PSC GIVES GRANT OVERSIGHT TO UTILITIES; AGENCY SAYS IT IS A VIOLATION: A recent decision by Maryland’s Public Service Commission allowing electric utility companies to access millions of dollars in federal grants without public oversight or input violates the commission’s regulatory responsibilities, the state agency representing ratepayers said this week in its latest filing. Aman Azhar/The Baltimore Banner.
DEATH OF ELECTIONS BOARD MEMBER COMPLICATES AGENDA: Malcolm L. Funn, one of two Democratic members of the State Board of Elections, died unexpectedly Tuesday of complications from hernia surgery. He was 77. The Calvert County resident’s death comes at a critical time for the state elections board, as it works to certify the results from the July 19 primaries and sets rules and procedures for the upcoming general election — and it adds some uncertainty to the board’s short-term agenda and work product. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
LIBERTARIAN: LONG-SHOT WIN TO GOVERNOR’s HOUSE: Libertarian David Lashar acknowledges his bid to become Maryland’s next governor is a long shot. But, he says, this is not a no-shot situation. Nationally, Democrats are feeling the drag from President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings and an economy heading for recession. Closer to home, Republicans have nominated a candidate for governor, Dan Cox, who attended then-President Donald Trump’s Jan. 6, 2021 rally at the Ellipse before a mob overran the U.S. Capitol building. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
POLITICAL NOTES: SCHULZ CONCEDES, PRETTY MUCH: As counties across Maryland completed ballot counting from the June 19 primary on Friday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Kelly Schulz issued what amounts to a concession statement that night. Robbie Leonard conceded in the Democratic primary for Baltimore County state’s attorney on Friday, after having a slim lead in initial returns on election night. Danielle Gaines and Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
OPINION: THANK OUR ELECTION WORKERS: With some races still undecided and more ballots left to count, the 2022 Maryland primary election is not yet behind us. But as the final votes are tallied, we should all take a moment to thank the thousands of our neighbors who rolled up their sleeves and made this election possible. Every poll worker, election judge, canvasser, volunteer, candidate and vote counter deserve our deepest thanks for making democracy work. Nate Tinbite, Ananya Tadikonda and Matt Post/Bethesda Beat.
PEROUTKA CONSPIRACY THEORIES DATE TO 9-11: Michael Peroutka, the Republican Party’s nominee for Maryland attorney general, hosted a series of five radio shows in 2006 devoted to arguing in support of 9/11 conspiracy theories questioning if the terror attack was the work of an “elite bureaucrat” who had demolition charges in every building in New York City and even suggesting if those who died after a hijacked plane hit the Pentagon were killed elsewhere. Em Steck and Andrew Kaczynski/CNN-TV News.
BLAIR LEAD WIDENS, THEN SHRINKS IN MO CO EXEC RACE: In the Democratic primary for Montgomery County executive, pitting David Blair against Marc Elrich for the second time in four years, Blair, at the end of Saturday’s canvass, held a wafer-thin 21-vote lead, down from a 134-vote edge at the conclusion of the tally a day earlier. Louis Peck/Bethesda Beat.
HAIRE BEATS McMILLAN IN ARUNDEL EXEC PRIMARY: Edgewater County Council member Jessica Haire became the Republican nominee for Anne Arundel County executive Friday, defeating former Annapolis Del. Herb McMillan. Dan Belson/The Capital Gazette.
OPINION: COX WIN PUTS HOUGH IN A TOUGH SPOT: Republican Sen. Michael Hough, who was unopposed for the nomination for Frederick County executive, awoke to this nightmare scenario on Wednesday after the election: If he refuses to support far right wing gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox, he will alienate the GOP base in the county, making it impossible to win. But if he backs Cox, he will alienate a sizeable minority of Republicans, a number of independents and virtually all Democrats, making it extremely difficult to win. Editorial Board/The Frederick News Post.
HANNA THROWS SUPPORT TO BATES IN CITY STATE’S ATTY RACE: As expected, defense attorney and former prosecutor Roya Hanna is ending her independent candidacy for Baltimore state’s attorney, all but ensuring Democratic nominee Ivan Bates will become the city’s next top prosecutor. Hanna had dropped out of the Democratic primary race in March but planned to run as an independent in November’s general election. There are no Republicans running for state’s attorney. Alex Mann/The Baltimore Sun.
- Hanna said she joined the race to enact change in the State’s Attorney’s Office and voters had chosen change by electing Bates. “There is no time to waste in the work that must be done to rebuild the State’s Attorney’s Office,” she said at a news conference Friday. Madeleine O’Neill/The Daily Record.
BATES HAS A PLAN FOR SQUEEGEE WORKERS: Ivan Bates said he has a plan to get squeegee workers into diversion and employment programs — like those championed by Mayor Brandon Scott — as soon as he can take office in January. It would rely on issuing citations to the workers for violating Maryland’s pedestrian laws. Lee O. Sanderlin/The Baltimore Sun.
SHELLENBERGER WINS: Baltimore County’s incumbent state’s attorney beat back an upstart primary challenger and will move on to the November general election. On the final day of counting, incumbent Scott Shellenberger added 182 votes to his nearly 2,000 vote lead and edged out Robbie Leonard. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.
- The four-term incumbent will now face Republican James Haynes, a retired lawyer and a former Maryland assistant attorney general. Haynes said he plans to ask Baltimore County voters if they feel safer now than when Shellenberger was first elected state’s attorney in 2006. John Lee/WYPR-FM.
FORMER DEPUTY BEATS SHERIFF IN CITY: There’s a new sheriff in town. After a week of early voting, primary night vote tabulations and six days of counting mail-in and provisional ballots, challenger Sam Cogen emerged as the winner in a heated contest for Baltimore sheriff that pitted him against his former boss Sheriff John Anderson, the city’s sheriff of more than three decades. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.
- As of Friday evening, Cogen had 39,500 votes, or nearly 52 percent, to Anderson’s 36,733 votes, or just over 48 percent. The two candidates were nearly tied in early ballots and those cast on primary day, July 19, but Cogen took a commanding lead in mail-in ballots, which city elections workers were continuing to count Friday. Julie Scharper/The Baltimore Banner.
ANNAPOLIS CITY HALL ENTRANCE PROTOCOLS TIGHTENED: After several difficult confrontations with a man who makes frequent visits to Annapolis City Hall, where he has recorded heated encounters with city employees and posted them on YouTube, Annapolis officials are overhauling security protocols. From installing a metal detector to ending Mayor Gavin Buckley’s “open door” policy, visiting City Hall will be a different experience. The new security measures went into effect July 22. Rebecca Ritzel/The Capital Gazette.
JUDGE JOSEPH MURPHY, 78, DIES: Judge Joseph F. Murphy Jr., former chief judge of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals who ended his judicial career in 2011 as a judge on the state Court of Appeals, died of cancer Wednesday at Stella Maris Hospice. The Cockeysville resident was 78. Fred Rasmussen/The Baltimore Sun.