Elections | WYPR

Elections

Local election coverage from WYPR programs and newsroom.

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Lawrence Lanahan

Election day is less than a week away. Many candidates and their supporters are taking the gloves off and waging attacks against opponents in a last minute effort to sway voters. 

But what if the attacks aren't from real voters or candidates? After freelance reporter Lawrence Lanahan received a tweet from a suspicious account attacking State Senator Catherine Pugh, who is running for mayor, he decided to investigate. He found other suspicious Twitter accounts that seem to have been created with one purpose: to attack Pugh. 

Lawrence joins Tom to discuss the devious design of the social media campaign and who could be behind it -- and how unlikely it is that we'll know before Primary Election Day next Tuesday. 

Read Lawrence's piece here

Mayor’s Race: Minimum Wage? Not So Fast

Apr 20, 2016

All of the major Democratic candidates running for mayor say they support the idea of raising the minimum wage. But none of them fully support a proposal introduced this week in the City Council that would do just that.

Audits at the center of City Comptroller’s race

Apr 20, 2016

Joan Pratt, Baltimore City’s Comptroller since 1995, is facing her first challenger in 17 years. He’s Mike King, a Northeast Baltimore resident with a background in financial operations, and he says Pratt hasn’t done enough to audit city agencies.

Mayor’s Race: Mosby Drops Out, Pugh Drops In

Apr 20, 2016

Hours before Councilman Nick Mosby shook up the race for mayor by dropping out, the frontrunner pulled a surprise of her own.

State Senator Catherine Pugh had begged off from a debate Wednesday on WYPR’s Maryland Morning with fellow candidates Elizabeth Embry and Councilman Carl Stokes, citing a scheduling conflict. Then about 15 minutes into the program Pugh showed up, surprising the candidates and host Tom Hall.

donkeyhotey.com

More people have chosen to vote early in this primary election than ever before.  What does that tell us about what we might expect when the polls open on election day next Tuesday?  If the turnout in Baltimore is higher than in previous contests, who does that help, and who does it hurt?  How will the Presidential races affect the contests for the Senate, Congress, Mayor, and City Council?  And, with spending in the Mayor’s race and for one of the Congressional seats at an all-time high, how strongly will the winning candidates be positioned for the general election?  Our panel this morning is Luke Broadwater, City Hall reporter for the Baltimore Sun, Kimberly Moffit, associate professor of American Studies at UMBC, and Kenneth Burns, WYPR's metro reporter.  

  The six major Democratic candidates for Mayor squared off last night in the final televised debate before the April 26 primary. However, the rules of the debate kept the candidates from questioning each other, which allowed the frontrunner to escape virtually unscathed. 

    

Fraser Smith and Luke Broadwater, of the Baltimore Sun, talk about the newspaper's latest poll, which gives state Senator Catherine Pugh a clear lead in the race to be Baltimore's next mayor, and the attack ads that followed.

Welch under fire in challenged ninth district

Apr 13, 2016

  

William “Pete” Welch has represented the 9th district, which includes West and Southwest Baltimore, on the city council since January 2011.  He was appointed to finish the term of his mother, Agnes Welch, who retired in December 2010 after nearly three decades.

Two challengers – John Bullock and Jerrell Bratcher – accuse Welch of not doing enough for the district.  There are three other challengers in the April 26 Democratic Primary; Nathaniel Anderson, J.B. Kenney and Shawn Key.

  Two of the major Democratic candidates for Mayor aggressively attacked each other’s records on crime Wednesday a debate on WYPR’s Maryland Morning, while a third tried to stay above the fray.

Sheila Dixon for Mayor, David Warnock, John Brecher

*On April 13th Nick  Mosby announced that he is suspending his campaign for mayor. Mosby has endorsed State Sen. Catherine Pugh. 

Beginning April 14th, Baltimore City residents will have the opportunity to cast their votes in the crowded 13-person race for the Democratic nomination for Mayor of Baltimore. 

There have been dozens of mayoral forums held throughout the city, many of which offered a platform to most, if not all, of the candidates. While it’s important to consider the views of everyone running, the sheer volume of people on stage has made it difficult for any candidate to explain their vision in a thoughtful and unhurried way.

Maryland Morning invited the top three Democratic candidates in the most recent poll to participate in a live in-studio debate. The poll, published in March, was commissioned by the Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore's College of Public Affairs and Schaefer Center for Public Policy and was conducted by Opinion Works.

According to the poll, State Senator Catherine Pugh leads with 26 percent of likely voter support, followed by former Mayor Sheila Dixon with 24 percent. Businessman David Warnock comes in third with 10 percent support. The top three are followed in the polls by Nick Mosby( 6 percent), Elizabeth Embry (5 percent) and Carl Stokes (3 percent).

Seven other candidates registered below 1% in the Sun/UB survey.

After originally agreeing to come, Senator Pugh canceled, citing obligations in the Senate. Sheila Dixon, David Warnock and Nick Mosby join Tom in-studio for an hour-long debate on the issues that seem to matter most to voters: crime, education, economic development and racial inequality.

Citizen Trueheart challenges President Young

Mar 30, 2016

Bernard “Jack” Young was made Baltimore City Council President by his colleagues in 2010 when then-President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake became the mayor.  Winning his own term in a landslide the following year, Young is running for re-election.

Amanda Wood / Flickr Creative Commons

Wednesdays are the day here at Maryland Morning that we concentrate, in particular, on politics. This morning we begin with a conversation about what the experience of voting will be like across Maryland when we enter the voting booth either as an early voter from April 14-21, or as a voter on Primary Election Day, April 26th.

Either way, we’ll be asked to choose delegates to the Democratic and Republican Presidential conventions, nominees from both parties for the US Senate and Congress, and here in Baltimore City, nominees for Mayor and the City Council. We'll also choose judges. If you've been paying attention, none of that will come as a surprise. But here's what you may not know: When you head into the voting booth this time, you'll notice big changes in the mechanics of voting. For one thing, we'll be using paper ballots, because of a 2007 decision by the Maryland legislature. 

Sorting Out Baltimore's Busy City Council Races

Mar 30, 2016
Wally Gobetz, Flickr Creative Commons

Have you looked over your sample ballot yet?  If you have, and you're a registered Democrat or Republican, you'll see you have a lot of choices to make in the upcoming primary election on April 26th.  Besides the Presidential, US Congressional and Senate races, 13 Democrats are on the ballot for Baltimore Mayor, a list that does not include incumbent Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake.  And for the City Council, nearly half of the seats are open, which is to say that the incumbent isn’t running for re-election.   Luke Broadwater covers City Hall for the Baltimore Sun.  P. Kenneth Burns is WYPR's political reporter.  They join Tom this morning to make some sense of some of the more than 100 candidates running for seats on the City Council.   

The Baltimore City Sitting Judges Campaign

Next month, Baltimore City voters will be asked to elect judges to the 8th Circuit Court. Of the eight candidates, six are sitting judges running in what’s known as a retention election. 

The sitting judges -- Shannon Avery, Michael DiPietro, Karen “Chaya” Friedman, Cynthia Jones, Audrey Carrión and Wanda Keyes Heard – were appointed by former Governors after being recommended by a non-partisan commission. The judges are campaigning as a block, although they will not be identified as “sitting judges” on the ballot. Last week, the two candidates not appointed by a governor, Todd Oppenheim and James Kraft, were on the program. Sitting Judges Shannon Avery and Cynthia Jones join Tom to discuss how they were appointed and why they deserve to keep their seats.  

We’re just five weeks away from the April 26th Maryland primary election.  In the last primary for Mayor, in 2011, voter turnout was among the lowest in history.  Does this portend a troubling trend?  Former Maryland Secretary of State John Willis, now a resident scholar at University of Baltimore's School of Public and International Affairs, studies the history of elections, and voter behaviors.  He's had a wealth of experience in the field.  As secretary of state from 1995 to 2003, he was involved at the state and national levels in election reform issues. He chaired Maryland's Special Committee on Voting Systems and Election Procedures, which led to landmark election reform legislation in 2001.   Sec. Willis also served on the commission which modernized and recodified Maryland's election laws. He joins Tom to discuss current trends in voting behavior, and what factors could affect voter turnout on April 26th.  

PRODonkeyHotey

The Maryland Congressional race is heating up. Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-4th District) is giving up her seat to run for the Senate seat being vacated next year by retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski. Edwards’ district includes parts of Anne Arundel and Prince George’s County. Six Democrats are vying for the nomination in the 4th District to succeed Edwards. 

In the 8th district, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, who represents Montgomery County, is also relinquishing his House seat for a run at Senator Mikulski's soon-to-be-vacant office. Nine Democrats, including some well-funded political novices, have thrown their hats in the ring to be their party's nominee to fill Van Hollen's House seat.  

John Fritze, Washington correspondent for the Baltimore Sun and Todd Eberly, Chair & Professor of political science at St. Mary's College and proprietor of the FreeStater blog,  join Tom to discuss these and other significant congressional races.

City Council: A change is gonna come

Mar 18, 2016

One thing is for certain in the 2016 City Council election; there will be at least six new members after it’s all said and done.

The Turnaround Truck Turns Heads

Mar 18, 2016

  David Warnock’s truck is getting noticed on the streets of Baltimore.  And it’s not for its current top speed of 35 miles per hour.

Dubbed by its owner as the “Turnaround Truck,” the vehicle – featured prominently in Warnock’s television ads - has become a symbol of his campaign for Baltimore mayor.  He says it became a symbol by accident.

    

Sheila Dixon says when she was mayor she made city agencies more accountable to the taxpayers. If you called City Hall with a problem, you deserved an answer. She says she’ll bring that back if she’s elected.

Where's the mayor?

Mar 18, 2016

    

Fraser Smith and Kenneth Burns, of the WYPR reporting team, talk about the "Baltimore bills" in the General Assembly and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake's role in lobbying for them.

The two leaders in the race to be Baltimore’s next mayor are no strangers to each other. In fact, they have battled each other before for public office.

On April 26, Baltimore city residents will vote to elect judges to the 8th Circuit Court. Of the eight candidates on the ballot, six are sitting judges -- appointed by a governor -- running in what is known as a retention election. The two remaining candidates, James Kraft and Todd Oppenheim were not appointed by a judge and are running independently.

Oppenheim has been a public defender in Baltimore for 11 years.  Kraft is a sitting city councilman in Baltimore’s 1st district; he’s been on the council since 2004. Both men join Tom in-studio to discuss why they’re running to be judges, despite not receiving a gubernatorial appointment.  

    

Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler, of the WYPR news team, talk about the tightening primary for the Democratic nomination to replace retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski and Rep. Donna Edwards' reputation for not playing well with others.

Arts in the mayor's race

Mar 14, 2016

The candidates to be Baltimore's next mayor laid out their plans to support the arts Monday night at a forum at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Event organizers said it was the first mayoral forum ever dedicated specifically to the arts.  WYPR's John Lee was there and joined Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner to talk about it.

Mayor’s race: MTA running late

Mar 14, 2016

  Marcie Roberts heard the disembodied voice--“Welcome aboard MTA”—one recent morning as she boarded a bus at Northern Parkway and York Road. She was in the middle of her daily 90-minute-two-bus commute from Windsor Mill to her job in Towson. The bus that got her to that point was the 44. She said it wasn’t so welcoming.

“Bus 44 is the worst bus I ever got on.”

Roberts said the bus is often late and doesn’t run at convenient times.

    

One of the candidates for Baltimore mayor wants the city to help students afford a college education. Activist and educator DeRay Mckesson is proposing the city create college savings accounts for every child in its school system. 

electcalvinyoung.com

Now, another in our series of interviews with people who have announced their intention to run for Mayor of Baltimore, in which Maryland Morning host Tom Hall asks each candidate about their vision for the city.  

Tom's guest is Calvin Young, a 28-year-old engineer who lives in Hamilton, Maryland. He is a Harvard Business School graduate who has never held elective office.   He was the second candidate, after former Mayor Sheila Dixon, to file to run as a Democrat for mayor of Baltimore, officially launching his campaign in mid-August, 2015, before current Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced she would not seek re-election.  Young is a Baltimore native who graduated from Poly and New York University, and is a former city youth commissioner.  He has also served as an aide in the White House National Economic Council, helping to develop economic and business development policy recommendations for the President. He spoke with Tom in studio on March 10, 2016. 

GLAAD

Today, we continue our series of conversations with candidates for Mayor of Baltimore.  DeRay McKesson is a native Baltimorean, and he’s worked as an administrator in the Baltimore City Public Schools.  He’s 30 years old, and for the past year or so he has been a full time activist, working in Ferguson, Baltimore and elsewhere on issues that include police misconduct and mass incarceration.  He has never held public office.  He’s on the ballot in the Democratic primary on April 26th , the last  candidate to file to run for the Baltimore mayor's office. Within days of his filing, Mckesson  released a comprehensive plan to address the city's most pressing issues, including proposals to expand educational programs and to begin major reforms of the Baltimore police department.  DeRay Mckesson joins Tom to share his vision for the City.

The Democratic candidates to be Baltimore's next mayor outlined their plans to cut city property taxes at a forum in South Baltimore Thursday night. WYPR's John Lee joined Morning Edition Host Nathan Sterner Friday morning to talk about that.

  Little Eva’s 1962 hit Loco-motion set the tone for a Donna Edwards campaign rally in Baltimore’s Station North arts and entertainment district last weekend that was part sock hop, part prayer meeting. Campaign staffer Salima Siler Marriott told three dozen volunteers that it is “really critical at this juncture is that you are able to multiply yourself” to get out the Edwards vote.

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