Conversations with the Candidates | WYPR

Conversations with the Candidates

 


Conversations with the Candidates:

Midday host Tom Hall interviews candidates who will be on the June 26, 2018 primary ballot in Maryland.

Video of the interviews available at https://www.facebook.com/WYPR881FM/

Follow us on Twitter:  @MiddayWYPR and @tomhallWYPR

Today we continue our Conversation with the Candidates series with guest Allan Kittleman, county executive of Howard County, elected to that position in 2014, and also discuss the future of Old Ellicott City.  On July 30, 2016, Old Ellicott City was ravaged by what was called at the time a once-in-1,000-years flood.  The historic downtown was largely rebuilt. And less than two years later, on May 27 of this year, another deadly flood struck Old Ellicott City -- perhaps even worse than the 2016 flood.  A state of emergency for the historic downtown is still in effect. 

In May of 2015, a year before the first Ellicott City Flood, Gov. Larry Hogan made good on a campaign promise to repeal the law that required nine counties to charge residents and businesses a Stormwater Remediation Fee, to create a dedicated source of funding for stormwater projects.  Mr. Hogan and opponents of the law referred to it as a “rain tax.” 

Allan Kittleman was a vocal supporter of repealing the law.  A year later, a few months before the first flood, Mr. Kittleman proposed a reduction and the eventual repeal of the Stormwater Remediation Fee in Howard County, a proposal that was rejected by the County Council.  Nine days ago, Howard County residents received tax bills that included fees ranging from $15 to $90, depending on the amount of impervious surfaces they have on their property. 

Courtesy of the Comptroller's Office

Today, another in our series of Conversations with the Candidates.

Tom's guest is Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot. He’s been the state’s fiscal chief since 2007, after first beating the incumbent, William Donald Schaefer, in the 2006 primary. 

As comptroller, Franchot is a member of powerful Board of Public Works in Annapolis. And he is vice-chair of the State Retirement & Pension System. Franchot is a Democrat who does not always toe the party line. His relationship with the legislative leadership in Annapolis -- fellow Democrats Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch -- has seemed increasingly frayed this year. Franchot does seem to have a close working relationship with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Before becoming Maryland’s top fiscal officer, Franchot served in the House of Delegates for two decades, representing the 20th District in Montgomery Co. That district reaches roughly from Takoma Park, north to Colesville.

He has been Maryland’s comptroller for 11 years, and he is seeking a fourth term. His opponent in the November election is a CPA from Worcester County, Republican Anjali Reed Phukan.

This conversation was livestreamed on the WYPR Facebook page. To check out that video, click here.

Ivan Bates Campaign

Tomorrow is Primary Day in Maryland, and here in Baltimore, the race for State’s Attorney features three Democrats who are conducting vigorous campaigns. 

Our original plan was to pause our series of Conversations with the Candidates once early voting had begun.  A week of early voting ended last Thursday.  But given that the race for Baltimore City State’s Attorney is one of the most contentious in the city’s history, we decided to have a conversation with the candidates for that office on this election-Eve. 

The winner of the Democratic primary for State’s Attorney will not face an opponent in November, so the person who will hold the position of the city’s top prosecutor for the next four years will be elected tomorrow. 

The incumbent, Marilyn Mosby, is being challenged by two local attorneys, Ivan Bates and Thiru Vignarajah, who join Tom today in Studio A. 

Ivan Bates has worked as a defense attorney and a city prosecutor.  He worked in the Juvenile Crime Division and later, the Homicide Division, in the City State’s Attorney’s Office.  He is 49 years old.

Thiru Vignarajah is a former city and federal prosecutor.  His tenure in the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office included heading the Major Investigations Unit.  He also served as the Deputy Attorney General for Maryland.   Thiru Vignarajah is 41 years old.

In this installment of Conversations with the Candidates, Tom Hall is joined in the studio by Sheldon Laskin, a Democratic candidate for the Senate in Maryland’s 11th district, which includes Pikesville, Owings Mills, and Hunt Valley in northwest Baltimore County. 

marilynmosby.com

Today we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates with Baltimore City State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby.  She is running for re-election in the Democratic primary that takes place on the 26th of this month.  Early voting begins on Thursday.  She is opposed by two other candidates, Ivan Bates and Thiru Vignarajah.  The winner of the primary will run unopposed in the general election.   

Marilyn Mosby drew international attention when she indicted six Baltimore police officers in the police-custody death of Freddie Gray in 2015.   None of those indictments resulted in a conviction, but Ms. Mosby points to a 95% conviction rate to date for her office overall.  The State’s Attorney’s office prosecuted more than 41,000 cases last year.

photo courtesy Thiru for Baltimore.

Continuing our series of Conversations with the Candidates, our focus today is on the Democratic primary election later this month for Baltimore City State’s Attorney Three candidates, including the incumbent, Marilyn Mosby, are competing in that race to be the city’s top prosecutor.

It’s a big job, overseeing more than 200 lawyers and tens of thousands of prosecutions every year, and it's a job our guest today would very much like to have. 

Thiru Vignarajah is a former prosecutor who’s spent most of his legal career in public service.  He was born in Baltimore to Sri Lankan immigrant parents, both of them Baltimore City public school teachers. Vignarajah himself is a product of the public school system, having gone from Edmondson Heights and Woodlawn High to Yale University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review . He went on to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and he served as a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore, working under then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein. Vignarajah subsequently moved to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, where he headed the Major Investigations Unit.

photo by Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun

Today we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates...

Here in Baltimore, the city’s top prosecutor is the Baltimore City State’s Attorney, an elective position that's often in the eye of the storm surrounding some very high profile criminal cases.  The incumbent State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, attracted national attention with her decision to indict six officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray in 2015.  Mr. Gray died while in police custody.  None of the indicted officers were convicted of a crime.   

But while cases like those involving Freddie Gray get a lot of scrutiny, the State’s Attorney’s office prosecuted more than 41,000 cases in 2017.  The State’s Attorney oversees more than 400 people, including more than 200 lawyers, and the salary is the highest of any city employee.  It’s a big job, and there are two people challenging the incumbent for it in next month’s Democratic primary. 

Tom's guest for the hour today is one of those challengers. 

Ivan J. Bates is a veteran litigator, defense attorney and city prosecutor.  He earned his BA in journalism at Howard University in 1992 and got his Law Degree at William and Mary in 1995.  He was admitted to the Maryland bar that year and after clerking for Judge David B. Mitchell on the Circuit Court of Baltimore City, he served as an assistant state’s attorney in Baltimore, where he worked in the Juvenile Crime Division and later, the Homicide Division.  He started his own law practice in 2006.

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates  who will be on the June 26th primary ballot here in Maryland.

Tom’s guest today is Valerie Ervin.  She is one of nine Democrats running for Governor this June.  The winner will go up against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election in November. 

Last week, the former Montgomery County Councilwoman announced that she would be taking the place of her former running mate, the late Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, as a Democratic candidate for Governor.  She is the second woman, and one of four African Americans running for Governor in the Democratic primary. 

Ervin’s career includes politics, education and labor advocacy.  She was the first African American woman to serve on the Montgomery County Council where she served two terms; she was only the 2nd African American woman to serve on the Montgomery County Board of Education. 

Her running mate is Marisol Johnson, former Baltimore County school board Vice Chair.  She is the first Latina to hold public office in Baltimore County. 

Valerie Ervin also took your questions, emails and tweets.  Like all of Midday’s Conversations with the Candidates, this program was streamed live on the WYPR FB page.  Check out the video here

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates, which includes those who already hold public office.

Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger is Tom's guest in Studio A, for the hour today.  He has represented Maryland’s 2nd congressional district since 2003.  That district includes parts of five jurisdictions: Baltimore City and Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Harford and Howard Counties.

Rep.  Ruppersberger serves on the House Appropriations Committee as well as the Subcommittee on Defense and the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations & Related Programs. He is a former ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. A number of institutions and organizations in his district are involved in cyber security issues.

Like all but one of the eight members of the Congressional delegation from Maryland, he is standing for re-election this year. He is being opposed in the primary by a political newcomer, Jake Pretot.

We livestreamed this conversation on WYPR's Facebook page.  If you missed it, check out the video here. 

Friends of Rushern Baker III

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates who will be on the June 26th primary ballot here in Maryland. 

Yesterday, former Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin entered the Democratic primary race for Maryland governor, following the sudden passing of Baltimore County Executive and gubernatorial candidate Kevin Kamenetz, with whom she'd been running as a candidate forLieutenant Governor. 

We begin the program with WYPR's Baltimore County politics reporter, John Leeand his analysis of the changing dynamics of the governor's race.  

Tom’s guest for the balance of the hour is Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III, also a Democratic candidate for Maryland governor. 

Rushern Baker is one of three candidates in the race who is not a political outsider, and now, the only one currently serving as a county executive.  Baker entered politics in 1994, serving in the Maryland House of Delegates until 2003.  He lost his first two elections for Prince George's county executive, but in 2010, he beat incumbent Jack Johnson.  Soon after that election, federal prosecutors arrested Johnson on corruption charges.  Mr. Baker has been widely credited with improving the county’s image and ending its “pay to play” legacy.

Courtesy of their campaigns

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates, in the run-up to Maryland's June 26th primary elections.

Maryland’s General Assembly District 41 has had more than its share of upheaval in recent years. Sen. Lisa Gladden represented the district for 14 years before retiring in February 2017 for health reasons. Del. Nathaniel Oaks was appointed to fill her seat, and four months later, he was indicted in federal court on nine counts of fraud and bribery. In November, prosecutors added obstruction of justice charges. Oaks denied the charges, remained in the Senate, and registered to run for re-election in the primary next month. In late March, Oaks changed his mind. He resigned from the legislature, pleaded guilty and attempted to remove his name from the primary ballot. Oaks will be sentenced on July 17. He faces 8-10 years in prison. Additional attempts to remove Oaks’s name from the ballot failed; his name will indeed appear on the ballot next to those of two other candidates.

Those two candidates are Tom’s guests today in Studio A.

Until last week, Jill P. Carter served as the Director of the Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement in Baltimore City. Before that, she served for three terms in the House of Delegates representing the 41st District. Carter is 53 years old. A graduate of Western High School, she was born and raised in the city. She lives in the Hunting Ridge neighborhood of District 41.

J.D. Merrill taught at his alma mater, City College High School from 2013 to 2016. He also served for two years as a special assistant to the chief of staff at City Schools headquarters on North Avenue. Merrill  is 27 years old. He and his wife, Grace O’Malley, live in the Wyndhurst neighborhood of District 41, one street over from where he was born and raised. This is the first time he has run for public office.

Photo Courtesy The Office of the Baltimore County Executive

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates who will be on the June 26th primary ballot here in Maryland.  

Tom's guest is Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.  He is one of nine Democrats running for Governor on the ballot this June.  The winner will go up against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election in November.  

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates who will be on the June 26th primary ballot here in Maryland.

Tom's guest is Sen. Richard S. Madaleno, Jr. He is one of nine Democrats running for Governor on the ballot this June. The winner will go up against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election in November.

Unlike several of his Democratic opponents, Sen. Madaleno is not a political outsider. He has represented Montgomery County in the MD Legislature for more than 15 years -- first in the House of Delegates and, since 2007, in the State Senate. Since 2015, he has been Vice-Chair of the powerful Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. He is the first openly gay person elected to the MD House of Delegates and the State Senate. If elected, he would be the first openly gay governor of any state in America.

His running mate is Luwanda W. Jenkins, a Baltimore native and business executive who served in the administrations of Maryland’s last three Democratic governors -- O’Malley, Glendening & Schaefer. 

Sen. Madaleno also took your questions, emails and tweets.  Like all of Midday's Conversations with the Candidates, this program was streamed live on the WYPR FB page. Check out the video here.

Photo Courtesy Jim Shea for Maryland

On this latest installment of our series of Conversations with the Candidates, Tom's guest is Jim Shea, a Democrat who's running to be his party's nominee for Maryland Governor.  Shea is one of nine Democrats who'll be on the gubernatorial ballot for the June 26th primary.  The winner will face Republican Governor Larry Hogan in the November general election.  

Shea announced his candidacy last summer, and has chosen Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott as his Lt. Governor running mate.  

Mr. Shea is 65 years old.  He grew up in Towson and he currently lives in Owings Mills.  He is a father of four children and the grandfather of two.  He has been married to his wife Barbara for 39 years.

photo courtesy Friends of Johnny O

Today, another installment in our series of Conversations with the Candidates.  Joining Tom in Studio A is former Maryland House Delegate and public school teacher John Olszewski, Jr.  Known as “Johnny O,” he represented the County’s 6th district for two terms in the Maryland General Assembly, and spent nine years teaching in several Baltimore County public schools. In June of 2017, he took leave from his position with a local software company to launch himself back into politics. Olszewski is one of four Democrats vying to be their party's primary pick for the office of Baltimore County Executive.  Maryland primary elections will be held on June 26th.

Today, Tom's guest is Krish Vignarajah, a Democratic candidate for Governor -- as we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates who will be on the June 26th primary ballot here in MD.  She is one of nine Democrats on the ballot in June. The winner will go up against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election in November. 

Several candidates have chosen women as their Lt. Governor running mates, but Ms. Vignarajah is the only woman running for the top job. Her running mate is Sharon Blake, the former head of the Baltimore Teacher’s Union.

Krish Vignarajah served as Policy Director to First Lady Michelle Obama. She was also a senior advisor at the State Department for Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. Before working in the Obama administration, she was a consultant at McKinsey & Company. She is a Yale and Oxford educated lawyer who practiced law in Washington, DC. She clerked for Chief Judge Michael Boudin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and she taught as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. She is 38 years old. She and her husband, Collin O’Mara, who is the President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, live in Gaithersburg with their baby daughter.

We streamed this conversation live on WYPR's Facebook page. Want to watch that video? Click here.

Photo Courtesy Brian Frosh

We continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates, which includes those who already hold public office.   Maryland’s Democratic Attorney General Brian Frosh joins us live in Studio A. He is unopposed in the primary in June.  He’ll be running against Republican Craig Wolf in November.  Mr. Frosh was elected to the AG’s office in 2014, after serving 10 years in the MD Senate.

He lives in Somerset with his wife Marcy.  They have two daughters. 

Today's conversation, like all our Conversations with the Candidates, was streamed live on WYPR's Facebook page.

benjealous.com

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates who will be on the June 26 primary ballot here in Maryland. Early voting begins June 14th.

Tom’s guest for the hour, live in Studio A, is Ben Jealous, a Democratic candidate for Governor. Last May, when he stood in front of his cousin’s flower shop in Baltimore’s Ashburton neighborhood and jumped into the race, he was only the second Democrat to announce his candidacy. Now, he has plenty of company: There will be nine Democrats on the ballot in June. The winner will go up against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election next November.  

Ben Jealous is perhaps best known as the former president and CEO of the NAACP. When he was appointed to that position in 2008, he was, at 35 years old, the youngest person ever to lead the NAACP. He was there for more than 5 years. When he left the NAACP in 2013, he joined Kapor Capital as a partner and investor. It’s a progressive investment firm based in Oakland, CA. He manages the firm’s Baltimore office. He is also a visiting professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He is a former community organizer and, early in his career, he was a journalist. He is 45 years old and the father of two. He lives in Anne Arundel Co.

Today's conversation, like all our Conversations with the Candidates, was streamed live on WYPR's Facebook page.

Photo Courtesy: Office of Councilwoman Vicki Almond

Today, another in our series of Conversations with the Candidates, in advance of the June 26th primary elections.

Tom's guest today is 2nd District Baltimore County Councilwoman Vicki Almond. Ms. Almond is one of four Democrats and two Republicans seeking their party’s nomination to run in the general election for Baltimore County Executive. 

Vicki Almond grew up in Catonsville and attended Catonsville High School.  She was elected to the County Council in 2010.

Early voting for the primaries begins on June 14th. 

Photo courtesy Al Redmer for Baltimore Co. Executive

Today, it’s another in our series of Conversations with the Candidates, in-depth interviews with contenders in key races leading up to the June 26th Maryland primary election.

Today, Tom's guest is Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr.  The Baltimore County native hopes to build on his two terms as the state’s chief insurance regulator and four terms as a Republican state delegate to win his party’s nomination in the June primary for Baltimore County Executive.  Redmer is one of two Republicans in that contest, which is spotlighting his moderate conservativism, his wide-ranging family business experience and his close ties with Governor Hogan.  Where does he stand on school construction, immigration and affordable housing? Can he be the first Republican since 1990 to win Baltimore County’s top job? Candidate Al Redmer takes Tom's questions, and yours.

We continue our series of Conversations with Candidates, which include those who currently hold public office.  Congressman John Sarbanes joins us for the hour today.  He has represented the third congressional district since 2007. 

The Congressman was successful in his efforts to reinstate EPA funding for the Bay Journal, but Congressional Democrats have been frustrated by inaction on DACA.  Representative Sarbanes has also been working on addressing the crisis of opioid addiction, and he serves as the Chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force.   The Baltimore native currently lives in Towson. 

We are streaming all of our Conversations with the Candidates on WYPR Facebook page.

Photo courtesy Jim Brochin for Baltimore County Executive

Today on Midday, another in our series of Conversations with the Candidates, ahead of the June 26th primary elections. 

Tom's guest today is State Senator Jim Brochin, who is one of three Democratic candidates in the primary race for Baltimore County Executive.  The current County Executive, Kevin Kamenetz, has served the maximum two terms.  He is now running for Governor.  

Senator Brochin has represented the 42nd District in central and northern Baltimore County for four terms.  He was first elected to the Senate in 2003.  He heads the Baltimore County Delegation, and serves on the Judicial Proceedings Committee, the Special Committee on Substance Abuse, and the Executive Nominations Committee.  He’s an insurance broker.  He is 54 years old, a single father with a daughter named Catherine who is attending the University of Colorado.   Senator Brochin lives in Cockeysville.

Stephen Voss

Today on Midday, with high winds blowing outside our Baltimore studio, we explore whether the winds of change will blow through Annapolis come November, as we begin a series of Conversations with the Candidates who will be on the June 26th primary ballots here in Maryland. 

Between now and the election, Tom Hall will be talking with Democrats who are running in the gubernatorial primary, as well as the Democrats and Republicans who are running for Baltimore County Executive, and candidates in a few other races as well. 

Today, Tom's guest for the hour is Alec Ross.  Last April, Ross became the first person to announce his candidacy in the Democratic primary for Maryland governor. Since then, eight rivals have joined him on that ballot. Alec Ross is an innovation expert, and the author of the New York Times best-selling book, “The Industries of the Future,” about innovation and the changes that economies and societies can expect over the next decade. Ross served in the State Department as Senior Advisor on Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  He also worked in the Obama campaign and transition team in 2008. He’s a former Distinguished Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins University.  He is 46 years old. He and his wife, who is a teacher in a Baltimore City School, live in Baltimore, where they are raising three children.

Today's conversation was streamed live on WYPR's Facebook page, where you can view the video of this and all future Conversations with the Candidates.