Monthly Archives: February 2018

Weekly Digest: 2/23

Here’s the list of the candidates who filed this week:

Federal

  • John R. Graziani (R) – U.S. Senate. Hails from Anne Arundel County.
  • Christina J. Grigorian (R) – U.S. Senate
  • Allison Galbraith (D) – U.S. House of Representatives, District 1. She seems like a strong progressive looking to upset Maryland’s only congressional Republican, Rep. Andy Harris.
  • Adam DeMarco (D) – U.S. House of Representatives, District 3. An Army veteran with a progressive platform that includes Medicare for All, challenging the incumbent, John Sarbanes, who’s also reasonably progressive. An odd choice, but perhaps he’s building name recognition for a later election.
  • Dennis L. Fritz (D) – U.S. House of Representatives, District 5
  • George English (D) – U.S. House of Representatives, District 6
  • Brad Rohrs (R) – U.S. House of Representatives, District 6
  • Charles Stokes (D) – U.S. House of Representatives, District 7
  • Swami Swaminathan (I) –U.S. House of Representatives, District 7
  • Utam Paul (D) – U.S. House of Representatives, District 8

Statewide

  • Ben Jealous (D) and Susie Turnbull (D) – Governor. This progressive ticket could very well win back the governor’s seat for the Democrats.
  • Alec  Ross (D) and Julie C. Verratti (D) – Governor

 State Senate

  • Billy Shreve (R) – District 3. The bombastic Frederick County councilman will try to turn this seat red, but first he’ll have to beat Craig Giangrande in the Republican primary, who has been running for several months already.
  • Jessica Douglass (D) – District 4. This is a reliably Republican district in the mixed suburban-exurban-rural areas outside the city of Frederick. It’s good that a Democrat is running here, because they’re likely to pull in more votes this year than they have in the past.
  • Scott Collier (I) – District 6. Collier ran here in 2014 and took 7.3%, a respectable percentage for an unaffiliated candidate.
  • Christian Miele (R) – District 8. He’s been running for Kathy Klausmeier’s seat for months, but only just made it official.
  • Reid J. Novotny (R) – District 9. Here’s an intra-party challenger for Senator Gail Bates (R).
  • Sheldon Laskin (D) – District 11. A more progressive alternative to incumbent Senator Bobby Zirkin (D).
  • Clarence Lam (D) – District 12. Following Senator Ed Kasemeyer’s surprise decision to retire, the district’s House delegation got together and agreed Del. Lam would run for state Senate.
  • Michelle Carhart (D) – District 18
  • John Leonard (R) – District 28
  • Thomas Brewer (D) – District 29. It’s good to see someone has stepped up for the blue team in this dark red district.
  • Mauren Bryant (R) – District 32. This was the GOP’s backup plan to John Grasso. The fact that Bryant has filed is a likely indicator that Grasso will be running for Anne Arundel County Executive.
  • Mary-Dulany James (D) – District 34. Democrats landed their dream candidate on Friday when the former delegate jumped into the race. James came up short when she ran for this seat four years ago, losing by a 14-point margin, but the political winds are blowing in a different direction now and this race is now very much in play.
  • Fred Price, Jr. (R) – District 47

 House of Delegates

  • Diane DeCarlo (D) – District 6. Former delegate (1995-02) and briefly senator (2002-03). She immediately becomes the Democrats’ strongest candidate in this increasingly Republican district.
  • Tammy Larkin (R) – District 7. She’s joining a very, very crowded Republican field that now includes TWELVE candidates for the three seats.
  • Kevin Leary (R) – District 8
  • Norma Secoura (R) – District 8. She ran in 2014, taking 15.1% of the vote which was good enough for fifth place.
  • Lauren Lipscomb (D) – District 10
  • Kate Skovron (D) – District 11
  • James Howard (D) – District 12
  • Esam Al-Shareffi (D) – District 17
  • Julian Haffner (D) – District 17
  • Rebecca Smondrowski (D) – District 17
  • Pennie Parker (D) – District 23B. Another primary challenger for Joe Vallario.
  • Maurice Simpson, Jr. (D) – District 24
  • Maurice Culbreath (D) – District 25
  • Diedra Henry-Spires (D) – District 26
  • Dave Campbell (R) – District 28
  • Jim Crawford (R) – District 28. He was the only Republican on the ballot in the three-seat District 28 last time, and he won 19.2% of the vote.
  • Vanessa Jones (R) – District 28
  • Carmen Skarlupka (D) – District 30B
  • Tom Walters (R) – District 30B. Challenging freshman delegate Seth Howard in the GOP primary.
  • John R. Leopold (R) – District 31B. I’ve been hearing for months that the disgraced former Anne Arundel county executive was planning a comeback, but I was still surprised when he filed. He’s a legendary campaigner, so maybe he just couldn’t stay away.
  • Mark E. Bailey (R) – District 32
  • Tim Walters (R) – District 32. He ran in 2014, winning 15.3% of the vote. This was the best performance among the Republicans who ran there, but he still came in a solid fourth place behind the three Democrats.
  • Heather Bagnall (D) – District 33. She decided to run for the House instead of the Senate, which makes good strategic sense as Eve Hurwitz had a well-established state Senate campaign. With Bagnall’s candidacy, Democrats have a full slate in District 33.
  • Tom Angelis (R) – District 33. It looks like he switched back to the Republican Party after running one campaign as a Democrat in 2014.
  • Stacie MacDonald (R) – District 33
  • Sarahia Benn (D) – District 34A
  • Steve Johnson (D) – District 34A. Came in fourth place in the 2014 Democratic primary.
  • Douglas Anstine (R) – District 34A
  • Mimi Gedamu (R) – District 37B
  • Verelyn Gibbs Watson (R) – District 39
  • Tony Bridges (D) – District 41
  • Walter J. Horton (D) – District 41
  • Bonnie “Raven” Lane (G) – District 43

Daily Digest: 2/15

Here’s the list of the candidates who filed today:

Federal

  • Evan Cronhardt (R) – U.S. Senate. From Anne Arundel County
  • Marcia Morgan (D) – U.S. Senate
  • Erik Lane (D) – U.S. House of Representatives, District 1

 State Senate

  • Hongjun Xin (D) – District 15

 House of Delegates

  • Paul Ransom (D) – District 14
  • Destinee Parker (D) – District 44A

Anne Arundel County

  • Jim Fredericks (R) – Sheriff

Daily Digest: 2/14

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s the list of the candidates who filed today:

Federal

  • Charles Anthony (R) – U.S. House of Representatives, District 3

 House of Delegates

  • Chike Anyanwu (R) – District 21. He ran for Anne Arundel county council in 2014.
  • Crystal Woodward (D) – District 36. From Queen Anne’s County.
  • Caylin Young (D) – District 45
  • Dea Thomas (D) – District 46

Anne Arundel County

  • Anne Colt Leitess (D) – State’s Attorney. Served as the appointed State’s Attorney from 2013-14, following the resignation of Frank Weathersbee

Daily Digest: 2/13

Here’s the list of the candidates who filed today:

Statewide

  • Jon Cook (G) – Governor

State Senate

  • Al Phillips (R) – District 39

 House of Delegates

  • Brian Marcos (R) – District 10
  • Melanie Harris (R) – District 12

Elections 2018: District 6

Senate District 6

Incumbent: J.R. Salling (R)
Challengers: Buddy Staigerwald (D)

Past Results:
2014: J.R. Salling (R) 47.7%, John Olszewski, Jr. (D) 44.9%, Scott M. Collier (I) 7.3%
2010: Norman Stone (D) 57.8%, Bruce Kahl (R) 42.0%

Dundalk and Essex are Baltimore blue collar central, and in keeping with most other majority-white, blue collar areas in America, District 6 favored Trump over Clinton 61-35, a huge shift from Romney’s 50-48 win in 2012. Larry Hogan also won big here 75-23.

This is a volatile district politically and it’s not hard to figure out why. Nowhere in Maryland was hit harder by the recession than eastern Baltimore County, and voters here (at least the ones who are still voting; turnout has dropped precipitously) have decided it’s time for a change. At the federal level, they’re giving Trump a try, and at the state level, this means ditching the Democratic Party and shaking up Annapolis.

Nothing illustrates this paradigm shift than the 2014 election for state Senator, where underfunded political nobody J.R. Salling defeated two-term Delegate John Olszewski, Jr., who was the son of longtime county councilman and political boss John Olszewski, Sr., for the open seat. While some observers were shocked at this “upset,” it’s important to note that the district had been turning red for decades, and hadn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since at least 1996 – probably even earlier, but I can’t find presidential election results by legislative district going back that far.

Buddy Staigerwald, an electrician and firefighter, has filed as a Democrat to challenge Salling. Democrats are hoping for a comeback here with a blue wave at their backs, but this is turf where both Trump and Hogan are extremely popular, so it’s going to be a tough sell.

Campaign finances as of the January 17 filing deadline:

Name Receipts Self Fund Expenditures Cash on Hand
J.R. Salling (R) $27,502 $0 $22,547 $29,647
Buddy Staigerwald (D) $9,518 $0 $3,035 $8,033


House of Delegates

Incumbents: Robin Grammer (R), Robert Long (R), Ric Metzgar (R)
Challengers: Nicholas D’Adamo (D), Megan Ann Mioduszewski (D), Justin Holliday (D)

Past Results:
2014: Robert Long (R) 21.2%, Ric Metzgar (R) 19.1%, Robin Grammer (R) 18.4%, Nicholas D’Adamo (D) 14.6%, Mike Weir (D) 14.5%, Jake Mohorivic (D) 12.0%
2010: John Olszewski, Jr. (D) 20.2%, Mike Weir (D) 18.2%, Sonny Minnick (D) 17.9%, Robert Long (R) 16.2%, Ric Metzgar (R) 15.5%, Carlton William Clendaniel (R) 11.9%

Republicans swept the district four years ago, picking up two open seats and unseating Delegate Mike Weir. All three Republican incumbents are running for re-election.

Nicholas D’Adamo, the Democrats’ top vote-getter in 2014, is running again. He was a Baltimore City councilman from 1987-2011.

Campaign finances as of the January 17 filing deadline:

Name Receipts Self Fund Expenditures Cash on Hand
Robert Long (R) $30,076 $0 $9,399 $64,306
Ric Metzgar (R) $30,005 $0 $22,837 $13,670
Robin Grammer (R) $21,551 $0 $8,025 $30,448
Megan Ann Mioduszewski (D) $14,656 $0 $4,728 $9,729
Nicholas D’Adamo (D) $0 $0 $303 $39,090
Justin Holliday (D) ALCE

Daily Digest: 2/12

Here’s the list of the candidates who filed today:

Federal

  • Blaine Taylor (R) – U.S. Senate
  • Lih Young (D) – U.S. Senate

 House of Delegates

  • Carl Ward (D) – House of Delegates, District 19
  • Terrell Boston-Smith (D) – House of Delegate, District 40

Daily Digest: 2/9

Here’s the list of the candidates who filed today:

Federal

  • John Rea (D) – U.S. House of Representatives, District 3. From Anne Arundel County.

House of Delegates

  • Lauren Arikan (R) – House of Delegates, District 7
  • Bob Cockey (R) – House of Delegates, District 12
  • Marc King (R) – House of Delegates, District 15

Daily Digest 2/8

Here’s the list of the candidates who filed today:

Statewide

  • Craig Wolf (R) – Attorney General. Currently the President and CEO of the Washington-based trade lobby, the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America.

State Senate

  • Stephanie Boston (R) – State Senate, District 10. Took 18.7% of the vote in the 2014 Democratic primary. Maybe she’ll have more luck as a Republican?

House of Delegates

  • Ryan Sullivan (G) – House of Delegates, District 7
  • Michael Tyrone Brown, Sr. (R) – House of Delegates, District 10. Also an ex-Democrat, took 5.3% of the vote in the 2014 primary.
  • Ray Ranker (I) – House of Delegates, District 21
  • Ashanti Martinez (D) – House of Delegates, District 22
  • Alice Cain (D) – House of Delegates, District 30A. Longtime education advocate and member of the Annapolis Education Commission.
  • Dan O’Hare (D) – House of Delegates, District 37B

Elections 2018: District 30

Senate District 30

Incumbent: John Astle (D)
Filed Challengers: Ron George (R), Sarah Elfreth (D), Chrissy Holt (D)

Past Results:
2014: John Astle (D) 51.3%, Don Quinn (R) 48.6%
2010: John Astle (D) 51.1%, Ron Elfenbein (R) 48.8%

New District 30

District 30 was redrawn considerably in 2014, giving up Arnold and Cape St. Claire in exchange for Edgewater and south county. While Democratic Senator John Astle slightly increased his vote share from 2010 to 2014, the surprising performance by his underfunded Republican opponent, Don Quinn, has put this seat at the top of the GOP’s target list in 2018.

Astle ran for Mayor of Annapolis in 2017, coming up short in the Democratic primary. It’s been expected that he will announce his retirement, but that has yet to happen. Sarah Elfreth has launched her campaign to hold the seat for the Democrats, and has had Astle at her events. Healthcare advocate Chrissy Holt has also launched her campaign, and is running on a progressive platform.

The Republican nomination has come down to two veteran delegates: Ron George and Herb McMillan. George, a former two-term delegate from Arnold, was redrawn into the 33rd district in 2014, and decided to run for Governor instead of running for re-election in his new district. He came in fourth place in the GOP primary for governor, and now he is attempting a political comeback. McMillan has tried to win this seat already – in 2006 – but John Astle beat him 53-47%. He probably wasn’t too pleased when Ron George moved back into District 30 and announced his candidacy. McMillan has a long history of service in Annapolis, and has deep ties in the community, but will he run knowing that Ron George is also running? From a Republican strategic standpoint, that would be a bad idea, as it would mean they would have to field two new candidates for the House in 30A instead of one. But this Senate seat is finally within reach of Republicans, both because of Astle’s assumed retirement and a generous redrawing of the district lines in 2014. Will McMillan give up what is likely his last chance to win it? He seems to be giving it a lot of thought, and has even commissioned an opinion poll that shows him down just 25-29% to George, with 43% undecided.

Ron George (l) and Herb McMillan (r)

Annapolis tends to vote Democratic and is trending bluer, while southern Anne Arundel County votes Republican and is getting redder. I am not sure why these two areas have been grafted together as District 30, given the vast differences between them. As a whole, District 30 voted 69-29% for Larry Hogan and 47.4-46.7% for Donald Trump. As I’ve mentioned, the voting patterns of Annapolis vs. south county are very different, and I have included the vote percentages for the subdistricts below.

 

House District 30A – 2 members

Incumbents: Michael Busch (D), Herb McMillan (R)
Challengers: Chelsea Gill (R), Mark Plaster (R), Aron Axe (D), Alice Cain (D), Mary Reese (D), Brooks Schandelmeier (D)

Past Results:
2014: Herb McMillan (R) 27.9%, Michael Busch (D) 27.6%, Chuck Ferrar (D) 23.0%, Genevieve Lindner (R) 21.4%

Maryland District 30 - Annapolis, Anne Arundel County

District 30A’s delegation is currently split; they elected Republican Herb McMillan and Democrat Michael Busch to represent them, in that order. Republicans would love to sweep this district, and they point to Larry Hogan’s 58-40% win here as proof that they can. Just two years later, Hillary Clinton won this district 54-39%. This is currently shaping up to be a very good year for Democrats, and progressives are extremely motivated in Annapolis to sweep both seats in this district.

Delegate McMillan, as I mentioned above, is apparently mulling a promotion to State Senate. Republicans are also very keen on sweeping this district, and they landed a decent recruit in Mark Plaster, who ran (unsuccessfully) for Congress in 2016. Plaster is a former Navy Reservist and doctor, who claims that the scientific data suggesting climate change is caused by human action is fraudulent. Republican Chelsea Gill has filed for the race as well.

Mike Busch is Speaker of the House, which means he is personally loathed by conservatives across the state, but also that he has a high degree of respect in his own district and an enormous campaign account. Unlike McMillan, “Iron Mike” is officially in.

Other than Busch, there are four Democrats in the race.

Most of these Democrats may see their campaign goal as to serve alongside Speaker Busch, but if enough voters come out with an out-with-the-old mentality, they may end up throwing Busch out with the bathwater.

Daily Digest 2/7

Here’s the list of the latest candidates to file for the election:

Federal

  • Tony Campbell (R) – U.S. Senate
  • Nnabu Eze (R) – U.S. Senate
  • Michael Brown (D) – U.S. House of Representatives, District 1 (Eastern Shore)
  • Jesse Colvin (D) – U.S. House of Representatives, District 1 (Eastern Shore). Colvin’s campaign has been up and running for several months, and he actually outraised the incumbent, Rep. Andy Harris (R) in the fourth quarter of 2017. Colvin is a former Army Ranger and hails from the Baltimore County portion of the district.

State