State Roundup, June 26, 2014

Thursday’s very long roundup includes additional coverage of Tuesday’s primary, as well as post-primary stories.

CAMPAIGN KICKOFF: Maryland’s freshly minted Republican nominee for governor wasted little time on Wednesday before giving his Democratic rival a taste of what’s to come. John Wagner reports in the Post. Larry Hogan, an Anne Arundel County businessman, sent a Web video to supporters mocking Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) as “the most incompetent man in Maryland” — a spoof on a beer commercial featuring “the most interesting man in the world.”

REMATCH: Tuesday night’s results in the Democratic and Republican primary elections suggest that the electorate may be interested in a rematch, albeit by proxy, of the two campaigns between Gov. Martin J. O’Malley and former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., Bryan Sears writes in the Daily Record.

SHREWD AND GUTLESS: “Cautious” and “shrewd” are two words that fairly describe Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s wildly successful campaign strategy for winning the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, columnist Robert McCartney writes in the Post. “Opportunistic” and “gutless” are others.

BROWN LANDSLIDE: Anthony Brown claimed victories in 20 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions in the Democratic primary, Michael Dresser reports in the Sun, though rivals Doug Gansler and Heather Mizeur can each point to some small consolations.

BROWN WIN SPARKS NO CHANGE: If Brown could start his campaign over again — and he will to some extent as he prepares for November’s general election — he’d probably change almost nothing, opines James Briggs in the Baltimore Business Journal. Why should he? Brown ran a safe campaign, distinguishing himself little from Gov. Martin O’Malley

GANSLER’S FALL: Douglas F. Gansler was the envy of Maryland’s political world in early 2013, as he openly mulled a campaign for governor, writes Paul Schwartzman in the Post. To many Democratic strategists, Gansler was the undisputed front-runner, a stature that made his humiliating defeat Tuesday all the more remarkable.

NO IMPACT CAMPAIGN: In some elections, campaigns matter; but sometimes they don’t. This year’s Democratic primary offered examples of both phenomena at or near the top of the ticket, blogs Laslo Boyd for Center Maryland. Anthony Brown and his running mate Ken Ulman coasted to a decisive victory in the gubernatorial contest. They won by a margin that would not have surprised anyone handicapping the election a year ago. An entire year of ads, mailers, rallies, and debates did little to impact an outcome that seemed ordained almost before the campaign began.

PRINCE GEORGE’S INFLUENCE: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s victory in the primary election not only means Maryland could see its first African-American governor, but it also reinforces the power the heavily Democratic and majority African-American Prince George’s County has over Maryland politics, writes Chase Cook for the Capital. Prince George’s County has the most registered Democrats in the state with 442,639, according to Maryland State Board of Elections.

VOTERS APATHETIC: As voters were being counted Tuesday night, politicians and poll workers estimated that the turnout for the primary was the lowest in recent history — leading some to call for voting to be moved back to the fall in future years, write Yvonne Wenger and Jean Marbella for the Baltimore Sun. Despite campaigning from a full slate of candidates, some said the primary didn’t take precedence over summer vacations.

MOSBY VS. BERNSTEIN: Lawyer Marilyn J. Mosby entered the Baltimore state’s attorney race as a decided underdog, writes Luke Broadwater in the Sun. Just 34 years old, she was seeking to unseat a well-connected incumbent who would outraise her by a 3-to-1 margin. She’d never prosecuted a rape or murder case. Some of Baltimore’s high-powered lawyers met her campaign with eye rolls. Incumbent Gregg Bernstein ignored her, and lost by 10 percentage points.

NO FAN OF MARIJUANA: U.S.Rep. Andy Harris plans to introduce an amendment Wednesday that would block the District of Columbia’s efforts to decriminalize marijuana, John Fritze reports in the Sun.

BALTIMORE COUNTY COUNCILMEN LOSE SEATS: Two Baltimore County councilwomen survived primary challenges Tuesday, while two other incumbents lost their seats, reports Alison Knezevich in the Sun. Councilman Todd Huff, a Lutherville Republican and Councilman Ken Oliver, a Randallstown Democrat, both fell to challengers.

TWITTER OVER TV: Turnout at the polls may have been anaemic, but David Zurawik for Sun writes that the televised coverage of the results wasn’t much better. Most stations, Zurawik states, barely had ticker tapes of election results running below their regularly scheduled shows. Political junkies were apparently better served by the social media giant Twitter, which had consistently up-to-date and accurate results.

BALTIMORE MAYOR CHIMES IN: Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday she’s confident Lt. Gov Anthony Brown will lead Maryland ‘in the right direction’ if he sails to victory in November’s race for governor, Yvonne Wenger writes in the Sun. Rawlings-Blake said she is pleased with the results of the primary election that handed brown and his running mate the Democatic nomination.

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNCIL RACE: If west county voters weren’t aware that every vote really does count, the race for Anne Arundel County Council in District 4 provided a prime example, writes Sarah Hainesworth in the Capital. The three Democratic candidates nearly split Tuesday’s results almost evenly. Almost. In the end, county school Board member Andrew Pruski won by 151 votes.

CARROLL COUNTY: Two current delegates and one newcomer won the Republican nomination for the District 5 House of Delegates, an entirely new district that encompasses the majority of Carroll County, Rachel Roubein reports in the Carroll County Times. Justin Ready, Susan Krebs and Haven Shoemaker are the three Republican candidates who will face two Democrats in the November general election

WASHINGTON COUNTY: In a pivotal local primary election race Tuesday, three of the five incumbent Republicans for the Washington County Board of Commissioners appear poised to advance to the general election in the fall, writes CJ Lovelace in the Herald-Mail.

HARFORD COUNTY: Staff of the Dagger have summarized some of the contentious Harford county races.

CURRIE RE-ELECTED: The drunk-driving state House delegate was ousted. The thief was just shy of regaining office. And voters were done with a delegate who was beaten in a carjacking last fall — an incident in which two assailants said the delegate had used drugs with them and solicited sex from one of them. But while Maryland voters showed no interest in the longtime campaign consultant who ran for state Senate even as he was on probation for breaking election laws, the people chose Tuesday to keep an aging state senator who was censured by colleagues for using his office for private gain, Sen. Ulysses Currie, writes Marc Fisher in the Post.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY: The four Democratic incumbents in legislative District 18 are heading for another term in the General Assembly, reports Ryan Marshall in the Gazette. In Tuesday’s primary, state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. easily defeated his challenger, Dana Beyer, with 58 percent of the vote. And all three delegates — Jeff Waldstreicher, Alfred C. Carr Jr. and Ana Sol Gutierrez — came out on top over their four Democratic challengers.

MoCo ANALYSIS: Lou Peck of Bethesda Magazine analyzes the races in Montgomery County, picking winners and losers, without the snark often found in such pieces. Winners include Sen. Jamie Raskin, incumbency, minorities and business groups. Losers include unions, self-funded candits and pundits.

MoCo COUNCIL: Evan Glass, trailing Del. Tom Hucker by 217 votes in the District 5 Montgomery County Council Democratic primary race, said Wednesday he is not ready to concede, writes Bill Turque in the Post. “Every voice matters, that’s why I will wait until all the votes are counted,” Glass said in an e-mail.

MUSE WINS: In District 26, Prince George’s County voters elected Sen. Anthony Muse  in Tuesday’s primary election, reports Alice Popovici of the Gazette. Muse, of Fort Washington, will face Republican candidate Kelley Howells of Accokeek in the November general election.

WASTED CASH: David Lublin of Maryland Politics Watch reveals the extraordinary cash that some of the losing candidates and ousted incumbents spent on their campaigns.

TOO CLOSE TO CALL: Results from the primary election have left several local races without resolution, and on Thursday local boards of election will begin counting absentee ballots to decide winners and losers, report Alison Knezevich and Pam Wood in the Sun. In Baltimore County, the contest to pick a Republican who will face incumbent Democrat County Executive Kevin Kamenetz in November was too close to call after the close of polls Tuesday, as was an Anne Arundel County Council race.

COLBURN REFLECTS: Reflecting on his defeat in an interview Wednesday, state Sen. Richard Colburn said the most surprising part of the election was how he lost in Talbot County, a place he called his home growing up, reports Phil Davis in the Salisbury Daily Times. The county voted in favor of Del. Adelaide Eckardt by 1,349 votes, the overwhelming majority of the 1,478 votes Colburn lost by overall. “Probably the most surprising vote came out of Talbot (County) and that’s where she won,” said Colburn. “It’s pretty stunning that she would beat me and beat me badly.”

TILGHMAN VS. HARRIS: Democrat Bill Tilghman will square off against incumbent Republican Rep. Andy Harris in November’s general election, Brian Shane reports in the Salisbury Daily Times.

BRINKLEY’S LOSS: Hough, a Republican delegate for District 3B, challenged Sen. David Brinkley for his job in District 4, and won, reports Sylvia Carignan for the Frederick News-Post. Hough had 68 percent of the vote in District 4 by 11 p.m. Tuesday with 82 of 85 precincts reporting.

FREDERICK COUNTY DEMOCRATS: In the race for two open delegate seats Tuesday in District 3A, two former alderwomen, Carol Krimm and Karen Young, both Democrats will move onto compete against two Republicans in the general election, reports Jen Bondeson in the News-Post.

FREDERICK COUNTY JUDGES: There will be a general election to decide the fifth Frederick County Circuit Court judge, writes Danielle Gaines in the News-Post. Judge Danny Brian O’Connor and former Frederick county State’s Attorney Scott Rolle each earned a nod from primary voters Tuesday night.

NEUMAN FINISHED WITH POLITICS: Laura Neuman confirmed she has no plans to run for office again on WBAL radio Wednesday. “I am finished with politics and it’s not an ill-willed thing,” she said on Maryland’s Morning News with Bryan Nehman. “I might’ve continued had I won the primary last night. But I had said all along that, if I didn’t win this primary, I knew a major factor would be that I didn’t have the support of the party overall and I wouldn’t stand up again as a representative of a party without their support.”

CALVERT COUNTY: Sara Newman and Sarah Fleischman of the Calvert County Recorder summarize the commissioners’ and board of education primary results in Calvert.

CHARLES COUNTY: Charles County residents chose Democratic candidates Lorraine Berry, Janice Marie Talley and Frank H. Lancaster for judges of the orphans’ court in the primary election, among other local offices, reports Rebecca Barnabi in the Charles County Independent.

HOUSE 35A: Kevin Hornberger will face incumbent Delegate David Rudolph in November after winning the party primary in District 35A, reports Jane Bellmyer in the Cecil Whig. In District 35B, which has no incumbents seeking re-election, Daniel Lamey and Jeffrey Elliott will represent Democrats in November against GOP winners Andrew Cassilly and Teresa Reilly.

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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