State Roundup: Moore names leadership team; Dirk Haire won’t seek reelection to state GOP chairmanship; leads in two county exec races narrowing

State Roundup: Moore names leadership team; Dirk Haire won’t seek reelection to state GOP chairmanship; leads in two county exec races narrowing

Gov.-elect Wes Moore announces key staff Monday. From right, Moore; Lt. Gov.-elect Aruna Miller; Fagan Harris as Chief of Staff; Tisha Edwards, Secretary of Appointments; Amanda La Forge, Chief Legal Counsel; Eric Luedtke, Chief Legislative Officer; Helene Grady, Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management. Photo by Len Lazarick for

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MOORE NAMES LEADERSHIP TEAM: Maryland Gov.-elect Wes Moore (D) on Monday announced key members for his leadership team, appointments that he said will complement his history-making ticket. Lateshia Beachum/The Washington Post.

  • Fagan Harris, a product of Maryland public schools, will become Moore’s chief of staff. The pick was one of five named by Moore less than a week after the election. Moore said the selection of Harris and his choices for other key positions reflects a “hard-charging” administration focused on change. Bryan Sears/The Daily Record.
  • Del. Eric Luedtke was named as chief legislative officer. Luedtke will resign his position representing Montgomery County to join the Moore administration. He’s been the House of Delegates majority leader, responsible for shepherding Democratic priorities through the legislature. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

CITING ‘PETTY NONSENSE,’ DIRK HAIRE TO STEP AWAY FROM STATE GOP: Maryland Republican Party Chairman Dirk Haire won’t seek reelection in January, telling GOP central committee members that the party engaged in “petty nonsense” and lacked the discipline to unite during an election in which Republicans were split between allegiance to Gov. Larry Hogan and former President Donald Trump. Jeff Barker/The Baltimore Sun.

RACE FOR ARUNDEL EXEC NARROWS: The race for Anne Arundel County executive continued to narrow Monday after the second day of ballot canvassing showed County Council member Jessica Haire’s lead had shrunk to about 3,000 votes over incumbent Steuart Pittman. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.

AS DOES RACE FOR FREDERICK COUNTY EXEC: Democrat Jessica Fitzwater continued to cut into her deficit in the race for Frederick County executive and another Democrat running for the Frederick County Council pulled ahead in their race, results from mail-in ballot counting on Monday show. Jack Hogan/The Frederick News Post.

Some companies could begin offering mobile sports betting by Thanksgiving.

MOBILE SPORTS BETTING FOR THANKSGIVING? Mobile sports betting could launch in Maryland by Thanksgiving, as officials said Monday that they slightly accelerated what has been a drawn-out process. Voters in the state approved sports gambling in a 2020 referendum, and in 2021, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill allowing in-person and mobile sports betting. In-person betting began that year, but the launch of online gambling has taken longer. Hayes Gardner/The Baltimore Sun.

  • The state commission that awards sports betting licenses is scheduled to meet Wednesday to consider 10 applicants for mobile licenses that already have passed initial reviews. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
  • Any applicants who are approved — and who satisfy a few final operational requirements — will be allowed to make their apps available to the public and accept online wagers. A date for that has not been set, though officials are hopeful of being ready by Thanksgiving, when three NFL games will be watched by tens of millions of Americans. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.

HASHING OUT RECREATIONAL CANNABIS INDUSTRY: Adult use of marijuana outside of Maryland’s medical program will become legal on July 1 next year but the state’s legislative arm must still hash out rules from taxation to regulating sales from marijuana dispensaries. That means it’s unlikely that dispensaries will be able to sell marijuana to anyone in the next seven months. The voter referendum, which passed with 66% of the vote statewide, legalizes recreational marijuana but the state legislature, known as the General Assembly, is tasked to build a framework for the industry. Scott Maucione/WYPR-FM.

MD LAWMAKERS PROPOSE UNIFYING PARKS INTO CHESAPEAKE NATIONAL REC AREA: Maryland lawmakers on Monday announced draft legislation to create a unified Chesapeake National Recreation Area. The proposal would unite a series of park areas and visitor centers owned and operated by the National Park Service as well as privately owned properties along the Chesapeake Bay on a voluntary basis to deliver more federal resources to the region. Meghan McIntyre/Maryland Matters.

SIERRA CLUB TAPS BEN JEALOUS AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Ben Jealous will become the Sierra Club’s first executive director of color in January, the grassroots environmental organization announced Monday. Jealous, the former president of the NAACP, was the Democratic nominee for Maryland governor in 2018. Since 2020, he has served as the president of People for the American Way. Cassidy Jensen/The Baltimore Sun.

  • The Sierra Club’s Board of Directors said Monday that it unanimously selected Jealous for the job, and that he will begin on Jan. 23, 2023. Jealous will be the seventh executive director since the position was created in 1952 and the first person of color to serve in the role. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

COMPLAINT SAYS BA CO PANEL VIOLATED OPEN MEETINGS LAW: Baltimore County lawyers have two weeks to respond to a constituent’s allegations that the county commission tasked with hashing out policy changes regarding its inspector general is violating state sunshine laws by holding closed-door subcommittee meetings, sometimes with government officials and County Council members. Taylor DeVille/Baltimore Banner.

HIGH COURT LETS FIREARM POSSESSION CONVICTION STAND: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the appeal of a man who was unaware that a nearly 20-year-old simple assault conviction in Pennsylvania barred him from possessing a firearm in Maryland, leading to his felony conviction for gun possession by a prohibited person. Without comment, the justices let stand a Maryland high court decision that a defendant’s knowledge of being a prohibited person is not an element of the state’s illegal gun possession law. Steve Lash/The Daily Record.

B’MORE IMMIGRATION CHARITY GETS $15M FROM MacKENZIE SCOTT: Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott gave the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service a $15 million donation, the Baltimore-based national nonprofit announced Monday. The gift from the ex-wife of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is the largest single donation LIRS has ever received, President and CEO Krish O’Mara Vignarajah said. Cassidy Jensen/The Baltimore Sun.

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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