State Roundup, November 6, 2018

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FINAL PUSH IN GOVERNOR’s RACE: Despite inclement weather, the candidates for governor slogged through a final day of campaigning on Monday, determined to win over as many last-minute voters as possible before the marathon 2018 race comes to a close. Gov. Larry Hogan Jr. (R) and challenger Ben Jealous (D) focused on the state’s population centers, the two metropolitan areas where a bulk of Maryland’s nearly 4 million voters can be found, Danielle Gaines and Bruce DePuyt report in Maryland Matters.

HISTORY WILL BE MADE: In this roundup of Maryland, Virginia and DC races, the Post is reporting that regardless of who wins the Maryland governor’s mansion, history will be made. Gov. Larry Hogan could become the state’s first Republican governor reelected in 60 years. And Democrat Ben Jealous would be the state’s first African American governor.

AN ELECTION REFRESHER: For those who haven’t been paying attention to all the campaiging that has been going on around them, Jean Marbella of the Sun pulls together a cheat sheet for those who need to catch up on who and what Marylanders will be voting on. She includes links for further enlightenment.

DRIVE FOR FIVE ON EASTERN SHORE: With the polls opening today, Maryland Republicans are hoping to break Democrats’ veto-proof majority in the state Senate by flipping five seats — an effort Republican leaders have dubbed the Drive for Five. They’re looking at two districts in Baltimore County, one in Frederick County and one on the lower Eastern Shore, where incumbent Sen. Jim Mathias is locked in a tough race with first- term Del. Mary Beth Carozza. Joel McCord reports the story for WYPR-FM.

ANALYSIS: 8 VULNERNABLE STATE SENATE SEATS: In a column for Seventh State, David Lublin assesses eight vulnerable state Senate seats currently held by Democrats and, based on previous elections, what their status will be like come tomorrow morning. One open seat, that of current Sen. Jim Brochin, will likely go Republican with state Del. Chris West winning, four remain tossups and three are leaning or likely Democrat.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: It will soon be all over but the vote counting. Maryland’s 2018 campaign comes to an end Tuesday night when polls close at 8 p.m. Here’s a snapshot of what to watch as the results come rolling in, beginning with what the large early voting numbers are indicating and whether Gov. Larry Hogan has coattails and his Drive for Five works, writes Bryan Sears for the Daily Record.

GETTING TO BALTIMORE POLLS: Here’s a reminder from Hallie Miller of the Sun on getting help to get to the polls in the Baltimore region today. Several nonpartisan organizations in the Baltimore area have revved up efforts to encourage voter turnout. The initiatives range from driving voters to polling places to catering hot meals at registration sites and block parties.

***SUPPORT NONPROFIT NEWS: Any tax-deductible donation to MarylandReporter.com up to $1,000 will be doubled by four national foundations if we get it by Dec. 31. $50 becomes $100, $250 is worth $500, $1,000 doubles to $2,000. We’re now 20% toward the maximum grant of $25,000.***  

BEREANO-BACKED, ANTI-JEALOUS MAILER: A Super PAC with ties to a Republican consulting firm whose Annapolis offices were raided by the FBI last year is circulating a late political hit on Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ben Jealous in Prince George’s County – and the mailer was partially paid for by prominent State House lobbyist, Bruce Bereano, Josh Kurtz reports for Maryland Matters.

WHAT THE NEXT GOV FACES: Regardless of who wins the Maryland governor’s race, the next governor will have to face specific issues, write Danielle Gaines and Josh Kurtz for Maryland Matters. Those issues include the “education funding lockbox,” which is on the ballot today, management of the University of Maryland System and College Park sports in particular, redistricting and the future of the State Center complex.

TRONE HITS HOEBER HARD: The acrimonious side of the contest for the open District 6 congressional seat has erupted as Election Day approaches—with Democrat David Trone of Potomac running a 30-second spot in the Washington TV broadcast market slamming his Republican opponent on multiple fronts. Amie Hoeber, a deputy undersecretary of the Army during the Reagan administration, on Sunday described herself as “truly furious” at Trone’s depiction of her professional background, Louis Peck reports for Bethesda Beat.

REDMER BLASTS OLSZEWSKI FOR SCHOOL VISIT: On the final full day of campaigning before the general election, Baltimore County executive candidate Johnny Olszewski Jr.’s stops included a ribbon-cutting at a public school that drew criticism from his opponent, Al Redmer Jr. Pamela Wood of the Sun reports that Olszewski, the Democratic nominee, was a guest at Padonia International Elementary School in Cockeysville, where school and county officials celebrated a renovation and addition on Monday morning.

BA CO EXEC RACE TURNS TO DUNDALK: Early Monday morning, volunteers planted Republican campaign signs in the grass around the Boulevard Diner in Dundalk. Black signs for Gov. Larry Hogan alternated with bright yellow signs for Baltimore County executive candidate Al Redmer Jr. Nine hours later, it was Democrats who took over the intersection, with county executive candidate Johnny Olszewski Jr. wrapping up the final day of campaigning before Tuesday’s general election with his own sign-waving entourage during the evening rush hour, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports.

FACT-CHECKING BA CO HOPEFULS: Pamela Wood of the Sun fact-checks claims of the two candidates for Baltimore County executive, writing that Al Redmer Jr. and Johnny Olszewski Jr. both have repeated several assertions about how the county government operates. According to county government data and other sources, it appears that not all of them are entirely true.

MO CO EXEC RACE: After participating in more than one dozen debates and spending months on the campaign trail, the three candidates running to be the next Montgomery County executive headed Monday into the last 24 hours of their campaigns. Dan Schere and Louis Peck of Bethesda Beat try to track down the candidates to find out how they are spending the closing hours of the campaign.

ANALYSIS: WHO’s THE NEXT MO CO COUNTY EXEC? Adam Pagnucco, in his political column for Bethesda Beat, looks at the voting pattern within Montgomery County to assess who will win the race for county executive and the scenarios that would get them to victory. First off, he tosses away Republican Robin Ficker’s chances and concentrates solely on Democrat Marc Elrich and Independent Nancy Floreen.

VOTING IN ARUNDEL: Chase Cook of the Annapolis Capital reminds voters of where and how to vote. He also writes about some of the noteworthy election year happenings, such as the race for Arundel County executive between incumbent Republican Steve Schuh and Democrat Steuart Pittman and whether this year will actually be the “year of the woman.”

PRECINCTS TO WATCH IN FREDERICK: With early voting turnout doubling that of 2014, Frederick County appears to be in line with nationwide expectations of high turnout for Tuesday’s general election. That is, unless potential rain and thunderstorms in the forecast deter voters from the polls. With county voter registration tilting in the favor of Republicans but turning more blue each year, The Frederick News-Post examined five precincts that could determine who gets elected Tuesday evening.

WHAT TO WATCH IN CARROLL: The Carroll County Times reports on things Carroll County voters should pay attention to in the mid-term elections, including whether a Democrat could be elected to the a State House seat from Carroll.

WA CO CONTESTS: One of the most contested races in Washington County on Tuesday will be for the five seats on the Washington County Board of Commissioners, writes Julie Greene for the Hagerstown Herald Mail. Will the board remain dominated by Republicans? Will the board have its first Democratic member since Kristin Aleshire in 2010? Will the board have its fourth — or possibly fourth and fifth — elected woman in county history?

MAJOR UM DONOR WANTS LOH TO STAY: One of the most generous donors to the University of Maryland urged state leaders Monday to stand by Wallace D. Loh, president of the flagship College Park campus, calling it a matter of trust, Susan Svrluga of the Post reports. Brendan Iribe, whose $31 million donation in 2014 was the largest gift in the university’s history until last year, brought a letter to Maryland leaders urging Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and others to keep Loh in his post.

  • Iribe is the latest donor to say the regents overstepped their authority by deciding last week to retain Durkin. The move roiled campus and beyond, as many thought the coach should be held accountable for the heatstroke death of player Jordan McNair, and what had been described as the football team’s “toxic” culture. Since then, the regents’ chairman, James T. Brady, resigned and many are urging Loh to reconsider his June retirement, Jean Marbella of the Sun reports.

JUDGE ALLOWS ACCESS TO TRUMP RECORDS: ABCNews is reporting that a federal judge in Maryland will allow Maryland and D.C. officials access to the Trump Organization’s business records, dealing another blow to President Donald Trump’s effort to stop a lawsuit claiming his — and his family’s — ownership of a Washington, D.C., hotel have put him at odds with the Constitution’s prohibition on government officials accepting payments from foreign states without permission from Congress.

CHILL OUT: If you want to take a break from all the politics, the Baltimore Business Journal offers a gallery of the best selling cannabis products from the dispensaries it surveyed. Cool.