BIDEN HEADLINES RALLY IN ROCKVILLE: President Joe Biden Thursday evening urged Maryland’s Democrats to get out and vote ahead of November’s midterm elections at a rally in Rockville, saying hot button issues like abortion rights, marriage equality and even the right to use contraception are all on the ballot. He also ripped into MAGA Republicans. Bryan Renbaum/Baltimore Post Examiner via Maryland Reporter
- Roused by an exuberant crowd in deeply Democratic Montgomery County, leading national and state party leaders expressed growing hope for Democrats nationally in the November mid-term elections. Danielle Gaines and Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters
- Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Mooore introduced Biden as he came to Maryland Thursday for a mid-term push, shining the national spotlight briefly on Moore. Biden appeared at the rally at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, with about 2,500 people in the cheering crowd. Sam Janesch and Hannah Gaskill/Baltimore Sun
- “I must take our case to the American people and be crystal clear about it. There’s no question it’s been a few hard years,” Biden said, going on to herald student loan relief, lower gas prices, the Inflation Reduction Act and increased corporate taxes, among Democratic wins notched this summer. The rally in deep-blue Maryland launched his efforts to help in the mid-term elections. Erin Cox and Antonio Olivo/Washington Post
- He cast the Republican Party as one that was dangerously consumed with anti-democratic forces that had turned toward “semi-fascism.” It was some of the strongest language used by Biden, a politician long known — and at times criticized for — his willingness to work with members of the opposite party. Matt Viser/Washington Post
- Moore has also been making his rounds throughout Maryland to engage with local communities. In early August, he held his first midterm election rally in Prince George’s County. Tashi McQueen/AFRO
- U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin may have stolen the show when he spoke at the rally, with cheers so loud that parts of his speech were inaudible, one of five key takeaways about the rally. Sam Janesh and Hannah Gaskill/Baltimore Sun.
MOORE WILL LEAVE COX ON EMPTY DEBATE STAGE BY HIMSELF: Wes Moore has declined an invitation to participate in a gubernatorial debate with his Republican opponent Dan Cox at Morgan State University, hosted by the MSU Spokesman. Cox accepted the invitation so he will be on stage with an empty chair for Moore, whose campaign said Moore would debate Cox “at the appropriate time and forum,” and would otherwise not share the stage in anything that “amplifies his dangerous and decisive rhetoric.” Jordan Brown/MSU Spokesman
WILL MOORE AND COX DEBATE?: As Marylanders prepare to make their choice for the next governor, Democrat Wes Moore and Republican Dan Cox both say they’re prepared to go on TV to debate the key issues. But it’s still not clear how many times the two will face off. Moore may agree to only a limited number of debates with Cox. Pamela Wood/Baltimore Banner
FEDERAL APPROVAL ISSUED IN BELTWAY/270 PROJECT: Federal authorities issued their final environmental approval Thursday for Gov. Larry Hogan’s project to widen parts of the Beltway and Interstate 270, delivering a major milestone for an infrastructure project estimated to cost about $5 billion. Ian Duncan/Washington Post
- Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said in a statement to Bethesda Beat Thursday evening that he is “disappointed and dismayed” about the ruling to approve the environmental impact statement for Hogan’s highway plan. Elrich noted that he had asked the Federal Highway Administration more than a month ago to delay its decision for at least 60 days to “ensure proper public engagement and creative problem solving for the myriad of issues which will surface over the course of this project.” Dan Schere/Bethesda Beat
ROCKY GAP CASINO RESORT WILL BE SOLD: Golden Entertainment announced plans Thursday to sell Rocky Gap Casino Resort for $260 million. The sale to Century Casinos and real estate investor VICI Properties was reportedly announced during a meeting of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission. Staff/Cumberland Times-News
- Century Casinos has agreed to acquire the casino operations for $56.1 million. The buildings and associated properties will be acquired by VICI Properties for $203.9 million. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record
MORE STUDENT SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS WILL GO FOR THE VOTE: A ruling by Maryland’s highest court this week is likely to spur student school board members to seek equal authority with their board peers — and full voting rights. Liz Bowie and Kristen Griffith/Baltimore Banner
HOGAN VISITING KEY STATES, INCLUDING NEW HAMPSHIRE NEXT WEEK: Gov. Larry Hogan has plans to visit New Hampshire next week, speaking at a Republican dinner. The stop, along with recent ones in Iowa and New Hampshire, signals his interest in the presidential contest as the term-limited governor prepares to exit the Annapolis governor’s mansion. Mikenzie Frost/WBFF
CANDIDATES PARROTT, NOVONTY FEATURED IN PODCAST: Del. Neil Parrott, running for 6th congressional district, and Del. Reid Novonty, running for state senate in District 9A, are two candidates featured in a podcast interview. Kim Klacik/Kim Klacik Show on WBAL AM.