Sun Shines on 7 State Senate Candidates

    The Baltimore Sun editorial board, which has already taken sides in the gubernatorial election (favoring Republican Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.) and the race for Baltimore County executive (backing the Democrat, former Del. John A. “Johnny O” Olszewski Jr.), is now weighing in on seven highly competitive state Senate races.

    In a noteworthy move, The Sun decided to package its endorsements in some of the most closely-fought Senate elections, tying it to the Maryland GOP’s “Drive for Five” seats now held by Democrats. The Sun‘s choices:

    — In Frederick County’s District 3, the paper is backing business Craig Giangrande (R) over state Sen. Ronald N. Young (D). “We believe Mr. Giangrande is a good fit for the district and will bring new energy to the Senate,” the editorial board wrote.

    — In Baltimore County’s District 8, The Sun praised Sen. Katherine A. Klausmeier (D) and her challenger, Del. Christian J. Miele (R), but ultimately sided with the incumbent. “All else being equal, we give the edge to Ms. Klausmeier for her deep connection to her district,” the paper said. “She has a long track record of working hard for her constituents and shows no sign of slowing down. We want to see Mr. Miele in public service, but in this election, Ms. Klausmeier has our endorsement.”

    — In District 12, which takes in part of Baltimore and Howard counties, The Sun is backing Del. Clarence K. Lam (D) in an open-seat race over businessman Joe Hooe (R), who, the paper argues, “in terms of his ability to hit the ground running in Annapolis, [is] no match for his Democratic opponent.”

    — In the open-seat race in Anne Arundel County’s District 30, the paper heaps praise on former Del. Ronald A. George (R) and 30-year-old civic activist Sarah Elfreth for their service to the community, but sides with Elfreth. “Mr. George has served District 30 well in the past, but Ms. Elfreth is its future,” the editorial board says.

    — In another open-seat race in Anne Arundel, in District 32, the paper calls Del. Pamela G. Beidle (D) “the clear choice” over County Councilman John J. Grasso (R).

    — In District 38 on the Lower Shore, the newspaper opted for Del. Mary Beth Carozza (R) over incumbent Sen. James N. Mathias Jr. (D). “Mr. Mathias has been a good and dedicated public servant, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a nicer guy,” the editors opined. “But Ms. Carozza is simply a better fit for this district.”

    –And in District 42 in Baltimore County, where there is an open seat, the paper backs Del. Christopher R. West (R) over lawyer Robert Leonard (D), calling West “a stellar candidate.”

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    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.