HOGAN TO SIGN HI-TECH ED BILL: Gov. Larry Hogan plans to sign legislation today that would launch a program under which ninth-grade students could obtain a high school diploma and associate’s degree in six years, and be on track to land a high-tech job, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun.
HOGAN TAPS CANNABIS PANEL CHIEF: Gov. Larry Hogan has tapped a former state trooper and Republican political candidate as Maryland’s top medical marijuana regulator, Fenit Nirappil reports in the Post. Patrick Jameson started Monday as executive director of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, a spokesman for Hogan said.
TIME TO VOTE: Voters in Baltimore City head to the polls today to select candidates for mayor, City Council and other top city offices. Across Maryland, competitive presidential and congressional primaries also will also be decided. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Yvonne Wenger and Luke Broadwater report for the Sun.
- The editorial board for the Carroll County Times urges patience as voters head to the polls, since the process will be a bit slower with the return of paper ballots. However, don’t let that stop you from voting.
- New voting machines in use for the first time during the Maryland Primary Election revert back to a simpler, low-tech way of counting votes: paper ballots, reports Liz Holland for the Salisbury Daily Times. The change is the result of a law that passed in 2007, but new machines weren’t purchased right away because of state revenue shortfalls during the recession, said Anthony Gutierrez, elections director for Wicomico County.
- The number of early voters in Frederick County increased by nearly 60% this year, boosted by presidential politics, contested U.S. House races and the first U.S. Senate race without an incumbent candidate in a decade, Danielle Gaines reports in the Frederick News Post.
- MarylandReporter.com’s Len Lazarick got his two and a half minutes of national exposure talking about the Maryland primary on MSNBC Monday morning. He posted the clip on his Facebook page.
IMMIGRATION ISSUE: Deepa Ramudamu, Alexandra Pamias and Eliana Block of CNS report that immigration has been the focus of much debate during this election season and has been one of the animating issues behind the rise of Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. In Maryland as well, Democratic and Republican voters are deeply split over how they view the issue and which candidate they believe is best fit to address it. National polls show GOP voters generally consider illegal immigration to be a more important issue than Democratic voters do. The story appears in MarylandReporter.com.
SUN BACKS CLINTON: The Sun editorial board has endorsed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary.
SUN BACKS KASICH: The Sun editorial board has endorsed John Kasich in the Republican presidential primary.
HISTORICAL CAMPAIGNS IN MO CO: For a bit of a twist on hot elections, Louis Peck of Bethesda Beat recalls six Montgomery County campaigns that made headlines for their controversies.
DIVISION IN DEM SENATE PRIMARY: A Senate primary that has exposed deep racial, gender and class divisions within the Maryland Democratic Party will finally be in the hands of the electorate today, as voters choose a nominee to compete in November for a rare open seat being vacated by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D) after 30 years, Rachel Weiner of the Post is writing.
- Erica Werner and Brian Witte of the AP write a long piece, running in the Daily Record, about the race and how it has divided not only Maryland voters, but folks in Washington, D.C., as well.
- The battle turned decidedly ugly in the final days before today’s primary — an election that, in deep-blue Maryland, will almost certainly determine the winner come November, David Sherfinski reports for the Washington Times.
- Marc Steiner of WEAA-FM interviews Donna Edwards about the race for the Senate.
- And he also interviews Chris Van Hollen about the campaign.
EDWARDS, RASKIN ENDORSED: The editors of the Nation have endorsed Donna Edwards for Senate and Jamie Raskin for the House of Representatives in the Democratic primary, writing that, “anyone looking for a political revolution knows that it’s going to take more than a presidential nominee—and more than a president—to remake the Democratic Party as a force capable not just of overcoming right-wing opposition, but also of securing economic and social justice.”
O’MALLEY BACKS VAN HOLLEN: Former Democratic presidential candidate and former Gov. Martin O’Malley weighed into the state’s competitive Senate race on Monday with an endorsement for Rep. Chris Van Hollen, John Fritze of the Sun reports.
- “In my time serving on the Baltimore City Council, as Mayor of Baltimore, and as Governor, Chris was a reliable, progressive partner in the General Assembly and in Congress,” O’Malley wrote in an email to supporters. Rachel Weiner reports the story for the Post.
ONE EXPENSIVE HOUSE RACE: As the year-long battle for the Democratic congressional nomination to succeed Rep. Chris Van Hollen approaches its final hours, money has continued to pour into what is already far and away this year’s most expensive House race in the nation, Louis Peck reports for Bethesda Beat.
CHALLENGING HARRIS: Three Republican challengers will try to unseat U.S. Rep. Andy Harris for his First Congressional District seat in today’s Maryland Primary Election, but the three-term congressman says he is taking it in stride, writes Liz Holland for the Salisbury Daily Times. “I don’t begrudge anyone,” he said of his opponents. “The more the merrier.”
FRANCHOT FINDS FOOTING: Peter Franchot wants you to know: He’s still a Democrat, writes Josh Kurtz in a column for Center Maryland. Estranged from the party establishment for what seems like forever, the state comptroller convened a meeting of 20 or so Democratic elected officials, party activists and thought leaders from across Maryland at his stately Takoma Park home on Sunday afternoon. On a day when most politicians and party stalwarts were engaged in frenetic, last-minute pre-primary campaign activities, Franchot brought this group together to discuss the future of the Democratic Party in Maryland – and by implication, his own.
GANNETT SEEKS TO BUY TRIBUNE: Newspaper publisher Gannett wants to buy Tribune Publishing for more than $388 million, in a deal that would give the owner of USA Today control of the Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and several other newspapers, the AP is reporting in the Daily Record.
- In Tribune Co.’s own story on the offer in the Sun, Robert Dickey, president and CEO of Gannett, said in an interview Monday the company has been eyeing Tribune Publishing since June, and that it sees $50 million in savings annually and a platform for expanding its recently launched USA Today Network online. He said Tribune Publishing markets such as Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles and Orlando, Fla., specifically “filled a number of geographic gaps” for Gannett. “We are interested in buying the entire company,” Dickey said. “We like all of the titles. For a variety of reasons, they all fit very nicely.”