Talking With The Candidates | WYPR

Talking With The Candidates

Credit John Gotty

Ahead of Maryland's April 26 primary election and continuing through the summer and fall campaigns for the November 8th General Election, former Maryland Morning and now Midday host Tom Hall has been talking with candidates for a variety of local, state and national public offices -- including Baltimore's Mayor, City Council, and Maryland's US House and Senate seats.  Tom Hall has questioned the candidates about their experience, their vision and their plans to lead the city, the state or the nation into a challenging future.  

If you have suggestions or questions, drop us a note via email or send us a tweet to @middaytomhall or give us a call at 410-881-3162.

Photos from Ruppersberger, McDonough campaigns

Today, it’s another Midday on Politics.  With less than two weeks until Election Day, our Talking with the Candidates series continues with a focus on the 2nd Congressional District, which includes communities in Baltimore City as well as Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford and Howard Counties. 

Democrat Dutch Ruppersberger has represented the 2nd district in the U.S. Congress for the past 14 years.  He’s been an advocate for improved health care for veterans and has made national security and rebuilding the middle class priority issues.

He’s being challenged by 4-term Republican Delegate Pat McDonough, who has represented the 7th District (Baltimore and Harford counties) in the Maryland House of Delegates since 2003.  He’s also been an advocate for veterans, an outspoken critic of immigration policy, and a strong supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. 

Dutch Ruppersberger and Pat McDonough take Tom's questions, and your calls and comments.

Election Day is less than two weeks away. Early voting starts tomorrow. Today, a conversation with the leading candidates for Maryland's 3rd Congressional District.  

Incumbent Democrat John Sarbanes first won the seat in 2006; he’s been re-elected to the House four times since then. He is 54 years old and was born and raised in Baltimore. Rep. Sarbanes is a graduate of Harvard Law School who worked as a lawyer for 17 years before running for Congress. He’s the father of three children. He and his wife Dina live in Towson. His father is retired US Senator Paul Sarbanes.  

In just two weeks Baltimore City voters will head to the polls to elect a new mayor. Voters will have a choice between Democratic nominee State Senator Catherine Pugh, Republican nominee Alan Walden, Green Party nominee Joshua Harris and several write-in candidates including former Mayor Sheila Dixon. After accepting our invitation to join today's conversation seven weeks ago, Senator Catherine Pugh canceled last Friday. Her representatives declined to give us a specific reason for the change of heart. 

Luke Broadwater /The Baltimore Sun

When he ran for Governor, Republican Larry Hogan got 22% of the vote in Baltimore City. But he won 53% of the vote in the First District, which includes Harbor East, Little Italy, Canton, Fells Point, Greektown, Bayview and other historic Southeast Baltimore neighborhoods – all the way East to the county line.

Today, a look at the race for the Baltimore City Council in the First District.

Tom's guests are two youthful and dynamic candidates who prevailed in crowded primaries last spring: Democrat Zeke Cohen and Republican Matt McDaniel. If McDaniel does what Hogan did and wins the district, he would become the first Republican to hold a seat on the city council since 1942, and the first Republican to hold any elective office in Baltimore in 50 years.

The Baltimore City Council is about to undergo big changes. With retirements, some incumbent losses, and some members having run for mayor instead of their council seats, regardless of who wins the election on November 8th, eight of 14 seats on the council will be occupied by people who are new to the job.

In the First District, Mr. McDaniel is mounting a serious campaign against his Democratic rival, Mr. Cohen. Both candidates are charismatic, personable – and new to politics. Matt McDaniel and Zeke Cohen join Tom in Studio A for a conversation about the future of the First.

Tom is joined in the studio for the full hour by Delegate Kathy Szeliga.  She is the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who has served in Congress longer than any woman in history.  Del. Szeliga will go head-to-head with her chief rival for that senate seat in November: Representative Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat, who has served Maryland’s 8th Congressional District since 2003. (To listen to Tom's pre-primary interview with Rep. Van Hollen on the March 2, 2016 Maryland Morning program​, click here.)   Del. Szeliga has represented Baltimore and Harford Counties in the Maryland House of Delegates' District 7 for five years, and is the minority whip.  Should she be Maryland’s next U.S. senator? A conversation with Del. Kathy Szeliga. 

This program is part of Tom Hall's Talking with the Candidates series that began early this year on Maryland Morning and continues now on Midday -- an ongoing effort to help inform you about the Maryland candidates running for local, state and national elective offices.  

Photo by Harris for Baltimore

In another installment of our Talking With the Candidates series, Joshua Harris, the Green Party’s nominee for mayor of Baltimore, joins Tom in the Maryland Morning studio.

Mr. Harris is 30 years old and lives in the Hollins Market area of Southwest Baltimore.  He is a community activist and co-founder of Hollins Creative Placemaking.  He is also managing editor of The Sphinx, the magazine of Alpha Phi Alpha, the African-American national fraternity based in Baltimore -- and a former legislative aide for Delegate Charles Sydnor, who represents parts of Baltimore County (Dist 44B).

A Chicago native and a graduate of Augsburg College in Minneapolis,  Mr. Harris moved to Baltimore in 2012.

Harris is running for mayor, he says, because, in the wake of the uprising and riots of 2015, Baltimore needs transformational change, not just -- as he puts it -- tinkering with the status quo.

This week, the relative political newcomer was named “Best Politician” in the City Paper’s annual ‘Best of Baltimore’ issue. 

Walden For Mayor

Republican candidate for Mayor of Baltimore City Alan Walden joins Tom in the studio. 

On Election Day  Tuesday, November 8th, Walden will face Democratic nominee Sen. Catherine Pugh and Green Party candidate Joshua Harris on the ballot.  Alan Walden was a morning anchor and commentator at WBAL radio for 16 years. For years before that, he was chief radio correspondent for NBC News worldwide.  He is 80 years old. He lives in Baltimore’s Cross Keys with his wife, Jeannie. They are the parents of two grown children.  Born in Brooklyn, New York, he says he is a “Baltimorean by choice,” having lived in the city since 1988.


Wednesday means politics on Maryland Morning, and we begin today with Rep. John Sarbanes, live in Studio A.  Congressman Sarbanes, who lives with his family in Towson, is a Democrat who has represented Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2007. He sailed through last month’s primary election, winning 87% of the Democratic vote. His far-flung district includes parts of Baltimore County and Baltimore City but also narrow slices of Howard, Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties, including Annapolis. It’s been called one of the most gerrymandered congressional districts in the country, and it heavily favors Democrats.

The 53-year-old incumbent will face businessman, lawyer and physician Mark Plaster, who won the Republican primary last week. The 3rd District includes a very diverse set of constituents within its serpentine boundaries. Congressman Sarbanes has a wide pallet of policy interests. He is a national voice on campaign finance reform. His recent initiatives have addressed everything from the opioid abuse crisis to climate change, solar energy, and environmental education.,,

Tomorrow, as early voting begins in Maryland, state residents will begin casting their ballots for the national and local primaries. There are 13 candidates running for the Democratic nomination for Mayor of Baltimore. 

According to the most recent poll, released by The Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore, State Senator Catherine Pugh leads with 31 percent of likely voter support, followed by former mayor Shelia Dixon with 25 percent. Lawyer Elizabeth Embry is in third place with 9 percent support, up from 5 percent last month. Businessman David Warnock is in fourth place with 7 percent, and Councilman Carl Stokes and Councilman Nick Mosby are tied at fifth place in the poll, with 5 percent support.

Last week, Maryland Morning hosted a debate between Shelia Dixon, David Warnock and Nick Mosby. At the time, according to a March 10th poll, Warnock was in third place and Mosby was in fourth. Senator Pugh had been invited to  join that debate but she declined, citing obligations in the Senate. 

On Wednesday morning, after initially declining WYPR's invitation to participate in a second mayoral debate with candidates Elizabeth Embry and Carl Stokes, Senator Pugh arrived unexpectedly at the Maryland Morning studio a few minutes after the live program had begun.  She was invited to join the debate in progress, and spent the rest of the hour with candidates Embry and Stokes discussing the issues in the mayoral race with host Tom Hall. 

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.