State Roundup: Referendums on sports betting, curbing governor’s budget control headed for wins

State Roundup: Referendums on sports betting, curbing governor’s budget control headed for wins

The White House by Tom Lohdan on Flickr with Creative Commons License

SPORTS BETTING, OTHER BALLOT QUESTIONS: Sports fans in Maryland could one day place a bet on their favorite team or player, as the state’s voters approved legalizing sports betting in this fall’s election, with voters favoring the measure by a margin of about 2-to-1, Pamela Wood and Lillian Reed of the Sun report.

  • Maryland governors will have less control over the state budget in the future, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. The change to the state’s budget process is one of two amendments to the state Constitution approved by voters; the second moves the state closer to sports betting.
  • The budget referendum will allow lawmakers to increase, decrease and move money around in the state’s spending blueprint, subject to the overall cap set by the governor, writes Bennett Leckrone and Bruce DePuyt for Maryland Matters.

BIDEN TAKES STATE, WITH POCKETS OF TRUMP SUPPORT: In a roundup of presidential and local election returns from around the state, the Sun reports that there were no big surprises in Baltimore’s general election races since city’s contests are usually decided during the primary elections. Anne Arundel County, which flipped from red to blue in 2016, appeared to have solidified that trend this time around. And in Baltimore County, where Democrats beat Republicans four years ago by more than 17 percentage points, Biden held a wider lead over Trump in the first wave of returns relative to Clinton, as well.

  • Maryland looked set to vote overwhelmingly for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and to approve a statewide measure to legalize sports betting as preliminary election results rolled in late Tuesday night, Rebecca Tan, Ovetta Wiggins and Rachel Chason of the Post report.
  • Brenda Wintrode and Kaitlyn Francis report that exit “polls revealed most Kent Island voters who spoke with Capital News Service were motivated by taxes and an improved economy to vote for Trump. Others pointed to his handling of foreign relations. But when asked about either topic, few outlined further details.” Kent Island is in deep blue Queen’s Anne County. The article appears in Maryland Reporter.
  • Democrat Joe Biden won Maryland’s 10 electoral votes as expected Tuesday. The state has not voted Republican in a presidential election in 32 years, Jeff Barker of the Sun reports.
  • Here’s a Sun recap of what happened in Maryland.

CIRCUIT COURT CHALLENGERS COME ON STRONG: Challengers were ahead of incumbent circuit court judges in contests in Charles and Howard counties and appeared on their way to upsets early Wednesday, according to returns reported by the State Board of Elections, Louis Peck reports in Maryland Matters. A non-incumbent candidate also appeared to have captured a circuit court judgeship in Prince George’s County.

First times voters at High Point High School in Beltsville, from left, Noe Gomez, Hilda Rivera Gomez, and Lauro Soto. Noe is from Guatemala and Hilda and Laura are from El Salvador. The Gomezes became naturalized citizens last year. Photos by Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk.

SCOTT BECOMES B’MORE’s YOUNGEST MAYOR: As two septuagenarians battled for the White House on Election Day, Baltimore sent its youngest mayor ever to City Hall, reports Jean Marbella for the Sun. Led by 36-year-old Brandon Scott’s victory as mayor, all three top posts in the city will change hands after Tuesday’s election.

  • After Scott’s close victory last June against former Mayor Sheila Dixon in the Democratic primary, the result of the general election was never in doubt, Ian Round of Baltimore Brew reports.

MFUME, INCUMBENTS WIN IN CONGRESS: Baltimore Democratic Rep. Kweisi Mfume won his bid for a new U.S. House term Tuesday against Republican Kimberly Klacik, who raised $7 million after President Donald Trump shared her campaign video, Jeff Barker of the Sun reports. Maryland’s other seven U.S. House members — all men — won new terms.

  • Mfume took nearly three-quarters of the vote in his race against Klacik, a Republican commentator whose campaign video caught the eye of President Donald Trump, Joel McCord of WYPR-FM reports.
  • With a significant lead over his challengers late Tuesday night, U.S. Rep. David Trone thanked voters for electing him to a second term representing Maryland’s 6th District. Maryland State Del. Neil Parrott, Trone’s Republican challenger, said in a phone interview that he called Trone and congratulated him and conceded the election, Julie Greene of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail reports.

ONCE RELIABLY RED FREDERICK NOW PURPLE: Frederick County is one of the few counties in deep-blue Maryland where voter registration between Democrats and Republicans is about even. Once considered a conservative bastion, demographic changes in recent years have turned the county from red to purple. Republicans tend to have an advantage in rural areas while Democrats tend to be dominant in the city of Frederick and its surrounding areas, Bryan Renbaum writes in MarylandReporter.

THE FUTURE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY: Nuclear energy is valued as a zero-emissions generation solution. Visible nuclear power is based on 1950’s technology that was optimized to power ships and submarines; but what is in place today does not forecast the future! This FREE webinar on November 5th looks at the issues confronting Maryland today as well as the potential of nuclear fission. What does science and technology tell us is inevitable 50 years from now? The vision is that nuclear fission can be a clean, sustainable, safe, and secure fuel source.

HORNBERGER FAR AHEAD IN CECIL COUNTY EXEC RACE: Danielle Hornberger, the Republican candidate for Cecil County executive, is ahead based on returns from a week of in-person early voting, some mail-in ballots and early Election Day totals with 60.2%. Democratic candidate Jeff Kase trails with 39.6%, Jacob Took reports in the Cecil Whig.

EARLY SUPPORT FOR TAXPAYER FINANCED CAMPAIGNS IN BA CO: Early voters on Tuesday showed support for those seeking office in Baltimore County being able to use a special fund of taxpayer money to finance their campaigns, but official results are still outstanding, Taylor DeVille reports for Baltimore Sun Media.

MO CO FAVORING COUNCIL RESTRUCTURING: Given two choices for how to change the structure of the Montgomery County Council, voters so far favor expanding the council from nine seats to 11, maintaining four at-large seats. A competing proposal — keeping the council at nine seats, but making them all by district — was losing on Tuesday night, Briana Adhikusuma of Bethesda Beat reports.

MO CO LEANS TOWARD JETTISONING TAX CAP: Montgomery County voters are leaning toward removing the county’s tax revenue cap, according to preliminary election results shared Tuesday night. Question A, proposed by the County Council, called for removing a cap that limits how much the county’s property tax revenue can increase in a single year, Briana Adhikusuma of Bethesda Beat reports.

LOCAL PROJECTS GET TRANSPORTATION GRANTS: The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration has been awarded over $4 million in federal grants for projects in Baltimore County, Baltimore City, and Allegany County, Drew Jabin of Conduit Street reports.

BRAVEBOY HONORED BY WINFREY SYSTEM: Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy has been recognized by Oprah Winfrey’s OWN system and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. as a county leader for voting rights and criminal justice reform, the Washington Informer writes.

DISASTER FOR DEMOCRATS: For an analysis you might not see elsewhere, Politico’s Playbook says: “Tuesday was an abject disaster for Democrats in Washington. To imagine the amount of soul searching and explaining the party will have to do after Tuesday is absolutely dizzying. The infighting will be bloody — as it should be. We fielded text after text from Hill Democrats Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning with existential questions about their leadership and the direction of their party. Democrats told us in the weeks and months leading up to Election Day that they were on track to win the majority in the Senate, and they don’t appear poised to do that.”

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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