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Hogan Appoints Williams to Fill Prince George’s Legislative Vacancy

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) on Friday appointed Nicole Williams to the Maryland House of Delegates. The governor appointed Williams following the recommendation of the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee.Williams, who lives in Greenbelt, will replace former Del. Tawanna P. Gaines (D), who resigned last month before being charged by federal authorities with wire fraud after allegedly pocketing campaign funds for personal use. She subsequently pleaded guilty to the charge.Williams is a real estate attorney and a vice chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party who ran unsuccessfully for a House seat in District 22 last year. The...

The People’s Choice: State’s ‘I Voted’ Stickers Getting a Facelift

A time-honored tradition is getting a facelift in Maryland. Students across the state submitted more than 650 designs for updated “I Voted” stickers in a contest hosted by the Maryland State Board of Elections and the Fine Arts Office of the Maryland State Department of Education. Voting for nine finalists – three each at the elementary, middle and high school levels – is open through Friday. Winning student artists will receive a $100 gift card for new arts supplies, and their art teacher will receive $500 to purchase art supplies or equipment for their school or community art program. Votes can be cast online. [email protected]

13 Teachers Running for State Board of Education Seat

More than a dozen teachers are vying to become the first teacher-member of the Maryland State Board of Education. Voting in the election is open to all teachers who held a state teaching certificate on Oct. 1. The deadline to cast ballots was extended to noon on Nov. 22. The election is the result of a bill passed by the General Assembly earlier this year that will add a teacher and a parent to the school board next year. The teacher member candidates (and the districts where they teach) are:Kristy Herring, Anne Arundel County Public Schools Alethia McCullough, Prince George's County Public Schools Rachel McCusker, Carroll County Public...

Maryland Hospital Safety Grades Released

In an improvement from a year ago, 10 Maryland hospitals received an A grade in hospital safety, according to new fall 2019 ratings released by the Leapfrog Group. The nonprofit group found that of the more than 2,600 hospitals graded in the country, 33 percent earned an A grade, a 1 percent increase from the last round of safety grades, released in Spring 2019. Last year, eight Maryland hospitals earned the top grade.The Leapfrog Group explains that its rating system is focused entirely on errors, accidents, injuries and infections. The hospital safety grades are released by the nonprofit group...

Delaney to Air 30-Minute Infomercials to Boost Candidacy in Iowa

Maryland’s own John K. Delaney is still in the race for president ― and his campaign has a plan to make sure more voters know about it.The Des Moines Register reported Wednesday that Delaney will air a series of half-hour infomercials about his candidacy throughout Iowa on Sunday.The ads cost about $40,000, according to the paper and will air occasionally through the state’s Feb. 3 caucuses.Delaney, who represented Western Maryland’s 6th District in Congress for six years, appeared in national Democratic candidate debates in June and July, but has since failed to meet the thresholds for participating.In a statement...

Anne Arundel Pols Show Bipartisan Love for County’s Judges

In an unusual display of bipartisan support, most of the Democratic and Republican elected officials from Anne Arundel County are jointly hosting a fundraiser for three county Circuit Court judges who are running in a retention election next year, Pamela K. Alban, Elizabeth S. Morris, and Robert J. Thompson.The fundraiser is being held Wednesday at the Firemark Building in Millersville.The three judges were appointed by Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) to fill vacancies on the Circuit Court last year. They face the voters to retain their seats during primary elections next April 28.Co-hosting the event: Anne Arundel senators...

In Fundraising Email, Rockeymoore Cummings Says She Feels Called to Carry on Husband’s Work

Moments after announcing Tuesday that she'll be a candidate in the special election to replace the late U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), former Maryland Democratic Chairwoman Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the congressman's widow, emailed a fundraising appeal.It carried the subject line, "Our work continues.""The decision to run for Congress has not come lightly," she wrote. "As I reflect on the legacy of my late husband, Elijah Cummings, I feel called to ensure his vision for Baltimore and this country are honored."My whole career I have fought to be a voice for the voiceless, focusing on creating a more equitable...

Freshman House Dems Choose New Assistant Majority Leader

Just after Labor Day, House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) announced that she was changing the way the person holding the position of assistant majority leader would be selected.Once another chit for the speaker to dole out, the position moving forward would be filled by a freshman Democrat selected by his or her fellow freshmen – giving junior members of the Democratic Caucus a place in leadership, Jones said.“The position will report directly to the Majority Leader and sit in leadership meetings with me, acting as a conduit for the freshman class during the rest of the term,”...

Ex-Lawmaker’s Daughter Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud in Elaborate ‘Scheme’

The daughter and campaign treasurer of former state Del. Tawanna P. Gaines (D-Prince George's) pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge related to her misuse of contributions intended for the lawmaker, prosecutors said on Friday – just a few weeks after her mother pleaded guilty to a similar charge.Anitra G. Edmond has served as Gaines’ campaign treasurer since 2005.In her plea agreement with the government, Edmond acknowledged that – over a six-year period that began in 2012 – she diverted more than $35,000 in contributions for her own use, in violation of Maryland campaign law. In some cases,...

Hogan Names New State Prosecutor

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) announced Friday that he has appointed Charlton T. Howard III to serve as state prosecutor.Howard will head the office that investigates and prosecutes state-level political corruption. He'll replace Emmet C. Davitt, who held the job for nine years before retiring this summer.“The Office of State Prosecutor is essential to ensuring honesty and transparency in government,” said Hogan said in a statement. “I have every confidence in Mr. Howard’s abilities to root out corruption and serve as a strong advocate for the people of Maryland.”Howard has served as an assistant attorney general since 2015,...

Warren Supporters Release List of Md. Officials Backing Her White House Bid

With a rally for Maryland supporters of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential bid scheduled for Friday afternoon at the Stamp student union on the University of Maryland College Park campus, the campaign released a list Thursday of elected officials supporting Warren campaign.The rally, beginning at 3 p.m., will be emceed by Montgomery County Councilman Evan Glass (D). The campaign has organized its supporters by county. They are:Anne ArundelDelegate Heather BagnallBaltimore City Councilman Zeke CohenDelegate Stephanie SmithSenator Mary WashingtonCharles CountySenator Arthur EllisFrederick County Councilwoman Jessica FitzwaterHoward CountyDelegate Jen TerrasaCouncilwoman Deb JungMontgomery County Councilman Evan GlassCouncilman Tom HuckerDelegate Lorig CharkoudianDelegate Ariana KellyDelegate Al CarrDelegate...

Maryland Casinos Had a Slow October

Gaming revenue at MGM National Harbor in October was down 18.5% from October 2018, though it still accounted for 41% of total gaming revenue from all six Maryland casinos.MGM contributed $59.9 million of the total $144 million in Maryland casino gaming revenue last month. The October total for all casinos was also down 8.9% from a year ago.Various Maryland state programs, including the state’s Education Trust Fund, received $59.3 million of the total.Maryland’s second-largest casino, Live! Casino & Hotel at Arundel Mills, had $47.6 million in gaming revenue last month, up 1.3% from a year ago. Baltimore’s Horseshoe casino...

Former Legislative Leader Lands at ‘White Hat’ Lobbying Shop

Gally Public Affairs, one of the few “white hat” lobbying firms in Annapolis, announced Thursday that John A. Hurson, the former House of Delegates majority leader and chairman of two House committees, will join the firm immediately as a senior advisor.Hurson spent 15 years representing Montgomery County’s District 18 in the legislature. In addition to serving as majority leader, he was chairman of the Environmental Matters Committee and then the newly-created Health and Government Operations Committee. He also spent a year as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures.“I am thrilled to be working with John in a...

Hogan to Reignite Redistricting Push on First Day of Session

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) said he plans to reintroduce redistricting reform legislation on the first day of the 2020 General Assembly session.The announcement marks the continuation of an anti-gerrymandering crusade that has won Hogan praise but has yet to influence the General Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats.Hogan unveiled his plans on Wednesday, the same day he signed Common Cause’s End Gerrymandering Pledge, an effort by the reform group to remove politics from the process of drawing political boundaries.“Free and fair elections are the very foundation of our democracy, and it’s past time for leaders on both sides...

Bowie Gets New Mayor, Incumbents Prevail in Other Md. Cities

Bowie, Maryland's fifth largest city, will get its first new mayor in 22 years.Businessman Timothy Adams won a three-way race Tuesday to replace Mayor Fred Robinson, who is retiring. Adams, who ran unsuccessfully for a state Senate seat last year, will become Bowie's first black mayor.Adams took 3,977 votes, compared to 2,721 for former City Councilman Dennis Brady and 2,600 for attorney and lobbyist Leonard Lucchi.Incumbent mayors prevailed in other top 10 Maryland cities that held elections Tuesday:-- Bridget Donnell Newton was re-elected mayor of Rockville, the state's fourth largest city, prevailing over City Councilwoman Virginia Onley. The...

Legislative Leaders to Propose Major School Construction Plan

Maryland’s legislative leaders are expected to announce plans for a multibillion-dollar school construction program on Wednesday morning.House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County), Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and his likely successor, Sen. Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City), will make the announcement with members of the House and Senate Democratic caucuses and county officials at Forest Heights Elementary School in Prince George’s County.Last General Assembly session, Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. put forward several proposals to accelerate school construction in the state. The Build to Learn Act of 2019, which would have authorized the...

GOP Raising Money Off MoCo ‘Thin Blue Line’ Decision

Montgomery County Executive Marc B. Elrich (D) “embodies all that is wrong with the Democratic Party.”That’s the message in a new fundraising missive from Maryland Republican Party Chairman Dirk Haire.In an email appeal titled “Marc Elrich Has Gone Too Far!” Haire takes the county executive to task for refusing to display a wooden “Thin Blue Line” flag that had been delivered last week to the Montgomery County Police Department station in Germantown.Elrich explained that the pro-police flag had become a controversial symbol – especially among people of color. At a news conference Monday, he called the display of the...

Baltimore Still on Most Rat-Infested Cities List, But Improving

Charm City has shown consistent progress in getting off America's "Rattiest Cities," the annual report from pest control company Orkin. Baltimore comes in at No. 12 on the company's 2019 recently-released rankings.This is the fifth year that Atlanta-based Orkin has compiled the rankings, which are based on the number of rodent treatments the company performed from Sept. 15, 2018, to Sept. 15, 2019. It includes both residential and commercial treatments.Baltimore dropped three slots from last year, when it was ranked ninth; two years ago it was No. 8 and three years ago it was No. 6 on the Orkin...

Potomac Rising PAC Mobilizes Marylanders to Aid Va. Dems

Over the past few weeks, leaders of the new political action committee Potomac Rising and their allies have been directing money and mailers into Virginia, where critical legislative elections are about to take place. On Election Day, the PAC will be sending volunteers into a swing district.The new PAC, whose creation was first reported by Maryland Matters, was set up by Democratic and labor operatives earlier this year to help Democratic candidates in Maryland and Virginia. With control of the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates up for grabs this week, the focus so far has been on the...

Marylanders Supporting Sanders Issue Statement Making Their Case

When the presidential campaign of South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg wanted to show signs of strength in Maryland the other day, it released a list of prominent Free State supporters.By contrast, the leaders of the Maryland campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has just released a policy manifesto and 1,700-word pitch for their candidate.“With the climate crisis, the emboldening of racism and misogyny, runaway capitalism and wealth inequality, and an economic disaster worse than the Great Recession looming upon us, we need a candidate with concrete policy vision, a movement of energized grassroots support, and inspiration to defeat...