JAN. 6 PANEL: REP. HARRIS WITH TRUMP CONGRESSIONAL CONTINGENT TO OVERTURN ELECTION: As former President Donald Trump sought to overturn the 2020 election, nearly a dozen Republican members of Congress — including Maryland’s Andy Harris — gathered with the president in the White House and discussed having Vice President Mike Pence reject the election results, according to the Jan. 6 committee. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.
- Harris, a Republican, said in a statement that he did not watch the hearing, and he didn’t address his attendance at the meeting. “ I was busy working on important issues like bringing down the price of gas and groceries and securing our communities against violent crime,” Harris said. Tim Swift/WBFF-TV.
- Democrats seeking to unseat Harris in the Republican-heavy 1st District in November issued immediate statements condemning Harris’ involvement in the meeting. Dave Harden, a former Foreign Service officer, tweeted that “Andy Harris is a traitor to our democracy.” Former Del. Heather Mizeur, who has outraised Harris this election cycle, wrote, “We learned today that Andy Harris’ depravity and unfitness to serve go even deeper than we knew.” Jacob Fischler/Maryland Matters.
COVID VARIANT SURGES IN STATE: A new and easily transmissible COVID-19 virus subvariant is gaining traction in the U.S., and public health experts in Maryland and elsewhere fear a fatigued and divided nation has let its guard down. The rapid spread of infections of BA. 5 caused a statewide surge in sickness that prompted hospitals to resort to emergency standards of care as patients overwhelmed the health care system. Hallie Miller/The Baltimore Banner.
- Coronavirus cases in Frederick County have continued their slow upward trajectory, even as a highly infectious version of the COVID-19 omicron variant circulates nationwide. The local positivity rate has increased slightly since mid-June, but remains below levels seen in May. Angela Roberts/The Frederick News Post.
EXPERIENCE VS. ENDORSEMENTS IN GOP’s PRIMARY IN 6th CONGRESSIONAL: Del. Neil Parrott, R-Washington, is one of six Republicans competing for the nomination for the 6th congressional district in Western Maryland, currently held by Democratic incumbent David Trone. But in the GOP primary, Parrott’s experience in Annapolis is up against a young candidate with support from some of the biggest names in Republican politics, indicating the party sees an opportunity to take control of that seat in their broader pursuit of reclaiming control of the House. Dwight Weingarten/The Hagerstown Herald Mail.
OPINION: COX’s BONKERS CLOSING ARGUMENT: In a letter to supporters promoting today’s Trump Tele-Rally, Dan Cox makes his closing argument to his supporters. It is absolutely bonkers. Cox just goes full racist in calling in the “Wuhan Virus” all while again asserting that the Larry Hogan was looking to undermine Donald Trump. In case it isn’t obvious, Dan Cox has a casual relationship with reality. Brian Griffiths/The Duckpin.
- Coxworld is all a twitter because former President Donald Trump has scheduled a tele-rally in support of Cox on Wednesday night. But Trump traveled for others. Cox just gets a phone call. Brian Griffiths/The Duckpin.
Q&A WITH DISTRICT 37 & 38 SENATE CANDIDATES: What do Maryland state Senate candidates think are the top issues facing Districts 37 and 38 on the Eastern Shore? District 37 Republican incumbent Sen. Addie Eckhart and challenger Johnny Mautz and unopposed Democrat Naomi Hyman and District 38 incumbent Sen. Mary Beth Carozza and her Democratic opponent Michele Gregory were all sent questionnaires. You can read basic biographical answers, as well as answers to specific questions, published unedited. Staff/The Salisbury Daily Times.
SCHULZ, O’MALLEY CAMPS FILE AD COMPLAINTS: Republican gubernatorial hopeful Kelly Schulz and Democratic Attorney General candidate Katie Curran O’Malley are calling for the Maryland Board of Elections to investigate two national political action committees for alleged campaign law violations. Kristen Mosbrucker/WYPR-FM.
- The two statewide campaigns have filed complaints after their races attracted outside spending. O’Malley, who is in a competitive Democratic primary race with Rep. Anthony Brown, filed a complaint against the VoteVets PAC, which is airing an attack ad against O’Malley. Schulzfiled a complaint related to recent a recent ad by the Democratic Governors Association that her campaign has argued bolsters her GOP campaign rival Del. Dan Cox (R-Frederick). Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.
FREDERICK EXEC HOPEFULS RAMP UP SPENDING: Three Democrats running for their party’s nomination for Frederick County executive have ramped up spending in recent weeks, according to campaign finance reports the Maryland Board of Elections made public over the weekend. County Councilman Kai Hagen spent more than Councilwoman Jessica Fitzwater and Daryl Boffman, a business consultant and former school board member, according to filings that cover transactions from June 8 to July 3. Jack Hogan/The Frederick News Post.
ST. MARY’S STATE’S ATTY UNDER MICROSCOPE: It takes a village to allow an incident as grotesque as the killing of 16-year-old Peyton Ham by Maryland State Police officer Joseph Azzari to be forgotten as quickly as it has in St. Mary’s County. But Richard Fritz, who has been the state’s attorney — the equivalent of a DA — in this rural southern Maryland county since 1998, is as responsible as anybody for its going away. Dave McKenna/The Defector.
SHELLENBERGER’s RECORD ON SEX ASSAULTS QUESTIONED: Longtime Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger’s record on handling sexual assault cases is in the spotlight as he seeks a fifth term as the county’s top prosecutor. He faces a federal lawsuit alleging he and others in his office violated another woman’s constitutional rights when she sought to press charges. Darcy Costello and Alison Knezevich/The Baltimore Sun.
SAMPLE, MAIL-IN, IN-PERSON BALLOT ERRORS CONTINUE: Thousands of Maryland voters have experienced errors with sample ballots, mail ballots, and now ballots they were given at in-person early voting centers following a turbulent redistricting process and legal challenges that delayed the July 19 primary election by three weeks. Now, the Maryland State Board of Elections blamed a new border drawn during this year’s redistricting process for incorrectly placing 721 District 41 voters in District 40. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.