Three delegates, Prince George’s (Ramirez, Ivey running for lieutenant governor, Niemann running for council, Summers)

Sen. Victor Ramirez is seeking to limit local police involvement in immigration enforcement, reports the Associated Press.

District 47A: Two delegates,

Filed for delegate: Prince George’s Jimmy Tarlau, a Democrat, Diana Fennell, a Democrat.

Malcolm Augustine filed Nov. 15.

District 47B: One delegate, Prince George’s

Will Campos, a Democratic County Council member, filed Oct. 15.

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.