‘Free State Politics’ Episode 7: 2022 gubernatorial race and Jan. 6 attack congressional hearings

‘Free State Politics’ Episode 7: 2022 gubernatorial race and Jan. 6 attack congressional hearings


Episode 7 of the “Free State Politics” podcast presented by MarylandReporter.com is now available to download. Please subscribe here.

It features award-winning journalist John Rydell and producer Douglas Christian, an independent White House multimedia journalist. If you have not subscribed to the podcast, please do so.

The 24-minute episode features interviews with St. Mary’s College political science professor Todd Eberly and New York Times congressional reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Luke Broadwater. Eberly shared his thoughts on the candidates in Maryland’s 2022 gubernatorial race. Broadwater reflected on the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump and offered insight into the ongoing congressional investigation into that attack.

Eberly says Comptroller Peter Franchot, former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, and former state Attorney General Doug Gansler are the frontrunners in the Democratic race

“I have to put probably at the top of list-just because they have experience running and sort of an electoral foundation in the state: Rushern Baker and Peter Franchot. And then Doug Gansler,” he said. “Baker and Gansler have sought the nomination in the past. So, I think they are probably top of the list. But folks like [former U.S. Education Secretary] John King and [Baltimore entrepreneur and former non-profit executive] Wes Moore have done a really great job of raising money, which will help them get their name recognition higher.”

Eberly says progressives are likely to again “dominate” the Democratic gubernatorial primary and that Franchot’s close working relationship with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan could prove to be a political liability 

“One thing we saw in the 2018 elections for Maryland was that progressives really did dominate that primary. Some long-standing Democratic incumbents lost in the primary. And of course, Ben Jealous wound up being nominated. You are not going to win over the skeptical progressives if you continue that close relationship with Larry Hogan.”

Eberly says the GOP gubernatorial candidates have to mimic Hogan’s persona and campaign style to have a chance at winning in deep-blue Maryland 

“What you have to do on the Republican side to win what would be a third-term-you have got to count on some blowback or pushback against the Biden administration. Mid-term elections typically work against the party in the White House…So that is really the opening. If Biden winds not up not being very popular then there is an opening for Republicans. But they have to repeat Hogan’s game plan…I think the Republican brand right now is tainted by Donald Trump in the state of Maryland.”

Broadwater describes his experience being at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 

“I was in the Senate when the rioters breached the building,” he said. “As I was walking in that morning it did not seem out of control or that bad or anything. It was just a protest day. But things quickly escalated. And being inside we could not really see what was happening until there was an alert over the Capitol security speakers basically telling everyone that there had been a breach of the building and that people should shelter in-place.”

Broadwater describes the recent hearing with emotional testimony by USCP officers 

“I think it was very somber, very emotional, and very powerful…To see them there, dressed in their dark blue uniforms sitting beside each other, telling their personal stories, very emotionally, many of them crying, tears running down their face… hearing about one being struck with a taser…I think that sort of cuts through the typical partisanship of Congress.”

Broadwater says members of Congress could be called on to testify at future hearings 

“I do think members of Congress will be called on to testify. I know that one line of inquiry will likely lead to this angry phone call between Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House, and Donald Trump-as the riots unfolded in which McCarthy said that Trump did not respond quickly to calling off the attack.”


The podcast concludes with Rydell’s signature two-minute societal self-reflection: “A Moment of Clarity.”

This week the host reflects on the recent surge of the Delta variant and how it has caused a major political event to be postponed until the fall.

About The Author

Bryan Renbaum


Reporter Bryan Renbaum served as the Capitol Hill Correspondent for Talk Media News for the past three-and-a-half years, filing print, radio and video reports on the Senate and the House of Representatives. He covered congressional reaction to the inauguration of President Donald Trump as well as the confirmation hearings of attorneys general Jeff Sessions and William Barr and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. He also filed breaking news reports on the 2017 shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and three others. Previously Bryan broke multiple stories with the Baltimore Post-Examiner including sexual assault scandals at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a texting scandal on the women’s lacrosse team at that school for which he was interviewed by ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He also covered the Maryland General Assembly during the 2016 legislative session as an intern for Maryland Reporter. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from McDaniel College. If you have additional questions or comments contact Bryan at: bryan@marylandreporter.com

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