State Roundup: School board candidates throughout state see teacher shortage as key issue; Cox event features controversial sidelined priest; critics call out WBFF coverage of Sinclair effort

State Roundup: School board candidates throughout state see teacher shortage as key issue; Cox event features controversial sidelined priest; critics call out WBFF coverage of Sinclair effort

The State House in Annapolis ( file photo)

STATEWIDE, SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES AGREE ON TEACHER SHORTAGE: From Maryland’s western panhandle to its Eastern Shore – and from the political right to the left – Maryland’s school board candidates agree that the teacher shortage is one of the key issues they will have to confront if elected. Micaela Hanson and Sam Barrett of CNS/MarylandReporter.

CONTROVERSIAL, SIDELINED PRIEST FEATURED AT COX EVENT: A “Catholics for Cox” event being sponsored this Friday for the Dan Cox campaign features a controversial Catholic priest, James Altman. Altman has been removed from active ministry for overt political activity, including appearing in video where he stated that “you cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat,” due to the party’s support of abortion, and criticized both vaccinations and immigration reform. He has also suggested that the Catholic Church be taken back “by force.” Brian Griffiths/The Duckpin.

PROFILE: MOORE RUNS LIKE HE IS 10 POINTS BEHIND: Despite his large promising lead in the polls, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore constantly reminds those listening that victory is not guaranteed. He regularly says that he’s running as if he’s “10 points behind.” “Every single morning, wake up knowing that the door you’re going to knock on could be the door that could turn this election. That the text message you send could be the text that could turn the election,” Moore tells his campaign volunteers. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

ATTY GENERAL’s RACE: MAINSTREAM DEM V. ‘GOD’s LAW’ ADHERENT: In the race for Maryland Attorney General, voters seem to have a mostly straightforward choice. They can either pick the candidate with a mainstream Democratic platform and a commitment to upholding the state’s laws, or the 9/11 conspiracy-theorizing, 2020 election results-denying candidate who opposes same-sex marriage and has said he would enforce “God’s law,” not Maryland’s. Lee O. Sanderlin/The Baltimore Sun.

FOX COVERAGE OF SINCLAIR TERM LIMITS CAMPAIGN DRAWS ETHICS CRITICISM: As Election Day draws near, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Baltimore flagship, WBFF-TV (Fox45), is drawing criticism for the way it has covered Question K, a local ballot initiative funded almost exclusively by the network’s majority owner, David Smith. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.

THE FIVE CONSTITUTIONAL BALLOT QUESTIONS: When voters consider their ballots in the general election, they’ll face five questions that would change the Maryland Constitution. What are those issues? Pamela Wood and Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.

ELECTION PRIMERS; EARLY VOTING BEGINS THURSDAY: Early in-person voting begins Thursday in Maryland, and residents will have the chance to weigh in on several statewide races, including selecting a replacement for the outgoing governor, Larry Hogan (R). Here’s a primer on the election. Daniel Wu/The Washington Post.

  • Voters can begin casting ballots in person at three Carroll County locations Thursday for the general election. Early voting continues through Nov. 3. Early voting locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. Sherry Greenfield/The Carroll County Times.
  • Most local races in Prince George’s and Montgomery aren’t expected to be competitive — the Democratic nominees for county executive and county council historically have faced little opposition in November in these two deep-blue counties. Daniel Wu/The Washington Post.

U.S. ATTY NAMES TWO TO RESPOND TO VOTER INTIMIDATION REPORTS: Ahead of the upcoming Nov. 8 election, U.S. Attorney for Baltimore Erek L. Barron has named two deputies to lead his office’s efforts to respond to reports of intimidation at ballot drop boxes, threats of violence to election officials or staff and election fraud allegations. Fern Shen/Baltimore Brew.

FEDERATION OF THE BLIND CONTINUES TO PUSH ACCESS FOR BLIND VOTERS: One of Lou Ann Blake’s most influential projects has been protecting voting rights for the blind. Blake, director of programs at the National Federation of the Blind, said blind voters are not treated equally when they cast their ballots in person. The state agreed to pay $230,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by NFB and blind voters alleging that the state’s electronic voting devices were undermining voter confidentiality and violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Billy Jean Louis/The Baltimore Sun.

KITTLEMAN-BALL REMATCH TURNS BITTER: After Democrat Calvin Ball defeated the incumbent Republican, Allan Kittleman, in the 2018 race for Howard County executive, Kittleman traveled to Ball’s election night celebration in Columbia, and the two candidates hugged. They’re not hugging now, though. Instead, they’re engaged in an increasingly bitter rematch. Sasha Allen/Maryland Matters.

WEEKS IN THE ER AWAITING MENTAL HEALTH CARE: In the state of Maryland, there are roughly 1,040 licensed psychiatric beds for adults in general and private hospitals and another 240 for children and teens. The majority are almost always full. As a result, patients rushed to the emergency room often spend days or even weeks waiting for beds to open up in psychiatric hospitals and wards. The younger the patients are, and the more severe their cases, the fewer beds there are, and the longer they often wait. This is the story of Zach Chafos, an autistic teen in crisis, and his family. William Wan/The Washington Post.

‘THE KINGDOM:’ A STATE PARK UNDER ONE MAN’s CONTROL: They call it “The Kingdom,” and for three decades, Michael J. Browning was the king. Since 1991, Browning has presided over Gunpowder Falls State Park, 18,000 acres of woodlands and meadows, beaches and boating areas run by the Department of Natural Resources. Now Browning, 71, is in jail in Baltimore County, awaiting trial on charges that he raped and sexually assaulted a young woman who worked for him on state property. Browning denies the charges. How did multiple complaints from tormented employees go unanswered? Julie Scharper/The Baltimore Banner.

FROSH DEFENDS ASSAULT GUNS BAN: Brian E. Frosh’s historical defense of the weapons ban followed the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last summer that gun regulations are constitutionally valid if they comport with the text, history and tradition of firearms restrictions when the Second Amendment was adopted in 1791 or when the 14th Amendment extended the right to keep and bear arms to the states in 1868. Steve Lash/The Daily Record.

DeWOLF TO STEP DOWN FROM WA CO RCC AFTER ELECTION: For nearly a decade, Jerry DeWolf has been a mainstay in Washington County politics. In a statement last week, DeWolf, the chairman of the Republican Central Committee, announced he would be stepping away after the election. Dwight Weingarten/The Hagerstown Herald Mail.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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