ELRICH SAYS MO CO COULD BEGIN YOUTH VAXX NEXT WEEK: Bryan Renbaum of Maryland Reporter writes that Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich says that his county could begin administering COVID-19 shots to young children as soon as next week, if, as is anticipated, both the FDA and CDC approve the vaccine for that purpose.
FRANCHOT PICKS RUNNING MATE WITH PAST LEGAL ISSUES: Peter Franchot, the Maryland comptroller who is among the field of Democratic candidates for governor, named Prince George’s County Council member Monique Anderson-Walker as his running mate Wednesday. The campaign quickly had to answer questions about Anderson-Walker’s legal and ethical issues, Pamela Wood of the Sun reports.
- Shortly after Franchot announced his running mate, the website A Miner Detail reported that Walker and her husband, state Del. Jay Walker (D), have a $16,402 federal tax lien. The campaign confirmed that the couple recently satisfied a tax lien with the state, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters reports.
- Bryan Sears of the Daily Record reports that Franchot’s running mate in the 2022 Democratic gubernatorial primary has had her own run-ins with state and federal tax agencies and was also chastised in August for violating ethics law in Prince George County.
AFSCME BACKS PEREZ FOR GOV: Maryland’s largest state employee union endorsed former U.S. and Maryland Labor Secretary Tom Perez (D) for governor on Wednesday, reports Danielle Gaines and Elizabeth Shwe for Maryland Matters. AFSCME Council 3 and AFSCME Council 67, which made the announcement in Baltimore, represent more than 50,000 state, county, municipal, school board, and higher education employees across Maryland.
POLL: JOBS, THE ECONOMY FACTORS IN GOV CHOICE: When selecting Maryland’s next governor, many voters will pick a candidate they believe can boost jobs and the economy, a new Goucher College Poll shows. Lorraine Mirabella of the Sun reports that the economy and jobs topped the list for 28% of voters. An additional 14% chose health care, while 13% chose racial/social justice issues and 12% said taxes.
- More Marylanders say that when they pick their next governor in November 2022, they would prefer a Republican similar to Gov. Larry Hogan rather than a Democrat, according to the latest Goucher Poll data, WYPR-FM’s Rachel Baye reports.
- Broken down by party, the economy was the top-cited issue by Republicans (46%) and unaffiliated voters (36%). The top issue identified by Democrats, who were more evenly split across several topics, was racial and social justice (20%), Danielle Gaines reports for Maryland Matters.
- Maryland Republicans could be competitive in the 2022 election if they can find an heir to the brand built by Gov. Larry Hogan, according to the poll. Hogan, who cannot run for a third term, has spent more than a decade building a brand of Republicanism. That individual brand survived an anti-Donald Trump blue wave in 2018, writes Bryan Sears in the Daily Record.
DELEGATE CANDIDATES LINE UP IN PRINCE GEORGE’S: William Ford of the Washington Informer writes that LaTasha Ward is one of several Prince George’s residents who filed as candidates to become first-time state delegates in Annapolis. Others include Monica Roebuck of Bowie to represent District 23A and Kym Taylor, also of Bowie, to represent District 23B.
RUPPERSBERGER DEACTIVATES SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS: U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland announced Wednesday that he has deactivated his official congressional and campaign Facebook and Instagram accounts until their parent company and Congress make substantial reforms to protect children, health and democratic values, Brian Witte of the AP reports.
JUDGE O’MALLEY TO RETIRE, MAY RUN FOR ATTY GEN: Former Maryland first lady Catherine “Katie” Curran O’Malley said Wednesday that she is retiring as a judge of the Baltimore District Court, and a source close to her said she is seriously considering running for Maryland attorney general, Justin Fenton of the Sun reports.
CARROLL SCHOOL BOARD VIOLATED OPEN MEETINGS LAW: A state compliance board found Carroll County’s Board of Education in violation for a closed meeting it held in August without providing adequate public notice, Kristen Griffith of the Carroll County Times reports. The topic of that meeting, according to the compliance board, was a proposed statewide school mask mandate.
MO CO STAFF SHORTAGE STRESSING TEACHERS: Montgomery County teachers say they are at their “breaking point” as the squeeze of a “dire” staffing shortage continues two months into the district’s attempt to return to in-person classes during the COVID-19 pandemic, Caitlynn Peetz reports for Bethesda Beat.
ADVOCATES SEEK BETTER PROTECTIONS FOR LGBTQ DETAINEES: A transgender teen detained at the Baltimore jail who says she was discriminated against and feared for her safety is the latest example of the need for reforms, advocates say. Jessica Anderson of the Sun reports that Kazzy Davis, an 18-year-old trans woman and foster youth, who was acquitted earlier this month of assault charges after spending more than 40 days in the state-run Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center, says “It was traumatizing. I’m still stressing.”
OPINION: AN ABSURD DEFENSE FOR A CLOSED MEETING: In a column for Baltimore Brew, David Plymyer writes that, “After reading the Baltimore City Law Department’s absurd defense of one day’s notice of a meeting to evaluate the work of a corruption watchdog who ruffled the feathers of Baltimore’s power couple, Marilyn and Nick Mosby, I thought it would not be possible for the legal staff to further embarrass itself. Upon reading an opinion written by chief solicitor Hilary Ruley, released last Friday night, I learned how wrong I was.”
OPINION: CONSERVATIVE HAS QUESTIONS ABOUT ‘BALTIMORE BANNER:’ Brian Griffiths of the conservative Duckpin blog questions the ties between the Stewart Bainum-created Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism and a Democratic PR firm that, he alleges, was involved in attempts to seize the Baltimore Sun by eminent domain. On an Oct. 26 press release from the Venetoulis Institute, Rick Abbruzzese of KO Public Affairs was listed as a media contact.. “One of the principals of KO is Damian O’Doherty, a founding partner of KO Public Affairs, a lobbying organization with ties to prominent Democrats. KO runs Center Maryland, which has often blurred the line between being news or being activism.”