Political Notes

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker (D) on Friday reported raising just over $1 million for his gubernatorial campaign in the past year, which he said surpassed his goal.

Baker said he would report $1.05 million raised since last January and more than $1.55 million raised for the election cycle to date. He did not say how much he spent during the period or how much cash he had on hand. All candidates for state offices must turn in their annual fundraising reports by midnight Wednesday.

Rushern Baker

Baker’s fundraising announcement comes the same week as an independent poll showed him leading his two closest Democratic primary opponents by 10 points.

“We’re in a good position and growing stronger every day,” Baker said in a statement. “Democratic voters in Maryland deserve a nominee with a strong track record of delivering results on important issues, not just talking about it. They want someone that will stand up when Trump attacks our economy, health care, and social safety net and we certainly don’t have that now.”

Baker became the second of the seven Democratic gubernatorial contenders to offer a peek at his fundraising numbers. Tech entrepreneur Alec Ross announced Wednesday that he had raised $1.057 million for the year. Like Baker, Ross, a first-time candidate, did not say how much he had on hand.

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is expected to show a substantial haul when he releases his fundraising report next week — possibly more than all the Democratic candidates combined.

Mossburg out of congressional race

Former state Del. Mathew J. Mossburg (R) announced Friday that he was ending his bid for the open 6th congressional district seat. Mossburg, a recovering drug addict, said he wanted to spend his time fighting the opioid epidemic in Maryland.

“It has become increasingly clear that running for Congress is actually a liability when it comes to advocating for treatment and recovery options,” Mossburg said in a statement. “People don’t want to hear Republican or Democrat when chances are either they or someone they know is struggling with addiction.”

It had already become apparent that Mossburg was scaling back his congressional campaign: He announced last month that he would be working in Annapolis during the General Assembly session to develop and advance bills to help make Maryland a leader in combating the opioid epidemic. Mossburg said that as a recovering addict, he brings a “street-level” perspective to the issue.

“Pharmaceutical companies, politicians, and the medical community all have a voice in combatting the opioid epidemic,” he said. “It’s essential that those who emerged successfully from the painful process of recovery are heard as well so we can save and transform lives.”

Mossburg served in the legislature from 1995-1999 and was attempting a political comeback this cycle. He initially announced that he would run for a state Senate seat in Frederick County, but pivoted to the congressional race when U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D) announced that he would not seek a fourth term so he could focus on a longshot 2020 presidential bid.

With Mossburg out of the race, former Reagan administration official and policy consultant Amie Hoeber, who was the GOP nominee against Delaney in 2016, is the overwhelming favorite to win the nomination again. Five candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination.

The Cook Political Report recently removed the 6th District race from its list of competitive congressional contests.

Miller thanks Manno after sick leave vote

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (D) pulled out all the stops Friday to make sure he had the votes to override governor’s vetoes.

After it was all over, and he emerged from the fray victorious, he made a special point of thanking state Sen. Roger P. Manno, a Montgomery County Democrat now running for the 6th District congressional seat, from the rostrum.

Manno apparently had driven to Annapolis for the voting session from Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where his wife, Marjorie Anne Miller Manno, was taken Thursday night after an accident. She received 50 stitches in her head as a result, Miller said.

Josh Kurtz
Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.
William F. Zorzi
Bill Zorzi was a Baltimore Sun reporter and editor for nearly 20 years, focusing on government and politics. An Annapolis bureau veteran, he wrote a weekly column, “The Political Game” for the paper.Zorzi and another former Sun reporter, David Simon, are longtime collaborators on acclaimed television projects, including the HBO series, “The Wire,” and the HBO miniseries “Show Me a Hero,” which dealt with an explosive housing desegregation case in Yonkers, NY.


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