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Local election coverage from WYPR programs and newsroom.

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With approval ratings near record lows, President Barack Obama has not been invited to campaign for many Democrats facing tight races around the country. But he got an enthusiastic welcome Sunday from thousands of people packed into a high school gym in Upper Marlboro. The president was there to give a high-powered push to Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in his bid for the governor’s mansion.

Martin O’Malley surely gets glowing introductions as he tours presidential testing sites. Good for him that Maryland’s not on his list. For a governor who helped guide Maryland through the Great Recession with minimal damage, his standing among this state’s voters is less than anemic.

He takes solid story with him on the road:

A record of sound fiscal management. One of the best public school systems in the nation. An array of social issue triumphs from gay marriage to gun control and repeal of the death penalty.

Joe Howard was the very first African American judge to run for and win a 15-year term as judge on the city's highest court. His swearing-in ceremony was historic for at least two reasons. The first was that he represented a breakthrough in civil rights. The second was a small (and unwelcome) surprise from his new employer, the City of Baltimore.

Anne Arundel: It’s About Taxes, Schools And Boats

Oct 14, 2014

Democrat George Johnson, who is making a second run for Anne Arundel County Executive, and his Republican opponent, Delegate Steve Schuh, have something in common. They’ve made friends on both sides of the aisle during their years in public life.

But they have sharp differences when it comes to running Anne Arundel.


Maryland’s gubernatorial race has been notably negative this year, and when Republican Larry Hogan and Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown met for a second debate Monday, the gloves were off and both Hogan and Brown were swinging.

The two attacked each other’s plans, their credibility, and their records.

Hogan blamed Brown for the state’s lackluster economic performance, saying Maryland’s, “economy’s a mess and everyone seems to know it except you.”

Brown criticized Hogan’s plan to cut taxes by reducing spending, “Larry, your numbers don’t add up,” Brown said. “You’re first and only specific plan you laid out on the campaign and the numbers don’t add up.”

The two contenders faced tough questions from moderators but tried to turn weaknesses into strengths. When Brown was asked about his role as head of Maryland’s healthcare exchange, which included an expensive website that failed on day one, he emphasized enrollment that happened despite the IT troubles and elided questions about the $40 million to $50 million price tag to replace the balky website.


Pocketbook issues dominated Tuesday’s gubernatorial debate, the first time the Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Republican Larry Hogan shared a stage in this contentious race for the governor’s mansion. The two laid out very different assessments of Maryland’s economy over the hour-long debate, and criticized each other’s plans.

In Anthony Brown’s Maryland, the state has weathered a terrible recession while preserving strategic investments. There’s room for improvement, sure, but the fundamentals are strong.

Baltimore County may once again be Maryland’s swing district: Republican in one cycle, Democratic in the next.

Right now, in the race for governor, Republican Larry Hogan leads Democrat Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown by a slim margin in the county. That’s according to a Washington Post poll published Monday. Democratic leaders and campaign door-knockers find considerable antipathy to Governor Martin O’Malley in the county. And Lt. Gov. Brown is being effectively portrayed as O’Malley 2.0.

Ask Zoe Johnson, of the state Department of Natural Resources what climate change means for Maryland, and she gives you a list.


“Wildfire and drought, you know impact on invasive species, pests, and insects, changes in precipitation patterns, extreme snowfall events,” says Johnson, who is DNR’s program manager for climate change policy.

Maryland’s gubernatorial hopefuls will share a stage for the first time Tuesday at a televised debate in Baltimore, and political observers expect candidates to show up ready for combat. But it’s unlikely it will as negative as the ad war the candidates have waged so far.

Howard County, Maryland, seems to have it all: a semi-urban, semi-rural suburb of both Baltimore and Washington that repeatedly scores near the top of national rankings for income, public schools and overall quality of life. And now competing for the county’s top political job is an impressive duo:  a liberal yet pro-business Democrat and a tight-fisted Republican, who’s also a leading civil rights advocate.

Patrick And The Constitutionalist

Oct 6, 2014

  The race for an Anne Arundel County Council seat, which usually centers on taxes, schools and pot holes, has turned into a referendum on southern secession, civil rights and religion.

Maryland has eight congressional seats, but only one of the state’s incumbent representatives is in anything resembling a tough race. Republican Dan Bongino is challenging John Delaney for his 6th district seat. Both candidates were working the crowds recently at the In the Street Festival in Frederick.


Creative races have become a fad world-wide.  Over the weekend, Maryland’s third congressional district served as the course for yet another: the Gerrymander Meander. About 20 people ran, biked, kayaked and motor-boated a relay that traced the district, for a combined 225 miles.

Md. Fracking Commission Weighs Property Rights Against Safety Concerns

Three years ago, Governor Martin O'Malley established a commission to study whether natural gas can be safely extracted from the Marcellus Shale, which runs under Garrett and Allegheny Counties. WYPR's Christopher Connelly talks with Fraser Smith about the study and the accompanying politics, as Maryland's next governor will decide whether to allow hydraulic fracturing in the state.

There’s not much Republican gubernatorial hopeful Larry Hogan has in common with Del. Heather Mizeur, a Montgomery County progressive who lost a bid for the Democratic gubernatorial ticket this year. But the two were the first candidates in 20 years to use Maryland’s public campaign financing program and, unless the legislature moves to re-fund it, they may be the state’s last gubernatorial candidates to rely on public money.

The big, non-descript glass and brown-brick building at 2560 Lord Baltimore Drive in Woodlawn is home to St. John Properties, one of the biggest commercial real estate firms in the region. It’s also home to a huge chunk of money that’s been spread across dozens of campaigns in Maryland. The address shows up in campaign finance reports for hundreds of donations totaling more than $785,000 since 2011.

Maryland will elect a new governor in November. Republican Larry Hogan and Democratic Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown pitched county officials at the annual Maryland Association of Counties summer conference in Ocean City on Saturday. The message from both sides: Elect me because four years of the other guy will be bad for the state. 

Election 2014: Who Is Russell Neverdon?

Aug 8, 2014

Election 2014: Who Is Russell Neverdon?

Though the primary is over, the race is still on for Baltimore City State's Attorney. WYPR's Joel McCord and P. Kenneth Burns talk about the background and platform of an independent candidate, local defense attorney Russell Neverdon.

Mosby Victory Not Precisely A Matter Of Black And White

WYPR's Fraser Smith and Ian Duncan of the Baltimore Sun talk about the vote breakdown in Marilyn Mosby's victory over Gregg Bernstein in the Democratic primary for Baltimore State's Attorney, and why it brings into question a typical assumption about who votes in Baltimore.

Why Maryland May Have A Competitive Governor's Race

WYPR's Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler talk about why they think that despite Democrats' significant voter registration advantage, this year's campaign for governor may be a real race.

WYPR's Nathan Sterner and Jeremy Bauer-Wolf of MarylandReporter.com talk about Sen. David Brinkley's loss to Del. Michael Hough in the primaries, and how that upset teed up a general election race with Democrat Dan Rupli.

Mosby Victory Shows (Again) Who Votes In Baltimore

Marilyn Mosby’s win over incumbent State's Atty. Gregg Bernstein was in the cards from about the moment Bernstein won the office four years ago.

WYPR's Joel McCord and Bryan Sears of The Daily Record talk about a few incumbent Maryland Republicans who lost their seats in this week's primaries, and what the results say about how the party operates.

Primary Results

Jun 25, 2014
The Baltimore Sun

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown won the Democratic nomination for Maryland governor. He'll face GOP contender Larry Hogan in November. This hour, we'll deconstruct the election results with Melissa Deckman, chair and professor of political science at Washington College, and Barry Rascovar of politicalmaryland.org.

MyJon / Flickr / Creative Commons

About one-fifth of Maryland’s voters took part in the primary, setting up some clear choices for the general election in November. Sheilah Kast analyzes the results with WYPR’s statehouse reporter Chris Connelly and Baltimore Sun reporter Luke Broadwater.

Primary Coverage

Jun 24, 2014
justgrimes via flickr

Maryland held its Democratic and Republican primaries today.

Election Day Here & There

Jun 24, 2014
The Baltimore Sun

As Maryland voters head to the polls for the statewide primary, we get reports on turnout from WYPR reporters. Plus, we hear about the recent election in Ukraine from attorney Alan Friedman, a former director of governmental relations for Anne Arundel County who served as an observer in Ukraine and in five earlier elections in Eastern Europe.

Baltimore County State Sen. Jim Brochin finds himself in a bitter Democratic primary race in which both the governor and county executive are supporting his opponent.

WYPR's Fraser Smith and Arelis Hernández of the Washintgon Post talk about the tightening race for Maryland attorney general and why it may be a battle of name recognition versus endorsements.