State Roundup, June 24, 2014

PRIMARY PREVIEWS: Voters will head to the polls Tuesday to resolve one of the costliest primary fights in Maryland history and nominate scores more politicians for November’s general election, Erin Cox and Michael Dresser write in the Sun. With experts forecasting low turnout, candidates were out in force trying Monday to lure voters — long accustomed to September primaries — to cast a ballot in Maryland’s first June primary since the Eisenhower administration.

GUBERNATORIAL HOME STRETCH:Candidates are entering the final lap approaching the Tuesday primary election day, spending hours on the campaign trail, says WBAL’s David Collins. Brown’s running mate for lieutenant governor, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, and Baltimore County Delegate Steve Lafferty made rounds in Towson on Monday. Polls have the Brown-Ulman team as front-runners, but a newly minted phrase is spreading through the campaign: “Don’t get Cantored” — a reference to the stunning loss by Republican Rep. Eric Cantor, of Virginia.

SLIGHT DESPAIR: Columnist for Center Maryland Josh Kurtz opines on the gubernatorial hopefuls, writing that Maryland politics used to be dominated by larger-than-life figures like William Donald Schaefer and Louie Goldstein, and wily legislators like Pete Rawlings and Barbara Hoffman. Brown, Mizeur and Gansler seem like pretenders by comparison.

LOW TURNOUT?: Lou Peck, in his Bethesda Magazine blog, has predictions of low turnout in Montgomery County, 20% or lower among Democrats, quoting extensively from Keith Haller, the experienced public opinion analyst.

O’MALLEY ON THE TRAIL: Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley plans to attend a rally for his preferred successor on the eve of the Democratic primary, John Wagner reports in the Washington Post. O’Malley is scheduled to appear alongside Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown at the event in Largo on Monday night and has other appearances scheduled on behalf of the Democratic front-runner earlier in the day, according to aides to O’Malley and Brown.

ELECTION JUDGES: Veteran election judges talk about what it takes to work long hours at low pay to help run today’s balloting. Zoe Read reports in the Capital.

Gowdy Harris 2

U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy,R-S.C. accompanied by U.S. Rep. Andy Harris left, talks to the VIP reception at the Maryland Republican Party’s Red White and Blue dinner Thursday. (Photo by Phil Tran)

GOWDY REMARKS: “I wanted to come and thank you for your courage” for being Republicans in such a blue state, U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy told the crowd of over 500 people at the Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City for the annual GOP Red, White and Blue dinner. “I come from a state where every statewide elected official is a Republican. It doesn’t take courage to be a Republican in South Carolina.” Gowdy heads the House Select Committee on Benghazi; Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings is the ranking Democrat on the committee.

MoCo RACES: Several races for Montgomery County Council and General Assembly that have been contentious throughout the 2014 primary campaign showed little sign of slowing down Monday, as candidates continued to maneuver for position just hours prior to the polls opening at 7 a.m., Lou Peck reports for Bethesda magazine. He looks at council races involving Del. Tom Hucker and the at-large council seats, as well as the acrimonious Senate race in District 17 pitting Cheryl Kagan against Luiz Simmons.

FLOOD OF ADS: Maryland’s open race for governor is causing political advertising money to flood into Baltimore television stations, Brittany Cheng reports in the Baltimore Business Journal. Candidates, political action committees and individuals are spending at much greater levels than they did in 2010 as several candidates vie to succeed term-limited Gov. Martin O’Malley while also alerting voters to a primary election that is months earlier than normal.

HOWARD COUNTY’S PRIMARY: For Howard County, the election June 24 will mark the end of a particularly eventful primary season, in which four incumbents are retiring and four are seeking new seats, writes Amanda Yeager for the Columbia Flier.

ENDORSEMENTS: The Sun summarizes its full list of endorsements for the primary. And here’s the summary from the Post.

HARFORD CANDIDATES: The Dagger compiles a list of campaign stories and endorsements from Harford County.

FLAP OVER GOP REMARK: The Democratic National Committee is pushing back on a comment made by a Republican spokeswoman that accused Gov. Martin O’Malley of “Hispandering” to Latino voters, calling the term “silly and offensive,” John Fritze reports in the Sun. The term appeared in a BuzzFeed story about the steps Maryland’s governor has made to court Hispanic voters as he considers seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.

BALTIMORE STATE’S ATTORNEY: The campaign of Baltimore State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein has filed a complaint with the state Board of Elections over a mailer sent in support of challenger Marilyn Mosby, Justin Fenton reports in the Sun. The mailer, which lists Mosby’s resume as well as relatives who work in law enforcement, carries an authority line saying it was paid for by the campaign account of her husband, a city councilman. Mosby’s campaign said it was mistake.

CALVERT COUNTY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT:The Calvert County Board of Education unanimously voted to appoint Daniel Curry  the new superintendent of Calvert County Public Schools at its meeting Thursday, reports Sara Newman in the Calvert County Recorder. Curry will begin his new position July 1. Curry was formerly the superintendent of Lake Forest School District in Felton, Del., since 2003. Originally from West Virginia, Curry served a total of 29 years as a teacher, principal and superintendent in that state before moving to Delaware.


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.

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