State Roundup: Cardin won’t get Senate committee gavel; Covid numbers on the rise

State Roundup: Cardin won’t get Senate committee gavel; Covid numbers on the rise

FEW SURPRISES IN DEEP-BLUE MARYLAND: Deep-blue Maryland provided few surprises on Election Day, Bryan Renbaum writes for Maryland Reporter. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden won the state with more than 63% of the vote. All of Maryland’s congressional representatives, seven out of eight of whom are Democrats, easily won re-election. Baltimore City overwhelmingly elected a new Democratic mayor. And the state’s two ballot initiatives – one that legalizes sports betting and one that allows the General Assembly to add items to the state budget – passed by comfortable margins.

  • Incumbent U.S. Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) has won a second term in Congress. According to the Maryland State Board of Elections, Trone unofficially had 55.2% (142,845) of the votes that were counted to Neil Parrott’s 43.0% (111,297), Dan Schere reports in Bethesda Beat.
  • Here’s a chart of the overall election results from the AP, via WTOP-FM.

CARDIN WON’T GET A GAVEL IN SENATE: Ariana Figueroa of Maryland Matters writes that Tuesday’s election was a disaster for congressional Democrats. Had Democrats seized control of the Senate, Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin would have been expected to become a committee chairman: He is the top-ranking Democrat on the Small Business Committee. He is also the ranking member on the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

COLUMN: KLACIK BLOW THROUGH $5M: In a column for the Sun, Dan Rodricks writes: “How many votes could $4.8 million buy for a Republican candidate seeking the congressional seat held for years by the late Elijah Cummings, a revered Democrat? … Kim Klacik … had by Wednesday evening notched 68,161 votes in her quest to win the 7th District seat. …each vote for Klacik comes to $70.60. The final numbers will likely be different but, still, that’s a lot of dough for little return.”

DESPITE PANDEMIC, ELECTION RAN WELL: Election Day results still are being reported, more mail-in ballots await counting, and the presidential race remains very much undecided. But in Maryland, state officials and observers are ready to declare at least one winner the day after Election 2020: the election itself, Emily Opilo of the Sun reports.

SOME GLITCHES: State election officials have delayed the release of Election Day returns for three of the state’s largest jurisdictions to Thursday after failing to post the information on election night and later promising the data on Wednesday. Complete returns for in-person voting on Election Day will not be released until Thursday for Baltimore City and Prince George’s and Baltimore counties, Colin Campbell and Emily Opilo of the Sun report.

  • State Board of Elections officials say this was because of difficulties with transferring data from thumb drives. Local elections boards store data from ballot scanners on thumb drives, then transfer them to the state’s central voting database, Sarah Kim of WYPR-FM reports.
  • Thousands of mail-in ballots still need to be counted in Frederick County — a process that will likely continue into next week, and help determine the winners in the Board of Education race and confirm whether the county voted for President Donald Trump or former vice president Joe Biden, Steve Bohnel of the Frederick News-Post reports.

TAKEAWAYS FROM MARYLAND VOTE: Madeleine O’Neill of the USA Today Network writes that there are still outstanding votes to be counted in Maryland, and lessons to be learned from this unprecedented Election Day. She offers up key takeaways from the vote in Maryland.

RISING COVID: NEW RESTRICTIONS, SCHOOL DELAYS: The coronavirus pandemic is surging in Maryland, with daily cases, hospitalizations and the testing positivity rate reaching their highest levels in months Wednesday as some local officials discussed tightening virus-related restrictions, Ben Leonard of the Sun reports.

  • After weeks of rising corona­virus infections, Montgomery County is likely to become the first locality in the Washington region to reimpose significant restrictions on social and commercial activity, Rebecca Tan, Dana Hedgpeth and Michael Brice-Saddler of the Post report.
  • Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has proposed cutting in half the capacity at restaurants and other businesses, dropping it from 50% to 25%, starting Friday. The County Council is scheduled on Thursday to review and possibly approve that and other amendments Elrich is recommending to a COVID-19 executive order, Briana Adhikusuma of Bethesda Beat reports.
  • The Anne Arundel County Board of Education voted to postpone the reopening of schools for hybrid learning until at least the start of the second semester next February as the county’s coronavirus case rate has been rising, Rachael Pacella of the Capital Gazette reports.

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LABOR CHIEF: MORE STAFF TO HANDLE JOBLESS CLAIMS: Maryland’s labor secretary said the state is again beefing up its staff to handle a backlog of unemployment claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bryan Sears of the Daily Record reports. Since March, the state’s unemployment system has been the subject of repeated criticism from lawmakers and those filing claims for benefits. To date, more than 41,000 people are awaiting hearings that could determine whether they will ever be paid.

HOGAN LEADS BI-PARTISAN ‘ACCEPT THE RESULTS’ PUSH: As Americans await the final results of the presidential election, Gov. Larry Hogan appeared in a video for the bipartisan “No Labels” organization asking people to be patient and accept the results, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports. “We cast the votes, we count the votes and we respect the results,” Hogan says in the video, which features alternating clips of the Republican governor and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia.

INDEPENDENT CAMPAIGNER ON WAY TO JUDGESHIP: Gladys Weatherspoon, a practicing defense attorney for 25 years, neither worked as a local or state prosecutor or went through a vetting process for a Prince George’s County Circuit Court judgeship. Instead, she ran an independent campaign, and according to unofficial results, she received the most votes with 216,676 on Tuesday, Nov. 3, William Ford reports for the Washington Informer.

BA CO VOTER OK ELECTION FUND: Preliminary election results showed that more than 55% of voters signed off on creating an election fund that would match small donations for local candidates in Baltimore County, a measure advocates say would create fairer elections in the county, Bennett Leckrone of Maryland Matters reports.

DETERMINED FIRST TIME VOTERS: When Marvin Hernandez, who lives in Takoma Park, watched Donald Trump win the presidency in 2016, he vowed to do whatever he could to vote him out of office four years later. In Hernandez’s case, that meant becoming a U.S. citizen, so that he could vote. Julie Zauzmer, Oluwatobi Raji and Lola Fadulu report for the Post that many residents of the DC region were motivated to become voters for the first time in their lives this week.

OFFICIALS: RELEASE PURPLE LINE FUND FOR BUSINESS: Officials in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties say the Maryland Department of Commerce should release $2 million in state aid set aside for businesses hurt by the Purple Line’s construction before they begin to go under, Katherine Shaver of the Post reports.

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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