OBAMA STILL A DRAW IN MD: They may not speak his name in Kentucky or think much of his policies in Arkansas. But in Maryland, at least, Democrats are still big fans of President Barack Obama. That’s the calculation Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s campaign for governor is making as it plans to host Obama in Prince George’s County this weekend for what might be the president’s first rally with any candidate running in this year’s midterm elections, reports John Fritze for the Sun.
OUTSIDE SUPPORT FOR HOGAN: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is set to be back in Maryland next week to help Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan raise money, Hogan aides confirmed Wednesday. Christie, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association and a possible 2016 presidential candidate, is scheduled to appear at a fundraiser Tuesday morning at a private home in Potomac, John Wagner reports in the Post.
- Maryland Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan got a little fundraising help Wednesday from one of his party’s national stars: former Florida governor Jeb Bush. In a solicitation by e-mail, Bush, who is weighing a 2016 White House run, calls Hogan “the right man at the right time to lead Maryland into the future.”
BROWN ADS TURN POSITIVE: After weeks of brutal attack ads, Democrat Anthony Brown has shifted his tone and started airing positive television messages. In Baltimore, the campaign began broadcasting a spot about Brown’s military service and his Bronze Star, writes Erin Cox for the Sun.
HOGAN FOR GOV: In endorsing Larry Hogan for governor, the Gazette writes that here’s what Maryland’s next governor will face when he is sworn in Jan. 21: an unemployment rate of 6.4%; $405 million less in revenue than earlier forecasts; and the likelihood the state’s property tax, now at 11.3 cents per $100 valuation, will need a 67% increase to cover the state’s debt.
- GOV. CANDIDATES DEBATE: The two major party candidates vying to be Maryland’s next lieutenant governor will meet for their only broadcast debate Thursday when they appear on WAMU-FM in Washington, writes Michael Dresser for the Sun. Democrat Ken Ulman, running with Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, will go head-to-head with Republican Boyd Rutherford, Larry Hogan’s choice for lieutenant governor, at 1 p.m. on the Kojo Nnamdi Show.
CAMPBELL FOR COMPTROLLER: The Gazette endorses William Campbell over Peter Franchot for state comptroller. The editors criticize Franchot’s bomb throwing and question other actions while praising Campbell’s background as a chief financial officer for large U.S. government agencies.
FROSH FOR ATTY GEN: The editorial board for the Gazette endorses Brian Frosh for attorney general. Both he and Jeffrey Pritzker share many similarities. Both say they would partner with other state’s attorneys to work on complex cases. Pritzker would like to paint his opponent as part of the Annapolis power structure — Frosh is after all a committee chair — but Frosh has bucked leadership on important issues like gambling and money for stadiums.
HOPE IN DISTRICT 9B: Josh Kurtz of Center Maryland writes that the District 9B race for House of Delegates should make everyone feel hopeful. It pits two candidates whose worldviews are obviously different. They would clearly emphasize different things if they wind up in Annapolis next January. But both are good guys who would make conscientious legislators – and who could ask for a better choice than that? It’s almost enough to make you optimistic about democracy in Maryland.
HOUSE 31B CANDIDATES:The Annapolis Capital runs pieces written by candidates for delegate for 31B. Click here for incumbent Nic Kipke’s “Where I Stand.” Click here to read Meagan Simonaire’s column on why she is running. Click here to read what Jeremiah Chiappelli say about himself. Click here for Doug Morris’ column.
HOUSE 31A CANDIDATES: The Annapolis Capital is also running columns by delegate candidates for District 31A. Here’s Terry Lynn DeGraw’s piece. Click here to read what Ned Carey says about his candidacy.
O’MALLEY’S MONEY: As he continued to weigh a White House bid, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley gave money in recent months to more than three dozen Democratic committees and candidates on the ballot this year, including in the key states of Iowa and New Hampshire, writes John Wagner for the Post.
O’MALLEY’S ANEMIC MD SUPPORT: Martin O’Malley surely gets glowing introductions as he tours presidential testing sites. Good for him that Maryland’s not on his list. For a governor who helped guide Maryland through the Great Recession with minimal damage, his standing among this state’s voters is less than anemic, opinionator Fraser Smith says for WYPR-FM.
GAMING MACHINES: The Board of Public Works approved a $200 million contract for gaming machines at the state’s two smallest casinos and also worried about safety on Baltimore’s metro system during its Wednesday morning meeting, Alexis Webb reports in MarylandReporter.com.
JUSTIFYING SECRECY: Michael Gorman, Charlie Hayward and Craig O’Donnell write for MarylandReporter.com that officials for the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange have implemented the Maryland Public Information Act in reverse by using the disclosure law as a shield to justify secrecy, contrary to the statutory requirement to do the opposite by exercising a bias “… in favor of permitting inspection of a public record.”
AA CHIEFS LOOK TO ELECTION: Do they stay or do they go? That has been a key question for Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis and Fire Chief Michael Cox, as they look ahead to what happens after the Nov. 4 general election, writes Rema Rahman. The two county executive candidates, Democrat George Johnson and Republican Steve Schuh, clarified the issue a bit Wednesday during interviews with the Capital Gazette editorial board.
YOUNG BLASTS GARDNER ‘PERKS:’ In recent weeks, Frederick County executive candidate Blaine Young has slammed his opponent with accusations about accepting taxpayer-funded “perks” and “junkets” to the beach while she was in office. Young’s campaign material and public statements have claimed that his rival, Jan Gardner, spent more than $10,000 traveling to Ocean City conferences during her time as county commissioner and enjoyed a variety of perks. By contrast, Young, the current commissioners president, says he pays for his own travel, health care and postage stamps and has even bought the pizza and wings for county lunch meetings.
NEW POLICE HELICOPTER FOR W. MD: A new Maryland State Police helicopter that will serve Western Maryland was unveiled Wednesday near Cumberland, reports Dan Dearth for the Hagerstown Herald Mail. The $11.8 million helicopter will respond to accidents, participate in rescues and help search for fugitives from the air, state police spokesman Greg Shipley said.