SUPPORTING PRE-K: Margaret Sessa-Hawkins of MarylandReporter.com reports that all the benefits for pre-kindergarten education touted by the Democratic candidates for governor can be easily lost in just a year or two if there isn’t strong follow-up in kindergarten and the early grades, experts and studies show.
REDISTRICTING REFORM: Donald Fry of Center Maryland writes that all of the major candidates from both parties are endorsing redistricting reform in the state of Maryland. All of the prominent candidates in the Democratic and Republican primaries have voiced support for shifting the responsibility for drawing up future election districts to an independent commission and away from incumbent lawmakers who currently draw the lines for congressional and state legislative voting districts in Maryland. But will it happen?
TO STAY THE COURSE? As the June 24 primary nears, Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com takes a look at the candidates and campaigns for governor and attorney general to see what each has to offer Maryland voters. Voters will decided whether they want four more years of O’Malley-Brown or a shift in direction.
CARDIN BACKS AWAY FROM RAPPER BACKING: A Baltimore-area rapper who endorsed Del. Jon Cardin’s candidacy for attorney general is facing nearly two dozen charges related to human trafficking and prostitution, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. Cardin now says he is rejecting the endorsement after being asked about the pending charges against Lawrence S. Christian, a rapper who uses the stage name Ski (pronounced Sky) Money.
Cardin rejected Thursday the endorsement of a Baltimore-based rapper after learning that the man who calls himself Ski Money is facing charges of human trafficking, writes Luke Broadwater and Alison Knezevich of the Sun.
GUNS DOMINATE WA CO FORUM: Mass shootings and firearm violence was a dominant theme during a political forum held Thursday evening featuring some Washington County candidates who are running for the Maryland House of Delegates, reports Kaustuv Basu for the Hagerstown Herald Mail.
EX-JAMES AIDE ACQUITTED IN FIGHT: A former legislative aide to Harford Del. Mary-Dulany James and his brother have been acquitted of assault and other charges in connection with a fight in the delegate’s office in April, reports Allan Vought for the Aegis.
DEM RADIO DEBATE: Attorney General Doug Gansler ripped into the record of Gov. Martin O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown as the Democratic candidates for governor held their third and final debate Thursday on a Baltimore radio station, writes Michael Dresser in the Sun.
Gansler, the state’s attorney general, said that his fellow Democrat had botched the most important assignment given to him by Gov. Martin O’Malley — the rollout of the state’s online health insurance exchange — and accused Brown of speaking “gibberish” about the subject during a 90-minute debate broadcast live on radio, John Wagner of the Post writes.
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler and Del. Heather Mizeur debated on WOLB-AM’s Larry Young Morning Show in the last scheduled debate of the primary campaign, according to an AP report in the Daily Record.
You can watch the full radio debate at WOLB-AM by clicking here.
CRAIG & HADDAWAY: Marc Steiner of WEAA-FM hosts Harford County Executive David Craig, who is running to become the Republican nominee for governor of Maryland, and his candidate for lieutenant governor, Del. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Republican delegate for District 37B.
ANALYZING 2nd DEM DEBATE: Dan Rodricks of WYPR-FM analyzes the second televised debate of Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial candidates, with Melissa Deckman, chair and professor of political science at Washington College, and Barry Rascovar of politicalmaryland.com.
CAN MIZEUR DO IT? Political commentator Fraser Smith, writing in the Daily Record, asks and answers the question: Can Heather Mizeur pull off a Harry Hughes? Smith says that in 1978, Hughes rocketed out of the single digits in pre-election polling to bring down the seemingly prohibitive front-runner, Blair Lee III. He doesn’t think it can happen 2014. Del. Mizeur has run the best campaign of any candidate in either party. But she probably cannot overcome her main target: her own Democratic Party.
THE NON-SCANDAL: The politically conservative Web site the Daily Caller tweeted what seemed like a bombshell on Wednesday evening: “EXCLUSIVE: Is That A Pole Dancer? Frontrunner For Md. Governor Caught in Scandalous Photo.” With less than three weeks until the Maryland Democratic primary, a truly scandalous photo could jolt an otherwise smooth campaign. But, reports Jenna Johnson for the Post, is it really a scandalous photo?
POTTER FOR CONGRESS: The editorial board for the Gazette opines that three Republicans are vying in the June 24 primary for the right to take on the 5th Congressional District’s representative, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D), in the November election. Hoyer has no opposition in the Democratic primary. The Gazette endorses Tom Potter as the best candidate to articulate the Republican message in a race against Hoyer.
GOING TO THE DOGS: When Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman stepped out of her car for the second debate with challenger Steve Schuh Wednesday night, she was greeted by the usual group of T-shirt clad supported. One fan was on all fours, writes Rick Hutzell for the Annapolis Capital.
Not to be outdone by Gumball the “Labs for Laura” canine, Del. Steve Schuh’s campaign has pointed out that it has its own canine support, reports Rick Hutzell for the Annapolis Capital.
PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNCIL: Arelis Hernández of the Post reports that with two incumbents fighting to keep their jobs and three spots left wide open by term limits, the Democratic primaries this month are expected to have a major effect on the makeup of the next Prince George’s County Council.
ELECTIONS JUDGES WANTED: Laura Blasey of the Frederick News-Post reports that Frederick County election officials are still short on election judges with three weeks to go until the primaries, and they are calling the situation critical. Election deputy director Noreen Schultz said the county has about 550 judges signed up and is seeking at least 40 more before the June 24 primary.
SHUT UP: Among items in her Political Notes column, Bethany Rodgers of the Frederick News Post writes about an uncomfortable exchange between two Frederick County commissioners. One kept interrupting and the other said, “Shut up.”