MIZEUR, HARRIS SPAR IN ONLY DEBATE: Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Harris said in a debate Wednesday that the election is about whether the country “is on the right track,” but Democratic challenger Heather Mizeur accused him of trying to soften his abortion position and said he has not explained why he was in the White House as Republicans considered blocking the results of the 2020 presidential election. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.
ONE HOT RACE: TRONE V. PARROTT: There was something a little poetic in the backdrop of Del. Neil C. Parrott’s rollicking campaign rally with Republican hype man of the moment, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, in Frederick on Saturday afternoon. The rally was held at Roscoe Bartlett’s farm — home of the last Republican congressman to represent western Maryland before state Democrats drew him off a gerrymandered map in 2011. Now, in Parrott’s rematch against multimillionaire business executive Rep. David Trone (D-Md.), Parrott finally sees an opportunity to turn it red once again. Meagan Flynn/The Washington Post.
- The newly competitive district has drawn high-profile national visitors, with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz stopping in over the weekend for an event with Parrott and President Joe Biden delivering a speech at Volvo Group’s manufacturing plant in Hagerstown earlier this month. And Trone, the owner of the national liquor retailer Total Wine & More, has sunk some of his own fortune into the race, creating severely lopsided campaign finances. Adam Willis/The Baltimore Banner.
- The upshot has been an increasingly heated contest in which available public and private polling shows Trone and Parrott separated by only a few points in the campaign’s closing weeks – as each charges the other with spreading falsehoods and distortions about his opponent’s record, while also endeavoring to paint his rival as being outside the political mainstream. Louis Peck/Bethesda Beat.
RUN, WALK, RIDE: STRONG EARLY VOTING EFFORTS: As early voting gets under way today, organizations and even individuals across Maryland are mobilizing initiatives to get as many residents to the polls as they can. In some cases, they are using cars. In others, they are boarding prospective buses. In Frederick County, free pickup and drop-offs will be available on the 20 Connector to the early voting center at the Trinity Recreation Center in Frederick. Timothy Dashiell of CNS/MarylandReporter.com.
- There is a wave of Maryland voters who have changed their voting behavior as a result of the pandemic. Elections officials and observers across the state are watching with interest to see what patterns might emerge to figure out how to best hold elections in the future. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.
- As early voting begins, Democrats are leaning on national and state party heavyweights to energize voters. Republicans statewide efforts, overlooked by a national party focused on competitive midterm races across the country, focus primarily on targeted outreach to make sure reliable GOP voters show up. Ovetta Wiggins and Erin Cox/The Baltimore Sun.
WHERE AND HOW TO VOTE EARLY: Early voting in Maryland starts Thursday, Oct. 27, and will run daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Thursday, Nov. 3. Maryland residents next can cast their ballots 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8. Capital News Service spoke with the Maryland State Board of Elections to answer frequently asked questions regarding voting. Shannon Clark of CNS/MarylandReporter.com.
- Howard County has at least five early voting centers that opened at 7 this morning. Sherry Greenfield/Baltimore Sun Media.
- Harford County has four early voting sites. Jason Fontelieu/The Aegis.
POLL: ISSUES THAT MOTIVATE VOTERS: An uncertain economic future and the threat of an abortion ban are among the issues motivating Marylanders to vote this election season, a new poll of likely voters for Baltimore Sun Media and the University of Baltimore shows. Hannah Gaskill/The Baltimore Sun.
LAWMAKERS SEEK PROBE INTO DNR HANDLING OF DISGRACED PARK MANAGER: Two Maryland lawmakers on Wednesday called for an independent review of the state Department of Natural Resources’ handling of repeated complaints of bullying, harassment and intimidation at Gunpowder Falls State Park under longtime manager Michael J. Browning, who now faces rape charges. Julie Scharper/The Baltimore Banner.
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS ON THE BALLOT: Although the Maryland gubernatorial election remains the major focus in the Nov. 8 general election, voters also have a say on five constitutional amendments on the ballot. Some could have a profound effect on Marylanders’ everyday lives; others are more obscure. William Ford and Danielle Gaines/Maryland Matters.
NEW POLL FINDS PITTMAN LEADING HAIRE: Democrat Steuart Pittman has taken a lead of 8 percentage points over his Republican challenger, Jessica Haire, in the race for Anne Arundel county executive, according to a new Capital poll completed this week. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.
SHELLENBERGER V. HAYNES FOR BA CO STATE’S ATTY: Most of the time, Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger does not even draw a general election challenger. But this year, his 16th in office, he has faced the most sustained criticism of his career. Now, for the first time in 12 years, Shellenberger faces a Republican opponent, Jim Haynes, an attorney and former Maryland assistant attorney general, on Election Day. Dylan Segelbaum/The Baltimore Banner.
BPW OKs $100K FOR WOMAN WHO SAYS ASSAULT CASE WAS MISHANDLED: A state panel Wednesday voted to approved a settlement with a former University of Maryland, Baltimore County, student who alleged officials, including Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger, thwarted her efforts to file sexual assault charges against three male students. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.
B’MORE MAY BET FHA FUNDS TO RAZE ‘HIGHWAY TO NOWHERE:’ Baltimore’s Department of Transportation announced Friday that it applied for a grant of up to $2 million from the Federal Highway Administration to tear down the city’s infamous “Highway to Nowhere” expressway. Lilly Price/The Baltimore Sun.