FRANCHOT SHRUGS OFF ENDORSEMENTS OF OPPONENT: Comptroller and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Franchot said he is not concerned that one of his primary opponents recently received an endorsement from two Maryland councils of the largest public employee union in the nation, Bryan Renbaum of Maryland Reporter writes.
MARYLAND SET TO GET $6B IN INFRASTRUCTURE AID: Maryland is slated to receive as much as $6 billion from the roughly $1 trillion infrastructure package approved by the U.S. House Friday night, money intended to improve roads, bridges, transit systems, broadband and bolster Chesapeake Bay restoration, Jeff Barker and Alex Mann report for the Sun.
- Greg Slater, Maryland’s transportation secretary, said his department would work with local communities to figure out where to best spend the money with a focus on keeping existing networks in good shape, Ian Duncan and Meagan Flynn report for the Post.
- Maryland’s congressional Democrats hailed the passage of the bill as a historic investment in the nation’s physical infrastructure, Jacob Fischler and Ariana Figueroa report for Maryland Matters. “With this vote, we are making a down payment on a more prosperous, equitable economy for all,” Rep. John Sarbanes (D) said.
BIDEN TO VISIT B’MORE TO TOUT INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE: Jeff Barker and Christine Condon of the Sun report that President Joe Biden will visit Baltimore this week — his second trip to the city in three weeks — and tout the just-passed infrastructure package and its effect on ports and supply chains. The president will tour the Port of Baltimore on Wednesday.
COVID SHOTS FOR KIDS EASE MINDS OF MANY PARENTS: For many Maryland parents and guardians, a long, worrisome period of the pandemic is drawing to a hopeful close, as federal regulators have authorized COVID-19 vaccinations for elementary school-aged children, Hallie Miller of the Sun reports.
- Hundreds of children, between the ages of 5 and 11, are vaccinated after Baltimore County held the first major clinic for that age group Friday, Kai Reed of WBAL-TV reports. The county has a three-pronged approach to getting younger kids vaccinated, including pediatricians working with schools and clinics like the one that kicked off at White Marsh Mall.
- Germantown’s Upcounty Hub conducted a vaccine clinic for children 5 to 11 at Middlebrook Mobile Home Park, writes Dan Schere for Bethesda Beat. Children dressed up in Halloween costumes and left with bags of goodies as a reward for getting vaccinated at the clinic.
NEW FACES EXPECTED IN ALL TOP STATE OFFICES: Over the next year, each of the top statewide offices in Maryland will feature new faces, a rare occurrence in state history that may offer an opportunity for fresh ideas to take root — or not, depending on who wins, reports Pamela Wood of the Sun.
RETIRING SEN. YOUNG ENDORSES DEL. YOUNG TO REPLACE HIM: Frederick Sen. Ron Young (D) announced over the weekend that he will retire at the end of his term. Young endorsed Del. Karen Lewis Young (D), his wife, to succeed him in representing District 3 in the Senate, Danielle Gaines of Maryland Matters reports.
HOGAN PUSHES FORWARD FOR HIS PANEL’s MAPS: Gov. Larry Hogan formally accepted new congressional and state legislative maps from a panel on Friday that he plans to propose to the legislature. The governor also signed a proclamation for a Dec. 6 special session of the General Assembly to approve new districts for the state’s eight congressional seats. Legislative leaders, who petitioned Hogan to call the special session earlier in the day, created a separate panel months ago that is still working on its maps, Brian Witte of the AP reports.
- In the opening salvo of what will probably be a protracted political battle, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Friday accused Democrats of historically “rigging the system” in drawing congressional and legislative maps and called on the General Assembly to accept new boundary lines drawn by an independent citizen commission, Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports.
- Bryan Sears of the Daily Record reports that commission co-chair Walter Olsen said, “Our maps offer limited splits of counties and municipalities compared with some other maps you may have seen. They offer a highly understandable layout of congressional districts so that people can understand and explain what district they live in.”
- Hogan claimed that the maps produced by his commission “finally bring an end to decades of gerrymandering in Maryland.” Political realities suggest otherwise, writes Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters reports.
NEW CONSTRUCTION TEAM SET TO FINISH PURPLE LINE: A new construction team selected to complete Maryland’s Purple Line is expected to restart full-scale work on the stalled light-rail project this spring, state transportation officials and a private consortium managing the project said Friday, Katherine Shaver reports for the Post.
GOV RACE: BARON TOUTS EVIDENCE-BASED POLICIES: Gubernatorial candidate and nonprofit executive Jon Baron, embarking on his first run for public office, says Maryland’s next top executive should focus on evidence-based policies as the state recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Bennett Leckrone writes for Maryland Matters.
MD GOP WOMEN ELECT YOUNGEST ELECTED OFFICER: Liliana Norkaitis is not yet old enough to vote, but she is already setting political records. Norkaitis was elected the Recording Secretary of the Maryland Federation of Republican Women at its annual convention in Ocean City on Saturday. At age 17, Norkaitis becomes the youngest elected statewide officer in the history of not just the Maryland Federation, but among all women serving as a statewide office in any member of the National Federation of Republican Women, Brian Griffiths of the Duckpin reports.
SPORTS BETTING DELAY: Despite a law allowing sports betting in Maryland, it’s still not up and running in the state. Now Gov. Larry Hogan is expressing his frustration about the gambling delays. At 22 locations across the state, betting could be taking place by now, but snags in licensing are resulting in delays, Margaret Chadbourn of WBFF-TV reports. A sports betting commission overseeing a study to ensure equitable distribution of sports betting licenses, including to minority-owned businesses, is holding it up.
WHAT WOULD B’MORE CONTROLLED PD LOOK LIKE? Baltimore officials haven’t controlled the city’s police department since 1860. But last spring, state lawmakers overwhelmingly approved legislation allowing the issue to be put to city voters as a proposed charter amendment, Emily Opilo of the Sun reports. It will be up to the city’s local control board, which met Oct. 27 for the first time, to draft recommendations for that ballot question and amendment over the next 10 months.
ACTING WICOMICO COUNTY EXEC TO SEEK FULL TERM: Acting Wicomico County Executive John D. Psota — chosen by the County Council more than a year ago to fill the term of the late Bob Culver — has decided to ask county voters to keep him in that position for another four years, Louis Peck reports for Maryland Matters.
HARFORD TO STUDY DISPARITIES IN COUNTY CONTRACTING: A forthcoming study will explore the racial and ethnic disparities in businesses with which the Harford County government contracts, County Executive Barry Glassman announced. The one yearlong study will specifically investigate whether there exists a significant disparity between qualified minority county contractors and their nonminority counterparts, Callan Tansill-Suddath of the Aegis reports.
BUCKLEY WINS; 3,700 BALLOTS LEFT FOR COUNT: Mayor Gavin Buckley, a Democrat, currently holds a 2,500-vote lead in his campaign to win a second term, Brooks DuBose of the Capital Gazette reports. He declared victory Wednesday after his Republican opponent, Steven Strawn, conceded following the first ballot canvass. Buckley led Strawn, 4,206 votes to 1,713, a 71% majority. There are still another 3,700 ballots, which were received after Oct. 28, to be counted at a final canvass on Tuesday.
YUMI HOGAN HELPS CHRISTEN FARM STUDENT STORE: Maryland’s first lady Yumi Hogan recently helped christen the new storefront in Historic Stevensville dedicated to showcasing and selling the work of Acacia’s Farm students, who learn foundational and educational skills through agriculture, Luke Parker reports for the Easton Star Democrat.
KEN IGLEHART, NEWSPAPER VETERAN, DIES AT 71: Kenneth R. Iglehart, a veteran newspaperman and Baltimore Magazine’s special editions editor who had a taste for the arcane which he illuminated with a subtle sense of humor, ended his life Oct. 27 at his Mount Washington home. He was 71, writes Fred Rasmussen for the Sun. On a personal note, Roundup editor Cynthia Prairie and Ken worked the copy desk of the News American together in 1980. He was indeed a funny and talented editor.