Showing posts with label Election 2022. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Election 2022. Show all posts

Friday, November 11, 2022

Maryland Governor-elect Wes Moore announces transition team leaders, meets Larry Hogan in Annapolis

Maryland Goveror-elect Wes Moore (D) held his first press conference yesterday, to announce the leaders of his transition team. "We are going to move fast, we're going to be bold, we're going to be fearless," Moore told reporters assembled at the University of Maryland in College Park Thursday. He also met with currrent Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) at the State House in Annapolis, privately and then later at a joint press conference.

Moore said his transition team is moving forward under the principles his campaign had promised were "going to be north stars" in a Moore-Miller administration. "That this was going to be an administration that looks like the state of Maryland.," Moore recalled. "That this was going to be an administration that was going to be transparent. That this was going to be an administration that was inclusive."

The governor-elect announced that his running mate, Lieutenant Governor-elect, Aruna Miller, would be the chair of his transition team. Miller said that Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore President Shelonda Stokes, Moore campaign treasurer Mary Tydings, and former Howard County Executive Kenneth Ulman will serve as co-chairs of the transition. The transition director will be Cleo Hirsch, who directed the COVID-19 response for Baltimore City Public Schools. 

HIrsch said the geographical location for a physical transition headquarters has not been determined yet, but that the campaign has utilized a hybrid of virtual and in-person operations all year. Miller announced that the public can submit feedback to the incoming administration, apply for jobs or learn more about the transition team in the coming weeks at

A steering committee was also announced at the press conference. Members from across the state include Montgomery County State Senator Susan Lee, former Maryland governor Parris Glendening and Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan. Miller said that town hall meetings will be held with online participation during the transition.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Montgomery County election results and takeaways

Among the things Havana, Beijing and Montgomery County have in common? You know the results of a general election before a single vote is cast, at least since 2002. Once again, there were no bombshells or surprises - and no debates or media coverage of the general election campaigns in Montgomery County. Democratic incumbent County Executive Marc Elrich won in a blowout over Republican challenger Reardon "Sully" Sullivan, 71.40% to 28.04%. Every Democrat running for County Council won, as well.

Based on the current numbers, with further mail-in and provisional ballots remaining to be counted, the next County Council will consist of Andrew Friedson (D - District 1), Marilyn Balcombe (D - District 2), Sidney Katz (D - District 3), Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart (D - District 4), Kristin Mink (D - District 5), former Planning Board member Natali Fani Gonzalez (D - District 6), Dawn Luedtke (D - District 7), Gabe Albornoz (D - At-Large), Evan Glass (D - At-Large), Will Jawando (D - At-Large) and former Gaithersburg City Councilmember Laurie Anne Sayles (D - At-Large). 

Democrat John McCarthy was unopposed for State's Attorney, as were Democrats Karen Bushell for Clerk of the Circuit Court, Joseph M. Griffin for Register of Wills, and Maxwell Cornelius Uy for Sheriff.

Here's what we learned from Election Day 2022:

1. How The Washington Post Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Marc Elrich

Marc Elrich is, by the numbers, the most popular politician in Montgomery County. Many residents like him. But The Washington Post, with its pro-developer and viciously anti-labor editorial board, hates Marc Elrich. They really hate Marc Elrich. And they spent months out of 2018 and 2022, and many acres of forest wood in paper, trying to defeat Marc Elrich.

The Post said Marc Elrich was the worst person in the world. They wrote that the sky was falling, and the world would end if Elrich were to win a second term. I am almost exaggerating. The County was going down the toilet under his leadership, and he had to be stopped. Montgomery County was the worst place in the world for business, and crime was rising (despite both of those problems worsening long before Elrich became executive in 2018). The Post and many others lied about Elrich's intentions and record on affordable housing. They advised Democrats to vote for David Blair.

Blair lost. By 32 votes.

And then...the Post went silent.

After spending half the year telling us there's no one worse than Marc Elrich, the Post's stated logic could only credibly stand if they endorsed his general election opponent, Sullivan. Instead, the Post made no endorsement. In fact, they made no endorsements for County Council, either. Their reporters, who are separate from the editorial board, did not cover the general election executive and council races. By contrast, the Post extensively covered the D.C. Mayor and Council races, and Arlington County board races. Why is that, by the way? That's a very interesting question we don't know the answer to.

But we do know that the Post decided Marc Elrich was not that bad, after all. They weren't alone. All of the groups who funded ads against Elrich during the primary folded up and disappeared, as well. 

This only makes Elrich's victory sweeter - he not only won, but he converted his biggest enemies and opponents into supporters. Silence is complicity, as they say. Will the Post remember it loves Elrich in 2026? Probably not. But a honeymoon period is clearly in progress.

2. A majority of voters supported the pandemic policy of closing businesses and schools 

The County's pandemic strategy of lockdowns, the closure of schools and businesses, was loved and loathed by different segments of the population. But among those who loathed it, opposition was loud and clear. Things became even more heated when County officials tried to extend school closure authority from public schools to private ones in the fall of 2020. Facebook groups were formed, protests held and letters written. "How do we recall Elrich and the Council?" many asked. Later, they vowed to vote out the incumbents in 2022.

In particular regard to school closures, there is now widespread agreement that the lost academic year of 2020-2021 was misguided, and had a disastrous impact on the education and mental health of the children impacted by it. Montgomery County officials, like President Biden, have since adopted Trump-DeSantis herd immunity strategies to handle COVID going forward.

Every incumbent who supported lockdowns cruised to victory last night. No great sums of money were put behind anti-lockdown challengers on yesterday's ballot. If another variant or virus emerge in the next four years, we will have business lockdowns and school closures again. This is not to say that this is a good or bad thing. Only that election results indicate that those policies were either supported, or not strongly-opposed, by a majority of voters in Montgomery County yesterday. 

3. Debates are a thing of the past in Montgomery County

Montgomery County was ahead of the national curve when it came to the phenomenon of no longer having debates during elections. The last general election Montgomery County Council debates were held in 2014. And at the final Council debate that year in Olney, all of the Democratic incumbents were no-shows. Organizers with the Greater Olney Civic Association were upset, to say the least, and a packed crowd of the Council's constituents were left feeling disrespected. 

In 2018, none of the civic groups that historically held Council debates that included all candidates scheduled one. Three civic associations attempted to hold such debates that year, but were told behind the scenes to cancel them. One complied. The other two converted their debates at the last minute to happy hours, which favored the more-recognized incumbents.

There was a series of general election debates in the county executive race in 2018. But it turns out that may have only been because the Montgomery County political machine was trying to help independent candidate Nancy Floreen beat Marc Elrich. This year, there were zero debates in the general election executive and council races. 

Debates are one of the most fundamental fixtures of a democratic process. The town hall goes back to the beginning of our republic. The working class man in his flannel shirt and jacket standing up in the Norman Rockwell depiction of "Freedom of Speech." Citizens gathering to hear the positions and arguments of candidates on the issues before casting their votes. Imagine that.

You'll apparently have to continue imagining it, because there are no more general election debates in Montgomery County. Democracy died in darkness, and it is pitch black in Montgomery County, with the full and ironic support of the Post. Post reporter Bill Turque was the last to write about MoCo candidates dodging debates in 2014. The last intrepid reporter to cover Montgomery County for the Post, he moved on to The Kansas City Star in 2017. He is now Political Enterprise editor for The Sacramento Bee, after rankling officials in MoCo and D.C. for more than a decade with inconveniently-investigative reporting.  

4. A Council that is starting to look more like Montgomery County

An Asian-American will finally take a seat on the County Council next month. Despite having had one of the largest Asian communities in the D.C. region for years, Montgomery County has only this week elected a councilmember of Asian descent. Democrat Kristin Mink will represent District 5 on the Council, after winning nearly 80% of the vote there, with provisional ballots still to be counted. Attention will now turn to the 2023 Rockville City Council election. Rockville's Asian-American community, unbelievably,still has no representation on the Council, despite being a major contributor to the city's economic growth and success.

5. The new Council districts may be even worse-gerrymandered than the ones they replaced

Councilmember Evan Glass knew what he was doing when he drafted a poison pill ballot question to confuse voters in 2020 who wanted to expand representation on the Council by shrinking the size of the districts it represents into 9 compact areas. Glass put a similar-sounding question that would expand the number of seats on the Council, but avoid the downsizing of districts - and loss of at-large seats - that would make it difficult to choose his own voters. The Glass question passed, and the results are now in. 

It's bad. Really bad.

None of the Council race results were even close. These are among the worst-gerrymandered districts in the nation. Rural areas like Damascus remain lumped in with suburban and urban areas with different needs and priorities, and have gained no electoral power or representation at all. In fact, they appear to have lost power. Like the elimination of debates, this is anti-democratic and a disgrace. 

6. The incredible shrinking GOP

"Where are my choices?" asked many a voter flipping the pages of their ballot. The Republican party did not even bother to field a candidate for District 1 County Council, State Senator in Districts 16, 17, 20 and 39; Delegate in District 16, 20 and 39; State's Attorney, Register of Wills, Clerk of the Circuit Court or Sheriff. 

This is virtually unprecedented. It's bad enough when election results are as predictable as Cuba's, but even worse when the ballot looks like Cuba's.

It's no doubt getting more and more challenging to convince a Republican, Green or Libertarian to run when there are no debates, no press coverage, and every district is gerrymandered. But you can't let people run unopposed. 

Maryland election results: Democrats sweep statewide offices, Neil Parrott leads David Trone in District 6 race

Maryland election results found Democrats making a clean sweep of statewide offices on the 2022 ballot. Wes Moore will be the first African-American governor of the state, as he and running mate Aruna Miller currently lead the Republican ticket of Dan Cox and Gordana Schifanelli 59.62% to 36.98%. With a stronger resume than Barack Obama had when he rose to national prominence, Moore is likely to figure into Democratic presidential discussions sooner rather than later.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) was quick to congratulate Moore on his victory, but has not yet said whether he voted for the Democrat. Hogan was out of the state pursuing his presidential ambitions in the final days before the July 2022 GOP primary, rather than stumping for his handpicked successor, Kelly Schulz. When Schulz lost to Cox, Hogan enraged many Republicans by declaring he would not support Cox in the November election. With the popular governor witholding his coattails, limited funds and Moore agreeing to only one televised debate, Cox faced an uphill battle to expand his base.

Cox's Trump endorsement didn't pay dividends in the general election, either, in a state where Trump is beloved by Republicans, but not so much by independents. His loss is likely to strengthen the hand of the Republican establishment in the 2026 gubernatorial race. Pat Sajak and Cal Ripken, Jr. remain dream candidates for the GOP. Closer to earth, Maryland State Senator Michael Hough - currently leading in the race for Frederick County Executive - is highly regarded by members of both parties in Annapolis, and has been mentioned as a likely statewide candidate in the future. Other names are sure to emerge from the party's county-level officials and activists around the state in the coming months.

It's also worth noting that no gubernatorial ticket since 1998 has won without an African-American on it. Republican Bob Ehrlich won with Michael Steele as his running mate in 2002, but later lost twice with white women running to be his lieutenant. Hogan won twice with Boyd Rutherford on his ticket. Note to future Republican candidates: black voters account for 32% of the Maryland electorate.

The Maryland comptroller race wasn't as close as some thought it would be. Democrat Brooke Lierman easily defeated Harford County Executive Barry Glassman to replace outgoing taxman Peter Franchot. Lierman, a state delegate, said she received a "gracious" concession call from Glassman shortly before midnight Tuesday.

Democrat Anthony Brown, who was upset in the governor's race by Hogan eight years ago, had a much better election night in 2022. The congressman defeated Republican Michael Peroutka by what current results show is a 20-point margin. Peroutka did beat Brown in 18 of the state's counties, however.

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D) handily beat Republican challenger Chris Chaffee. The Democrat recently suffered a stroke, but appeared to have fully recovered well before Election Day. Many Republicans had hoped Hogan would run for the Senate, but the governor is focused on a 2024 presidential run.

The election results were not all bad news for Republicans.

Republicans may pick up an additional seat in Congress from Maryland. GOP nominee Neil Parrott is ahead of Democratic incumbent David Trone as of this hour by 51.07% to 48.81%. The 6th congressional district became more favorable to Republicans in the most recent redistricting, but is not as GOP-friendly as it was when Roscoe Bartlett was the last Republican to hold it. If Parrott holds on to win, he would join Dr. Andy Harris (R - 1st District) in the Maryland delegation.

Nicolee Ambrose nearly pulled off a GOP victory in the District 2 congressional race. She currently trails Democratic incumbent C. Dutch Ruppersberger 46.40% to 53.47%. Republicans had hopes of defeating Democrat John Sarbanes in District 3, which was nationally recognized as one of the most egregiously-gerrymandered districts in America. Sarbanes appears to have decisively won reelection, leading GOP challenger Yuripzy Morgan 54.98% to 44.92%. Morgan ran an energetic campaign, but the district remains gerrymandered despite its more-reasonable appearance on the redrawn congressional map.

On key statewide ballot questions, Marylanders voted to rename the Maryland Court of Special Appeals as the Maryland Supreme Court, and to legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Dan Cox endorsed by National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition in Maryland governor race

Dan Cox
, the Republican nominee for Maryland governor, picked up a last-minute endorsement from a key veterans group ahead of Tuesday's election. The National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition endorsed the state delegate from Frederick County on Saturday. "[Dan's] experience, knowledge, and patriotism are especially needed among America's governors at this particular time in our history when our beloved country is at risk," NVGWVC Chairman John J. Molloy said in a statement. "Accordingly, the Board of the National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition was polled, and has approved the endorsement of [his] candidacy."

"I am incredibly honored to announce my endorsement for Governor by the National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition," Cox said in a press release from his campaign. "Thank you to the Board of Directors & Chairman John J. Molloy, OSJ for their support and endorsement to be your next Governor of Maryland. I have and always will stand with our veterans, and will work to end the 22-a-day suicides, expand CAM treatment coverage, and fight to ensure pension and retirement taxes are eliminated."

Cox received the group's nod over Democratic opponent Wes Moore. Moore is a combat veteran who has been endorsed by the VoteVets PAC. Cox is a Captain in the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol).

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Maryland governor candidate Wes Moore campaigns in Montgomery County

Wes Moore
, the Democratic nominee for Maryland governor, made a stop at several Bethesda businesses while on the campaign trail in Montgomery County today, including Smoke BBQ at 4858 Cordell Avenue. The candidate was touring the downtown with local Democratic elected officials. Montgomery County is a major electoral prize in any statewide race, and a Democratic stronghold.

Moore's running mate, Montgomery County resident Aruna Miller, was also part of the entourage. Next Tuesday's election will find Moore facing off with Republican Dan Cox, Green Party candidate Nancy Wallace, Libertarian David Lashar, Working Class Party candidate David Harding, and Independent write-in candidate Kyle Sefcik for the highest office in Maryland.

Photos courtesy Smoke BBQ, Moore for Maryland

Monday, October 17, 2022

Washington Post endorses Barry Glassman for Maryland comptroller

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman has picked up a major endorsement in his quest to be the next comptroller of Maryland. The Washington Post endorsed Glassman, the only Republican they have endorsed in a statewide Maryland race in the November election. 

The Post Editorial Board cited two major reasons they support Glassman: he would not block the proposed I-495/I-270 Express Lanes in the comptroller's role on the state's Board of Public Works; and he would be focused on maximizing returns for retired state workers through the pension fund the comptroller administers. They argued that Glassman's opponent, Democrat Brooke Lierman, would block the Express Lanes project, and has vowed to make pension fund decisions through a political and ideological lens, such as steering away from fossil fuels. Overall, they said Glassman would be more focused on fiscal responsibility and the other basic functions of the office of comptroller than his opponent, but acknowledged that both candidates are highly-qualified to serve in the office.

Glassman has been endorsed by the current Republican governor, Larry Hogan. Hogan appears in a new Glassman campaign ad touting both men's "middle-of-the-road" Republicanism, amidst a party now led by Donald Trump. His Glassman endorsement will test the Hogan coattails in Maryland again, following a Trump-fueled defeat of Hogan's hand-picked candidate for governor in the July primary.

Beginning his career on the Harford County Council, Glassman later served as a state delegate and senator in Annapolis. He is now in his second term as Harford County Executive. Lierman is a graduate of Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, and currently represents District 46 in the Maryland House of Delegates. She is a civil rights attorney and serves on the Maryland House Environment and Transportation Committee.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Maryland GOP Lt. Governor candidate to appear in Montgomery County September 27

The Republican nominee for Maryland lieutenant governor, Gordana Schifanelli, will appear at a free event in Potomac tomorrow evening, September 27, 2022 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. It will be held at the Old Anglers Inn at 10801 MacArthur Boulevard. While admission is free, RSVP online to attend. 

Schifanelli is running on the GOP ticket with gubernatorial nominee Dan Cox, who has been endorsed by President Donald Trump. Cox and Schifanelli will face Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wes Moore and lieutenant governor candidate Aruna Miller in the November general election.

Photo via Gordana Schifanelli for Lt. Governor of Maryland Facebook

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Wes Moore refuses debate invitation from Fox 5 in Maryland governor race

Democratic Maryland governor candidate Wes Moore has declined another invitation to debate his Republican opponnent, Dan Cox. Fox 5 announced last evening that Cox had accepted, but that the deadline to respond to the invitation passed without any response by the Moore campaign. Shortly after the deadline passed, a Moore spokesperson told the Bethesda-based TV station that their candidate's answer was, "no."

In dodging several debates, including one at a prominent HBCU in the state, Moore has said he does not want to give Cox a platform to more widely broadcast his views across the state. That hasn't stopped Cox from doing that on his own this week. The Donald Trump-endorsed Republican has stepped up attacks on Moore for not removing a false claim of being a Baltimore native from his book The Other Wes Moore, and exaggerating details in that biography, and has taken legal action to stop early counting of mail-in ballots ahead of the November election. Cox has received a significant amount of media coverage in recent days as a result.

With a new Goucher poll showing Moore ahead of Cox by 22 points, Moore understandably would like to run out the clock. One cannot make a campaign-damaging gaffe if one does not participate in debates. Critics question how a candidate might perform under the much greater pressure of serving in the office itself, if he or she is unable to debate their opponent. Moore has so far accepted one debate invite, to a forum being broadcast live October 12 by Maryland Public Television.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Donald Trump praises Maryland governor candidate Dan Cox, continues Larry Hogan feud at Pennsylvania rally

Maryland governor candidate Dan Cox at
Trump rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

President Donald Trump handed Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan a humiliating defeat in the July Republican primary, when his gubernatorial endorsee Dan Cox decisively beat Hogan's handpicked candidate, Kelly Schulz. But Trump is not finished with Hogan yet, who continues to explore a presidential run in 2024 - likely against Trump. And so it was that Hogan was once again on Trump's mind at Trump's jam-packed rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania over the Labor Day weekend.

Trump, as expected, weighed in again on the August FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago home, divulging new details of how agents ransacked the bedroom of his teenage son, Barron. And he responded to President Joe Biden's Thursday speech in which the President called the 74,223,369 Americans who voted for Trump "a clear and present danger" to the country. 

But about 90 minutes into the rally, Trump's thoughts turned to the state just south of where he was speaking. He began by calling Cox "a man I'm very proud of. He's got a tough race, but I'm very proud of him. Because you have a RINO governor in Maryland. His name is Larry Hogan."

The crowd let out a cascade of boos at the mention of Hogan. "I think he wants to run for president," Trump continued, before deploying his favorite stump-speech insult about Hogan's physical appearance. "I said you got to look in the mirror first; it's not going to work. Not going to work," Trump said to guffaws from the audience. 

"But he's a real RINO," Trump continued. "And he doesn't want [Cox], because this man is all for our country. His name is Dan Cox, and he beat, he beat Larry Hogan's candidate by, like, 20 points with my endorsement. And he's doing fantastically." 

Trump speaking about his endorsee for
Maryland governor, Dan Cox (left);
Cox stands to acknowledge applause from
the crowd

Trump then turned toward where Cox was sitting just beyond the stage. "Dan," he said, "congratulations."

But Trump couldn't resist returning to his favorite East Coast punching bag, Hogan, once again. "And Larry Hogan - and this is my fault, I'm sorry, Dan - but Larry Hogan is not going to be supporting you, only because I am supporting you. So, I don't know what that means, but I can tell you that Maryland has a great man running, and I hope you're going to do well and we'll be out there helping you, okay? Thank you very much. Good. I have a feeling you'll do very well."

Photos via Dan Cox for Governor campaign

Montgomery County Executive candidate Reardon Sullivan releases new campaign ad

Reardon Sullivan
, the Republican nominee for Montgomery County Executive, has released a new campaign ad. "Montgomery County has changed," he says as the ad begins. "We were once the premier county in the country, but now violent crime has skyrocketed in our neighborhoods and schools. Our police are not supported, and can't do their jobs." 

Sullivan accuses the County's public school system of "pushing radical social agendas," instead of "the real lessons our children need to learn." He notes the trend of businesses leaving the county or closing, and the financial impact of that on County revenues. Alluding to the disatisfaction of a majority of Democratic primary voters with the incumbent executive, Sullivan asks, "[D]o you really want another four years of Marc Elrich?"

The ad ends with an appeal for voters to make their choice based on the areas of agreement residents have about the future of the County, as opposed to on the basis of party labels. “Now voters have a clear choice to make in the General Election," Sullivan said in a statement announcing the video this morning, "and I ask all voters for their support and their vote so together we can put Montgomery County back on the right track.”

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Maryland governor candidates Dan Cox, Wes Moore to square off in TV debate October 12

After declining several invitations to debate Republican Dan Cox, Democrat Wes Moore has accepted an invite extended to both Maryland gubernatorial candidates from WBAL and Maryland Public Television. The debate is scheduled to take place on October 12, 2022 at 7:00 PM. It will be broadcast live on WBAL NewsRadio 1090 and FM 101.5, WBAL-TV 11 in Baltimore, Maryland Public Television statewide, and on NBC4 in the Washington, D.C. area.

Unless Moore agrees to further debates, this will be a high pressure forum, particularly for Cox. With far less broadcast advertising money than Moore has at his disposal, this will be a key opportunity for Cox to speak to a substantial TV and radio audience of likely voters. Cox is also in a rare scenario where the current governor of his own party affiliation - Larry Hogan - is refusing to help him in any way, due to Hogan's ongoing feud with Donald Trump. Trump endorsed Cox over Hogan's choice of Kelly Schulz in the GOP primary. 

"I look forward to the opportunity this October to contrast my vision and values with Dan Cox’s far-right agenda,” Moore said in a statement. “I am glad Wes Moore has finally accepted an invitation to debate with me," Cox said in his own statement this morning. "So far, he has refused or declined to respond to several requests, including those from Morgan State University and the Maryland Federation of NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association). I would like to thank MPT and WBAL for this opportunity. I look forward to letting the voters of Maryland see the candidates live, in person and unfiltered."

Monday, August 29, 2022

Maryland governor candidate Wes Moore won't debate GOP rival Dan Cox at Morgan State University

Wes Moore, Democratic nominee for governor of Maryland, has declined a debate invitation from Morgan State University. MSU is the largest among the state's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Cox accepted the invitation, and said he will debate an empty chair representing Moore at MSU on September 27. According to The MSU Spokesman campus newspaper, which is hosting the debate, a Moore spokesperson provided the paper with a contradictory statement when asked why Moore would not accept the invite.

The Moore spokesperson said that the candidate would not debate Cox because Moore does not want to provide a platform "that amplifies his dangerous and decisive (sic) rhetoric." Yet, the spokesperson went on to say that Moore would debate "at the appropriate time and forum." Moore has so far declined at least two invitations by organizations that have invited him to debate Cox.

“The students at Morgan State University deserve inclusive treatment for their historic debate,” Cox said in a statement. "Moore should not discriminate against them, nor diminish the University’s leadership in political debates. Voters need to hear directly from their candidates, so they can make well-informed decisions on how to vote November 8th.” The Cox campaign said their candidate accepted the MSU invite "immediately."

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Marc Elrich victory confirmed as Montgomery County Executive election results are certified

The Montgomery County Board of Elections certified the results of the July 19, 2022 gubernatorial primary election yesterday. A full recount in the Democratic Montgomery County Executive primary race confirmed the victory of incumbent Marc Elrich over second-place finisher David Blair. Final results showed Elrich with 55,504 votes, and Blair with 55,472 votes, a difference of only 32 votes.

Elrich will face Republican Reardon Sullivan in the November general election. While the lengthy counting and recount provided a final result more than a month after the primary, the small change in votes produced by the recount does help to boost confidence in the integrity of the vote-counting process in Montgomery County.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

President Joe Biden to speak at rally in Rockville on Thursday, August 25

President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will appear at a Maryland Democratic Party rally on Thursday, August 25, 2022 in Rockville at Richard Montgomery High School, located at 250 Richard Montgomery Drive. The rally, which will also feature Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wes Moore and Maryland comptroller nominee Brooke Lierman, will run from 4:00 to 8:00 PM. Doors will open at 4:00 PM, and the official event page says attendees should be there no later than that time for an orderly check-in. 

Biden will arrive in Rockville tomorrow with a full head of steam politically. Over the past few weeks, the strong belief by many pundits that Republicans would gain full control of Congress in November's election has appeared increasingly doubtful, particularly in the Senate. Whether the President was responsible for gas prices falling or not, the issue of fuel costs is no longer a daily topic in the mainstream media. Biden scored one legislative victory after another this summer, steamrolling over seemingly-prone Republicans in Congress, and then took out an al-Qaeda leader for good measure. Polls within the last 24 hours show Biden's previously-dismal approval rating is rising from the mid-30s to the low-to-mid 40s, with plenty of runway ahead between now and Election Day.

Maryland supporters of President Donald Trump and Maryland GOP gubernatorial nominee Dan Cox appear to have more energy than the Republicans in Congress. They announced they will hold a "Freedom Rally" outside the Rockville Biden event tomorrow, and are asking fellow supporters to bring "flags and yard signs" to wave. "Show Joe Biden and Wes Moore that Maryland is a FREE state," the event flyer reads.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Maryland governor candidate Dan Cox visits Montgomery County Fair

Dan Cox
, the Republican nominee for governor of Maryland, stopped by the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair in Gaithersburg. The candidate met and spoke with voters, toured the exhibits and attractions, and visited the Montgomery County Republican Party tent. One stop of particular interest to the gubernatorial hopeful was the 4-H Sheep & Swine Club booth, where he participated in the 4-H raffle. Cox was a Champion sheep (Shropshire) showman and shepherd in Maryland 4-H from 1986-1991. 

Photo via Dan Cox for Governor

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Elrich finishes first in Montgomery County Executive election results, Blair-requested recount pending

After canvassers counted the 102 missing ballots that election workers discovered Thursday, Marc Elrich held onto his narrow lead over David Blair in the Democratic race for Montgomery County Executive yesterday. Blair did manage to cut Elrich's lead from 42 votes down to 35. That number could change again in the coming days and weeks, as Blair is requesting a full recount. But as of this morning, Elrich has 55,497 votes (39.20%) to Blair's 55,462 votes (39.17%).

Friday, August 12, 2022

Montgomery County Board of Elections finds 102 more ballots

The already drama-filled Montgomery County primary election just took another bizarre twist. Montgomery County Acting Election Director Alysoun McLaughlin issued a statement late last night on Board of Elections letterhead announcing that election staff has found 102 missing ballots. As a result, McLaughlin said, the Board will be unable to certify the election results today as scheduled. The Board will meet at 3:30 PM this afternoon to figure out how to proceed.

The ballots were found Thursday during a "precertification audit," McLaughlin wrote. “Today, we pulled our random sample of empty provisional ballot envelopes for audit and were unable to locate one of the randomly selected envelopes where it should have been," she explained. "In addition, we were unable to resolve a discrepancy between the number of provisional ballots that our staff had recommended that the Board accept, and the number of ballots scanned. Together, these two pieces of information prompted a visual search of folders where provisional ballots had been stored prior to the canvass. Those folders contained 102 unopened, sealed ballot envelopes that were never removed from their folders and presented to the canvass from the following precincts:

• Precinct 06-10 – 1 ballot

• Precinct 06-11 – 1 ballot

• Precinct 06-13 – 14 ballots

• Precinct 06-14 – 7 ballots

• Precinct 06-15 – 15 ballots

• Precinct 13-56 – 12 ballots

• Precinct 13-57 – 10 ballots

• Precinct 13-58 – 30 ballots

• Precinct 13-59 – 12 ballots

Intriguingly, McLaughlin personally apologized in the statement for not locating the missing ballots until yesterday, thereby delaying a certification of the results. The delayed certification has all kinds of implications for the photo finish of Democrats David Blair and Marc Elrich in the County Executive race. Elrich declared victory in the race last week. But if the 102 ballots found yesterday were to split Blair's way, that could flip the current results and Elrich would then have the option to ask for a recount. If Elrich retains his lead after the 102 new ballots are tallied, the recount Blair has said he will request following certification will be further delayed.

"I want to emphasize that Maryland’s comprehensive precertification audit was designed to identify issues like this before an election is certified to ensure theaccuracy of the results," McLaughlin wrote. "It worked as intended.”

“I will finish reviewing the rest of the audit to ensure that there are no further discrepancies before I ask the Board of Elections to certify the results of the election. The Board will meet at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, August 12, and we will discuss the findings of our audit and the schedule for canvass and certification.”

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Trump-endorsed Maryland governor hopeful Dan Cox releases statement on FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago

Delegate Dan Cox, the Republican nominee for governor of Maryland, released a statement on yesterday's FBI raid of President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Florida. Trump has endorsed Cox in the race, and hosted him for a meeting at the estate earlier this summer. 

“[FBI Director Christopher] Wray, [President Joe] Biden, [Vice-President] Kamala [Harris] and [Attorney General Merrick] Garland are using their offices for their own political weaponization against Republicans, and our greatest President of the United States, who actually did what he said when elected and returned power to the people," Cox said. "Presidents have plenary powers to declassify and keep papers. This FBI raid of Trump’s home is nothing short of communist stasi police state tactics. It has no place in any civilization and never in America."

Cox also called on other GOP leaders in Maryland to speak out about the raid. "As the newly nominated leading top of the ticket of the Maryland Republican Party, I call on every Maryland Republican to make public statements tonight condemning the raid on President Trump’s home. This is not a time for silence."

Monday, August 8, 2022

Maryland governor candidate Wes Moore to hold fundraisers in the Hamptons, on Martha's Vineyard this month

Wes Moore
, the Democratic nominee for Maryland governor, will be raising funds with some boldfaced names in New York and Massachusetts in the coming weeks. Director Spike Lee will host Moore for a fundraising event at his home on Martha's Vineyard on August 14, CNBC reports. Attendees will pay $500 to $6000 to get inside Lee's Oak Bluffs mansion.

A week later, Moore will head to the Hamptons for a second fundraiser hosted by Dilation Capital hedge fund managing partner Brian Eizenstat and C-Street Advisory Group CEO Jon Henes. CNBC reports that ticket prices are the same for that event. Moore is only one of many gubernatorial and presidential candidates heading where the money is this month; Stacey Abrams, Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, Ben Sasse and Lee Zeldin all have similar events planned in the Hamptons.

Moore's travel itinerary has caught the attention of his Republican opponent, Dan Cox. In a fundraising email to supporters, Cox said that while Moore "is raising money from the international law firms and big pharmaceuticals and is in the Hamptons this month raising money from Oprah, C-Street globalists and power-hungry radicals, this week I was in the neighborhoods of West Baltimore hearing concerns of students and parents."

Sunday, August 7, 2022

David Blair requests recount in Democratic race for Montgomery County Executive

David Blair
today announced his intention to seek a recount of votes in the Democratic primary contest for Montgomery County Executive. A recount has been expected given the current 42-vote margin between second place finisher Blair and incumbent Marc Elrich, who last night declared victory in the race. Because the totals are so close, Blair is entitled to the recount under election law, and will not have to fund the effort. Blair referred to the Associated Press having declared the race "too close to call" in his statement this morning.

"After several weeks of counting and virtually all votes recorded, the Associated Press has declared this race too close to call," Blair said in the statement. "Given the extremely close margin, we will be requesting a full recount, and are hopeful that the outcome will be in our favor." The Montgomery County Board of Elections has not yet released a schedule for further canvassing or recounts. Stay tuned for updates on that.

Photo courtesy David Blair for Montgomery