October 11, 2010

False campaign material leads to charges

A 57-year-old Prince George's County man is accused of creating an official-looking but false sample ballot that incorrectly linked top Democrats to underdog candidates,distributed during the early voting period that preceded the Sept. 14 primaries.

Jerry Mathis, 57, faces three counts of distributing campaign material without proper authority line in violation of Maryland’s election law. Each charge, filed Friday by Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler, is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $25,000 fine.

Mathis is the lone person charged with election law violations this year, Gansler's spokeswoman said.

Prosecutors allege that Mathis used the authority line "Citizens for Change,Charles S. Summers, treasurer" on the fliers. Such an entity does not exist, prosecutors said. There is a Citizens for Change registered in Maryland, but it is an Anne Arundel County Republican group with a different treasurer. Summers, prosecutors said, had no role in the false flier.

Continue reading "False campaign material leads to charges" »

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 8:03 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Primaries 2010

September 25, 2010

Guardsman, D.C. group sue Md. elections board

Baltimore Sun colleague Andrea Siegel reports:

A member of the Maryland National Guard has filed a federal lawsuit against the State Board of Elections, claiming military personnel and other overseas Marylanders could be denied the opportunity to vote for state offices in the general election unless the court intervenes.

In the lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, the anonymous guardsman identified as Officer John Doe says the state did not give overseas voters enough time to obtain and return ballots for statewide offices in the November elections, which include the contest for governor.

Joining as co-plaintiff is the Military Voter Protection Project. Eric Eversole, the Navy judge advocate general who heads the Washington-based organization, says the ballots for federal offices that the Maryland board sent a few days after this month’s primary elections were not valid.

Results of the Sept. 14 primary have not yet been certified; for the seat now held by Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the ballots includes provisions to mark either of two Republican challengers who are locked in a tight primary contest.

Eversole worked in the voting section of the civil rights division of the Justice Department during the Bush administration, and advised the McCain-Palin campaign on military voting matters. He said the lawsuit was not motivated by partisanship.

Ross Goldstein, deputy director of the elections board, declined to comment directly on the lawsuit. But he said the Justice Department and military authorities signed off on the office’s plan to send out ballots for congressional offices quickly after the primaries.

Continue reading "Guardsman, D.C. group sue Md. elections board" »

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 3:33 PM | | Comments (3)

September 17, 2010

Ertel claims BaltCo win; Paulshock hasn't conceded

Democrat Mike Ertel is declaring victory in the Democratic primary in District 5 for the Baltimore County Council. He still leads his closest opponent, Bill Paulshock, by a small but substantial margin, but Paulshock hasn't conceded. He wants to see overseas and provisional ballots first, he told Raven Hill today.

The latest results show Ertel ahead by 321 votes with all absentee ballots counted. There did not appear to be enough provisional votes to swing the outcome, but Paulshock still has the option to request a recount (though depending on the margin, he may have to pay for it).

Ertel's ready to move on and face Republican David Marks.

"I'd like to thank Bill Paulshock and Gordon Harden for their efforts and their [genuine] concern about the issues affecting the 5th district.," Ertel wrote in a letter to supporters "It was a tough race, but I look forward to unifying the district and moving forward together."

Posted by Andy Rosen at 4:37 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: In The Counties, Primaries 2010

Kamenetz gets union that supported Bartenfelder

the Metropolitan Baltimore Council AFL-CIO has shifted its support to Democratic Baltimore County executive candidate Kevin Kamenetz, just days after he won a bruising primary contest against Joseph Bartenfelder, the large union's first choice for the top local government post.

Bartenfelder and his advisers haven't said whether the departing councilman will endorse Kamenetz, also a member of the County Council since 1994. The two colleagues went through a hard-fought campaign, and some Bartenfelder advisers cited negative campaigning as a concern.

Kamenetz faces Republican former delegate and finance executive Ken Holt in November's general election.

The AFL-CIO was quick to shift its support. In a release, Ernie Grecco, President of the Metropolitan Baltimore Council, said, “We look forward to having a dialogue with Kevin and working to get him elected the next County Executive and making Baltimore County not only a great place to live but also a great place to work.”

The union represents thousands of workers, and is made up of locals including the Baltimore County Professional Firefighters Association, Baltimore County Federation of Public Employees, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the Baltimore Building and Construction Trades Council, Maryland State United Auto Workers, United Food and Commercial Workers, Plumbers and Steamfitters, and the Laborers International Union of North America.

The firefighters union had been specifically vocal in its support of Bartenfelder.

Posted by Andy Rosen at 3:00 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: In The Counties, Primaries 2010

Jessamy to concede to Bernstein for State's Attorney

Peter Hermann over at Baltimore Crime Beat reports that Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy will concede her race this afternoon to her primary opponent Gregg Bernstein, according to a source with direct knowledge of her plans. Jessamy has scheduled a news conference for 1 p.m. at her campaign headquarters.

Up until this morning, it appeared that Jessamy was getting ready to challenge the voting process even as absentee ballots are being counted. Thursday night, the elections board had counted about 75 percent of those votes.

Bernstein was ahead by 1,363 votes, with more than 2,000 ballots still to be counted.

Jessamy's spokeswoman had alleged that thousands of votes might be missing and her legal team appeared to be gearing up for a challenge. We'll what happens in 90 minutes.

Posted by Andy Rosen at 12:10 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010, Primaries 2010

September 16, 2010

Primary turnout hits historic low

For all the talk of an energized electorate, and even with the new opportunity to vote early, turnout in Tuesday’s primaries was the lowest in for a gubernatorial election year in Maryland going back at least to 1982, the earliest year for which records were available.

Of Maryland’s 3,167,846 eligible voters, 761,413 cast ballots in the primaries, for a turnout of 24.04 percent, according to unofficial counts released Thursday by the State Board of Elections. The numbers do not yet include provisional or absentee ballots, but judging from previous elections, these are unlikely to be enough to push the total over the state’s previous low of 28.64 percent in in 1998.

This year, 2.44 percent of the electorate took advantage of early voting, offered for six days at central locations in each county; 21.6 percent voted on Tuesday, the traditional primary day, when local polling places were open.

In spite of a competitive Democratic primary for state's attorney, Baltimore saw a lower-than-average turnout of 21.49 percent. Baltimore County, venue for a comeptitive race for county executive, had a turnout of 29.45 percent.

Two of Maryland's least populous counties, meanwhile, distinguished themselves in electoral enthusiasm: Garrett County led the state with 39.59 percent turnout, including 35.09 percent on Tuesday. Talbot county led in early voting participation with 6.78 percent.

Continue reading "Primary turnout hits historic low" »

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 3:27 PM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Early voting, Primaries 2010

September 15, 2010

Bernstein still leads after all polling place votes tallied

Baltimore State’s Attorney hopeful Gregg Bernstein maintained his lead over incumbent Patricia C. Jessamy, according to a full count of the votes cast in city polling places.

Numbers released this afternoon from the Baltimore Board of Elections show that Bernstein won 49 percent of the primary votes cast at polling places to Jessamy’s 47 percent — with just 1,295 votes separating them. (A third democratic candidate received about 2,000 votes).

That means Jessamy needs to make up the difference in absentee ballots, which will be counted starting Thursday morning, or Baltimore has a new state’s attorney.

The count: Bernstein: 30392 Jessamy: 29097 Sheryl A. Lansey: 2252

--Tricia Bishop

Posted by Anica Butler at 4:53 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Primaries 2010

Jessamy camp says votes are missing

As many as 10,000 of Baltimore’s primary votes could still be missing, according to Patricia Jessamy’s state’s attorney campaign staff, who told her that memory cards from 27 machines in six districts were unaccounted for.

If accurate, it could leave room for the election to sway back toward Jessamy, the incumbent, who’s narrowly trailing challenger Gregg Bernstein.

But city Board of Elections Director Armstead B.C. Jones Sr. said the figures sounded high to him, and that none of it would matter by the end of the day.

“We are going to get to 100 percent” of the votes cast at polling places, he said. Jones did not know how many votes were left to be counted, or when the results could be expected, but he said the office usually shuts down around 4:30 p.m.

Both Jessamy and challenger Bernstein, who was leading the race by 1,400 votes at last tally, according to the Associated Press, are refusing to speak until the numbers are in. That could mean days if they wait for the results of more than 2,000 absentee ballots, which will be counted starting Thursday.

Jessamy, who’s held the top prosecutor position for 15 years, sent an e-mail to her staff Wednesday thanking them for their hard work and professionalism and urging them to stay strong and committed, whatever the outcome.

These are the districts with missing memory cards representing between 6,000 and 10,000 votes, according to Jessamy’s camp: 40th (three cards); 41st (five); 43rd (three); 44th (four); 45th (eight) and the 46th (four).

— Tricia Bishop

Posted by Anica Butler at 2:14 PM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Primaries 2010

House of Delegates loses few incumbents

While the primary dust-ups in the Senate continue to sort themselves out, let's take a look at the changes in the larger chamber.

It appears that incumbents will prevail in all but about a half-dozen of the 141 seats, at least until Nov. 2. More survived primaries this year than the incumbents of four years ago -- a feat that House Speaker Michael E. Busch called fairly remarkable, given the number of competitive Senate primary races.

Just two sitting Democrats lost last night, compared with eight in 2006. New names in the House include Keiffer Mitchell, Mary Washington and Luke Clippinger of Baltimore (the latter two are filling open seats).

Continue reading "House of Delegates loses few incumbents" »

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 11:45 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010, Primaries 2010

No official word on Jessamy/Bernstein race

Most of the city's votes have been tallied. The Election Board has unofficially listed state's attorney challenger Gregg Bernstein as victorious against incumbent Patricia C. Jessamy. But nobody has claimed victory or defeat.

Jessamy's camp said today that there were no plans to concede. From Baltimore Sun reporter Tricia Bishop:

“I just don’t know how this happened,” said Jessamy’s spokeswoman  Marilyn Harris-Davis, questioning the integrity of Bernstein’s campaign, which Jessamy has said was made up of “lies” and misrepresentations about her record.

A spokesman from Bernstein's camp said this morning that they were expecting word from the Elections Board by early afternoon.

Posted by Maryann James at 11:43 AM | | Comments (18)
Categories: Primaries 2010

BaltCo exec: Holt comes out swinging at Kamenetz

Kenneth C. Holt, the Republican candidate for Baltimore County executive , has fired the first shots of the general election campaign, saying his Democratic opponent , Kevin Kamenetz, ran an “ugly campaign” that was not relevant to the economic problems facing the county.

Holt, of Kingsville, who ran unopposed for his party’s nomination in yesterday’s primary, said this morning that Kamenetz’s successful campaign against his fellow county councilman, Joseph Bartenfelder was “based on attack ads, false statements, a lot of information that was not honest. …There’s no place for this in a time of economic crisis. If they don’t think there’s an economic crisis, they’re not fit to lead.”

Given that Kamenetz, a 52-year-old lawyer from Owings Mills, spent more than $1 million in the primary, Holt said his vote total amounts to a “poor performance.”

A former member of the Maryland House of Delegates, Holt, 59, said the poor primary turnout of Democratic voters suggests that “Democrats are not too excited about their candidates, their prospects. Republicans are excited.”

The investments executive said it seems an opportune time for the county to elect only its third Republican executive since the position was established as part of charter revision in the late 1950s. While Kamenetz has shown his strength as a fundraiser, Holt said he was not concerned about that.

“I don’t see where money had any relevance to the outcomes,” he said, pointing to a couple of strong low-budget primary campaigns by Republicans running for the County Council: Todd Huff against incumbent T. Bryan McIntire in District 3 and Ryan Nawrocki against Andrew Peet for an open seat in District 6.

“We are right and ready to win this election,” said Holt. “No one should underestimate our ability to do so.”

-Arthur Hirsch

Posted by Andy Rosen at 10:40 AM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010, In The Counties, Primaries 2010

Computer problems slow Baltimore County tally


Katie A. Brown, Baltimore County election director, says the vote-counting problems -- which have delayed results in several close council races -- were due to computer glitches, as well as human error.

The computer program that counts votes off the memory cards in voting machines kept crashing Tuesday night, so officials had to slow down, she said this morning. Each memory card takes about two minutes to upload, and there are more than 2,000 machines in the county, so uploading one memory card at a time onto the election board's computers would take about six or seven hours after polls closed.

"It got to the point where we could only do about one card at a time," she said.

Meanwhile, in four or five precincts, judges left the memory cards in the machines.

Today, election board workers are going to those precincts, including one at the Charlestown retirement community, to retrieve the memory cards and upload those votes.

"This does happen, it has happened in the past," she said. "Every election, there's a problem. There's always a precinct or two that doesn't bring back a card."

Brown expects the votes to be tallied by this afternoon, but even then they won't be official.

Even as the election board officials set out to tally the missing votes, some candidates were checking results. Shown here at the board offices are Councilman Kenneth Oliver, a Democrat from Distrct 4, and Rebecca Dongarra, a Democrat from District 1.

-- Yeganeh June Torbati

Posted by Dave Rosenthal at 10:30 AM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Primaries 2010

Kamenetz defeats Bartenfelder

County Councilman Kevin Kamenetz is set to declare victory this morning in the Democratic primary for county executive.

Fellow Councilman Joe Bartenfelder, 53, a Fullerton farmer and former member of the Maryland House of Delegates, conceded the race to Kamenetz around 9 a.m., saying he won the precincts he needed to win, but the low turnout cut too far into his total vote.

"We tried to get our message out, we kept our campaign focused and positive," Bartenfelder said. "We did the best we could, we had an army of people out there helping us."

Kamenetz tapped into his base on the west side of the county, and many voters said they thought he would be a more effective and decisive leader.

About 94 percent of precincts are now reporting to the county elections board, with Kamenetz leading 52 percent to 44 percent.

Posted by David Nitkin at 9:30 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Primaries 2010

Memory cards left in machines caused Baltco counting delays

Primary election results were painfully slow last night and this morning in Baltimore County and Baltimore City, for a variety of reasons.

In Baltimore County, fewer than 90 percent of election precincts had delivered results to the county election board on Wednesday morning. One of the main culprits: some election judges left the memory cards inside the electronic voting machines at the end of the day, rather than removing them and transmitting their contents. The county has more than 2,000 voting machines.

Jeff Stevens, an information technology manager with the county elections board, told the Sun's Yeganeh June Torbati that all precincts are expected to be updated by the end of the business day.

Posted by David Nitkin at 8:55 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Primaries 2010

Murphy says he'll endorse Ehrlich

Capital News Service reporter Stacy Jones reports from Crofton:

Republican gubernatorial challenger Brian Murphy says he'll give former Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. his endorsement -- but only if he's willing to accept it.

"He's made it pretty clear that he doesn't want much to do with me," Murphy said after conceding the GOP primary to the former governor. "Of course I thought I was the better candidate, but somebody's got to beat [Democrat Martin] O'Malley."

The Sarah Palin-endorsed tea party favorite conceded the primary late Tuesday after nearly three hours of waiting anxiously for the votes to be tallied. He made the announcement from his Crofton campaign headquarters before a room of supporters. Children in campaign t-shirts waved American flags while their parents and other adults let out heavy sighs as Murphy told them that conceding was the honorable thing to do.

"On the one hand I'm embarassed and I hate losing," Murphy told the crowd after a third of the votes had been counted. "It's been unbelieveable going up against a machine like this. I wanted to win for you guys."

Continue reading "Murphy says he'll endorse Ehrlich" »

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 5:00 AM | | Comments (8)

Candidates not waiting for the call on BaltCo. exec

Shortly before 1 a.m. at the Pikesville Hilton, Baltimore County Councilman Vincent Gardina took the stage in the banquet room to announce to the 60 Kevin Kamenetz supporters who remained that that party was over -- for now.

"Unfortunately, tonight, I don't think we're going to be able to come to a conclusion. It's impossible to project a winner at this time," said Gardina, who has been advising the Kamenetz campaign for months and is not seeking re-election.

Kamenetz had been leading all night over his fellow four-term councilman, Joseph Bartenfelder, but Gardina said problems with the vote count at the county Board of Elections until Wednesday. At last count, 158 of 231 precincts had reported, with Kamenetz holding a 53 to 44 percent lead.

Volunteers had been trickling out of Bartenfelder's Parkville election party since around midnight, and the candidate himself left a little before 1 a.m.

By 12:30 a.m. , the crowd had thinned considerably and faces were growing strained as minutes ticked by with still no results. About fifty supporters remained, many incredulous that final tallies had not yet been made, and Bartenfelder staff quickly took down the few signs left in the hall.

Peter Clerkin, Kamenetz's campaign manager, said "we remain optimistic," but he said the Board of Elections had not released information on where the vote was coming from, which made it impossible to call the election.

Geography played a key role in this election, as Kamenetz was expected to do well in his home turf on the west side, and Bartenfelder to run strong on his territory in the east.
"We're waiting for the 6th," said Clerkin, meaning Bartenfelder's District 6, which includes Fullerton and Middle River.

-Arthur Hirsch and Yeganeh June Torbati

Posted by Andy Rosen at 1:06 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Primaries 2010

September 14, 2010

Bernstein pulls ahead of Jessamy

With 63 percent of precincts reporting in Baltimore, state's attorney challenger Gregg Bernstein has pulled ahead of incumbent Patricia Jessamy, 18,547 to 17,326, according the Baltimore Sun's Justin Fenton, stationed at the city Board of Elections. The city's numbers also show state senate challenger Bill Ferguson ahead of incumbent George Della, 3,268 to 2,222.

Posted by David Nitkin at 11:44 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Primaries 2010

Harris bypasses Kratovil, aims for Pelosi

A victory statement from Republican state Sen. Andy Harris has just hit our inbox. What stands out: Harris bypasses any mention of his Democratic opponent, Rep. Frank Kratovil, to aim instead for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Harris has defeated businessman Rob Fisher in the GOP First Congressional District primary to earn a rematch with Kratovil. Kratovil beat Harris in 2008 to win the First, which takes in all of the Eastern Shore plus parts of Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Harford counties.

“I am honored to be the Republican nominee in the First District,” Harris says in the statement. “Despite being heavily outspent, I am humbled by the outpouring of support for my campaign today from all areas of the First District – each and every county.

"But today’s Primary was just the first step in stopping Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Democrats’ job-killing policies.

"The First District wants someone with a proven record of cutting spending and fiscal discipline representing them in Washington. I’m proud to be the only candidate in the General Election who will protect small businesses and stop Washington's out-of-control spending and taxation.”

Continue reading "Harris bypasses Kratovil, aims for Pelosi" »

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 11:43 PM | | Comments (4)

Steele congratulates Republican winners

Former Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, now chairman of the Republican National Committee, has congratulated former boss Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and state Sen. Andy Harris on their primary wins.

“With former governor Bob Ehrlich and Dr. Andy Harris leading the ticket, Maryland voters have selected a tremendous slate of Republicans this election cycle," he said in a statement. "These outstanding Republican candidates will fight to end the out-of-control spending in Annapolis and Washington, D.C., and lower the tax burden for families and small businesses across the state.

"In November, voters will send a clear message that the Democrats’ big-government agenda has failed Maryland and it’s time for new leadership. Marylanders will place our state on a stronger path to economic growth and prosperity by electing these Republican candidates in November.”

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 11:04 PM | | Comments (0)

BaltCo Exec. Incomplete results say Kamenetz leads; Bartenfelder campaign says he's ahead

Online vote tallies from the state and counties have been spotty so far.

Raven Hill is at the Baltimore County Board of Elections, and says that with 23 percent of precincts reporting, Kevin Kamenetz is leading Joe Bartenfelder 56 percent to 40 percent. That's 7,077 votes to 5,032 for the Democratic county executive nomination.

We're getting very different word from the Bartenfelder election night party, though. Yeganeh June Torbati reports that a campaign announcement there cites higher numbers for both candidates, and claims Bartenfelder leads.

Stay tuned for more.

Posted by Andy Rosen at 10:08 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Primaries 2010

AP calls races for O'Malley, Ehrlich, Mikulski and six congressmen

The Associated Press has called several primary races in Maryland, declaring that Gov. Martin O'Malley and Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski have topped the little-known Democrats challenging them. Former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has won his primary against investor and businessman Brian Murphy, according to the AP, with early results showing Ehrlich ahead by a 4-to-1 margin.

The following incumbent Democratic members of congress have also been declared winners: C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (2nd district); John Sarbanes (3rd district); Donna Edwards (4th district); Steny Hoyer (5th district) and Elijah Cummings (7th district). Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (6th district), a Republican, has won his primary.

Posted by David Nitkin at 9:21 PM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Primaries 2010

Awaiting Jessamy, and State's Attorney results

Across the water, at Patricia Jessamy's bash at the Baltimore Rowing Club, on the south side of the city, near Cherry Hill, about 50 people had gathered by 9 p.m., though Jessamy hadn't yet shown.

Inside the club, it was more family reunion than Bernstein's bar scene, with people of all ages talking quietly and sporting t-shirts with Jessamy's face and slogan "tough and smart on crime" emblazoned across the front and back.

Outside, on the deck overlooking the water, is clearly where the celebrating -- or commiserating, as the case may be -- will take place. Keyboards, a drum set and a large set of speakers are just waiting for the word.

Antoinette G. Lyles sits with a bunch of other women at a table in the center of the room. She lives in Baltimore County, but said she urged her city friends to vote for Jessamy, whom she's known for 20 plus years through her work with various organizations. "She's out in the community," Lyles said

Next to her, Rosemary Howell Atkinson added that she doesn't know much about Bernstein, and wasn't interested in finding out. "He wasn't worth listening to," she said.

UPDATE: The band is in full swing at Jessamy's party, which has ramped up in the past half hour as supporters await news. Jessamy's not yet in the house, but Stu Simms, her predecessor just arrived, and Assistant State's Attorney Julie Drake is hovering around the media, looking for news. Baltimore city's Board of Elections is so far reporting a close race, with 4,245 votes for Jessamy to Bernstein's 3,808. A third candidate, Sheryl A. Lansey has teken 297 votes. No word on which precincts are reporting.

-Tricia Bishop

Posted by Andy Rosen at 9:00 PM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Primaries 2010

Republican governors congratulate Ehrlich

The Associated Press hasn't called the GOP gubernatorial primary yet, but the Republican Governors Association has.

At 8:51 p.m., RGA spokesman Chris Schrimpf sent reporters a statement congratulating former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

“Maryland voters know the difference Bob Ehrlich can make for their state,” Schrimpf said. “Bob fought off Democratic tax increases and helped create 100,000 private sector jobs. Under [Democratic Gov. Martin] O’Malley all those jobs and more were lost and what’s worse taxes went up by 1.3 billion dollars, the most in history. The question every Marylander will ask themselves is, are they better off now than they were four years ago?”

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 9:00 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010, Primaries 2010

All quiet at Bernstein's watch party

At JD's Smokehouse in Canton, the Bernstein party is sequestered upstairs in a room with four TV cameras, two bored bartenders and three stuffed deer heads on the wall.

No sign of Democratic state's attorney challenger Gregg Bernstein, but his banner is flying proudly, right above the Reingold Lager sign behind a makeshift podium. As the polls close, a rep said he's going home to "regroup" and show up down here a little after 9 p.m.

Supporters are starting to trickle in, and a rep from the police department is hanging out in the corner but made sure to say that there isn't an official police presence.

Paul Pineau is an associate in Bernstein's law firm and volunteered throughout the campaign and spent eight hours at the polls today. He was optimistic about the results.

"We had fantastic reactions," Pineau said. "Most people waved me off and said 'you don't need to talk to me, I'm only voting in this primary to support your candidate'."

-Richard Adbill, Capital News Service

Posted by Andy Rosen at 8:51 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Primaries 2010

Single incumbent leads early for BaltCo Council

Incomplete early voting leaders from reporter Raven Hill at the Baltimore County Board of Elections. Early voting saw 12,896 ballots cast (about 3.1 percent of voters).

District 1: Tom Quirk (D)

District 2: Vicki Almond (D)

District 3: Todd Huff (R)

District 4: Leronia Josey (D)

District 5: Bill Paulshock (D)

District 6: Cathy Bevins (D), Ryan Nawrocki (R)

District 7: John Olszewski Sr. (D)

Posted by Andy Rosen at 8:25 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: In The Counties, Primaries 2010

With polls closed, primary results will trickle in

Polls closed at 8 p.m., and the state Board of Elections has promised that the results from the 77,000 early voters will be released shortly.

Individual county election board web sites also have begun posting results. A handful of precincts in Baltimore County and Harford County have already listed some vote tallies. Here's a link to the state map that will show results coming in.

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 8:23 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Primaries 2010

Finally, a precinct with (relatively) high turnout

Word is that Maryland is seeing a pretty low turnout in today's primary vote, with lunchtime totals ranging from 4 to 10 percent.

But reporter Yeganeh June Torbati has found a precinct that's been somewhat more active. That would be Baltimore County's 5th precinct, voting at Towson Presbyterian Church.

Ann Shepter, the site's chief Republican judge, said the precinct had seen higher-than-expected turnout. As of 6 p.m., around 750 people had voted -- including around 430 Democrats and 300 Republicans, representing a higher than 25 percent turnout for the precinct, Shepter said.

Shepter said the high turnout was largely due to a large number of senior citizens, many of whom were bused in from local retirement homes such as Blackhurst, which Shepter estimated sent about 100 voters on five buses.

"There was a huge senior citizen vote at this precinct today," said Shepter, who said she has worked at this polling site for ten years. "Your grandmother said, 'I have to go vote today.'"

Posted by Andy Rosen at 6:49 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Primaries 2010

So-called 'Team Obama' weighs in on BaltCo

Sarah Palin was the first national political figure to weigh in on Maryland politics by endorsing former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich's Republican primary opponent, Brian Murphy.

Then her former 2008 running mate, Arizona Sen. John McCain, threw his weight behind Ehrlich. Now, though, the question is: has President Obama weighed in with a slate of Democrats from Gov. Martin O'Malley to Baltimore County Sheriff R. Jay Fisher?

Probably not. But word is that mailers and T-shirts showing a list of candidates have been circulating in several precincts in Baltimore County today saying he has.

With the heading "Team Obama," the list also includes Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, County Councilman Joseph Bartenfelder, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for county executive, Suzanne Mensh, running for Baltimore County Circuit Court clerk, Kenneth N. Oliver, who is seeking re-election to the County Council, and four candidates seeking re-election in the 10th Legislative District: Sen. Delores G. Kelley and delegates Emmett C. Burns, Adrienne A. Jones and Shirley Nathan-Pulliam.
The material is identified as coming from "The Freedom to Choose Reginald Hill, Chairman."

The organization is shown as a PAC on the State Board of Elections Web site going back at least to the 2002 election cycle, the earliest one listed on the site. So far this year, the PAC reported $3,452 in contributions, but no expenses.

Continue reading "So-called 'Team Obama' weighs in on BaltCo" »

Posted by Andy Rosen at 6:26 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: In The Counties, Primaries 2010

Turnout looked low at noon, elections board says

Local elections officials across the state reported lower-than-usual turnout as of noon, says Ross Goldstein, deputy administrator of the state Board of Elections.

Goldstein said counties were reporting turnout ranging from 4 to 10 percent at that time. This matches what we've seen in the field and what candidates and their supporters have been saying all day: voters are MIA.

The 77,000 early votes account for 2.5 percent of the eligible electorate. Linda Lamone, state elections administrator, told The Sun yesterday that the nice weather and intense primary battles in some districts might actually drive up voter turnout slightly from previous gubernatorial primary years. She predicted about 32 percent. We don't appear to be anywhere close to that so far.

About 1,900 polls opened at 7 a.m. and will remain open until 8 p.m. Will there be a post-work rush? Stay tuned.

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 5:39 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Primaries 2010

Gubernatorial candidates swing through Howard

Despite planned visits from some of this year's highest profile statewide candidates, turnout remained very low into the afternoon in Owen Brown, in Columbia. By 1 p.m. 129 of 1,543 registered voters, or about 8percent, had appeared at the precinct in the Owen Brown Interfaith Center.

Nearby at the Owen Brown Place senior apartments, a smiling Governor Martin O'Malley came to stand out front with local elected officials for about 40 minutes in mid-afternoon, and saw only a trickle of perhaps a dozen voters cross his path.

Ehrlich arrived at Burleigh Manor Middle school in Ellicott City just before 5 p.m. and saw only a few voters. He spent the 45 minute visit posing for pictures with several dozen supporters and other Republican candidates who had gathered to greet him, and walked inside the polling place to thank the poll workers for their day of service.

At that precinct, 284 people had voted by 5 p.m. out of 2,179 registered there.

-Larry Carson

Posted by Andy Rosen at 3:41 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Primaries 2010

On the Tea Party and change

At Hillcrest Elementary School in Catonsville, Jeff Morsberger, former co-owner of a tavern in town, said he was looking for change in this election. “We’ve got to do something. Things have stayed the same too long.” He wouldn’t say which candidates got his votes, but he was looking for new blood “from the top to the bottom” of the ballot. He does not consider himself a Tea Party member, just someone looking for change.

Other voters echoed that theme.

Kevin Taylor, a vice principal at Towson High School, says he’s a Democrat but is not terribly enthusiastic about any of the party’s candidates. “I feel like all the candidates say the same thing, with very little difference.”

He noted that he’d been besieged with mailings, phone calls and other campaign appeals, but added: “I wasn’t super-excited about anybody, in particular….They say the same things, but don’t always get things accomplished. They don’t follow through on their promises.”

Robert Crowell, a salesman for Sylvania, is a Democrat, too, but he detects more enthusiasm among GOP candidates and supporters. He’s looking for more change, he says, because “we’re coming out of a lost decade.” And though he voted for Gov. Martin O’Malley, he said he wouldn’t be too upset if former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich won in November.

Even loyal O’Malley supporter Nicole Ames, the marketing director for a local law firm, said, “My mind is open.” Still, she expected to continue supporting the governor “unless something very odd happens.’’ She said she likes O'Malley because he’s “tough when he needs to be.”

-- Timothy B. Wheeler

Posted by Dave Rosenthal at 3:35 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Primaries 2010

Brian Murphy storms the state: "Things are great!"

Republican gubernatorial challenger Brian Murphy says he isn't seeing a lot of voters out today but feels "great" about where his campaign stands going into the final hours of the primary election.

"We couldn't ask for a better situation today," Murphy said in a telephone interview between campaign stops. "We're hitting our stride at just the right time. I love where we are."

Murphy, a 33-year-old investor who has never run for office, is facing well-known and well-funded former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in the GOP gubernatorial primary today.

The more conservative of the two, Murphy hopes to tap into tea party anger at government spending. Ehrlich, meanwhile, has billed himself the more centrist -- and electable -- Republican candidate in Democrat-heavy Maryland.

(The likely Democratic candidate, Gov. Martin O'Malley, faces two little-known primary challengers of his own.)

Continue reading "Brian Murphy storms the state: "Things are great!"" »

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 3:20 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Primaries 2010

Already a long day in BaltoCo, despite low turnout

At 2 p.m. the director of the Baltimore County Board of Elections was on her “third wind” and her fifth Diet Coke, having arrived at work shortly after 5 a.m. to begin a day that would go into night.

“It’s diet, so I’m OK,” said Katie A. Brown, who heads a primary day staff of 60, including the five-member board and 16 temporary troops called in for the election season. “I’ve been here as late as five in the morning” some election days, she said.

This day, there’s a crowded field of candidates for House seats on the east side’s District 6, and a Senate race where a 25-year-old newcomer to elective politics, Jordan Hadfield, was running hard against Norman R. Stone Jr. who has been in the office for 43 years. But the prevailing wisdom in the county was that the main attraction for voters today was the race for Democratic nomination for county executive, pitting two veteran councilmen — Kevin Kamenetz and Joseph Bartenfelder — in what was expected to be the closest primary contest for the office in more than 30 years.

A third candidate, Ronald E. Harvey, a retired county personnel analyst, has done little campaigning and was expected to place a distant third.

The winner will face the unopposed Republican, Kenneth Holt, an investments executive and former state delegate, in the general election Nov. 2.

Brown said based on what she’d heard from four or five polling places, it appeared the turnout was running about 200 voters per precinct, or less than 10 percent. She said that’s probably about the usual for a primary day from morning to early afternoon.

Voting was expected to pick up after 6 p.m. as people started getting home from work. She said she expected about 25 or 30 percent turnout for the primary.

-Arthur Hirsch

Posted by Andy Rosen at 2:43 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: In The Counties, Primaries 2010

Della's slate: Supports Bernstein loudly, in some areas

Residents of some of Baltimore's waterfront neighborhoods will get a flier showing that Sen. George Della supports Gregg Bernstein in the city's hotly contested State's Attorney's race. But not everyone is getting the same message.

The Sun got two copies of similar fliers printed by Democrats for a Better Baltimore. One flier, collected from a mostly white neighborhood, showed Bernstein on a sample ballot that also included Della's picks for House of Delegates, Democratic Central Committee, Judge of the Orphan's Court and Sheriff.

A second flier, picked up in Cherry Hill, was nearly identical: except this one was missing any mention of the State's Attorney's race.

Della confirmed that two different copies of the ballot were printed. "I don't see a problem with it," he said. Della explained that some of his volunteers -- particularly those who work for State's Attorney Patricia Jessamy -- felt queasy passing out literature that showed support for their boss's opponent.

Della couldn't list neighborhoods where each flier was distributed -- though he did say that a volunteer in mostly white Fells Point requested a non-Bernstein version of the sample ballot.
Posted by Annie Linskey at 2:22 PM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Primaries 2010

Bartenfelder hitting every polling place he can

Talk about taking the pressure casually. Baltimore County executive candidate Joseph Bartenfelder voted this morning in his undershirt at the Fullerton Fire Station, although that wasn't exactly the plan. They made him remove his black campaign polo shirt before he stepped to the voting booth in deference to the rule against electioneering in a polling place.

So there the county councilman and former member of the Maryland House of Delegates
stood in his white T-shirt, olive drab khakis and athletic shoes casting his vote in his race against fellow council member Kevin Kamenetz, who was working the polls in a navy pinstripe suit, tie and black loafers.

Bartenfelder slipped the polo shirt back on after voting, the 131st Democrat to cast a ballot at the fire station by a bit after 11 a.m. It was the ninth stop of his morning polling place tour on his east-side home turf before heading over the west side.

“It’s a pretty day, it’s a great day for everybody to get out and vote,” said Bartenfelder, 53, a farmer from Fullerton, four-term county councilman and former state delegate. Kamenetz, an Owings Mills attorney who had planned to spend a good part of the day on his own west-side turf.

Continue reading "Bartenfelder hitting every polling place he can" »

Posted by Andy Rosen at 12:06 PM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010, In The Counties, Primaries 2010

Veteran BaltCo voters look for Jim Smith qualities

Voters in the Owings Mills said that when they cast their primary ballots for county executive Tuesday, they chose a candidate that most closely resembled the leadership Baltimore County has been afforded for the last six years.

Issues such as leadership presence, education and smart growth were among those on residents’ minds when they headed to polls at Owings Mills High after the early morning rush Tuesday morning.

“It’s a shame that Jim Smith decided to enjoy life more,” joked Sheila Hoster, 62, of Owings Mills.

Hoster said that education brought her to the primary polls because “no matter how you look at it, there are too many students slipping through the cracks, and we need more programs for them.”

She said she believed that Baltimore County Councilman Joe Bartenfelder had the right ideas for the job.

Carla Ward, 45, of Owings Mills also said she cast her ballot with education at the forefront, particularly in how the next county executive will handle accommodating the exorbitant amount of population growth taking place in the county. She also said that there needed to be more investment in existing business hubs, such as the dilapidated Owings Mills Mall.

Ward said that Smith “served us well in the county executive seat,” commending him for opening new schools, and keeping the county fiscally sound. But, the time for change is welcomed, she said, stopping short of naming who she thought was the next best candidate for the job.

“I’ve become weary of the status quo, so I’m looking for a change agent in the county executive office,” she said.

When asked what he looked for in a candidate, 70-year-old A. Pinkney, a Democrat, said that he “would like to see someone follow in Jim Smith’s footsteps." He said he wanted the new county executive to continue to be “in and around all the things happening in the county.”

-- Erica L. Green

Posted by Maryann James at 11:59 AM | | Comments (0)

Ferguson: Young face, old tactics

Canton this morning was swarmed supporters of Bill Ferguson, the 27-year-old Teach for America volunteer who is trying to unseat 27-year Senate veteran George Della. Notepads and lists in hand, the volunteers were putting these hangers on select doors. (This one was on a door step at Maderia and Fleet streets.)

The billet advertises a 46th district “Democratic Team” which names Gov. Martin O’Malley and popular U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski at the top of the ticket. Ferguson’s name also appears on the list of candidates, a not-so-subtle suggestion that the young challenger has been endorsed by the Democratic establishment.

The problem: Ferguson hasn’t gotten a nod from the top-of-the-ticket Dems. O’Malley’s website shows that the governor wants Della to win in the 46th. Ferguson, probably quite busy today, has yet replied to a message, who was greeting voters near a Canton polling location,  said he believed the flier made it clear that the names on the ballot are his picks and not the other way around.

Such billets are not unusual in the rough and tumble of Maryland politics. They frequently appear the day before or the day of an election, when there's not enough time for the record to be corrected.

Ferguson also didn’t check with Mikulski before using her name on the campaign piece, according to Simone Ward, the Senator’s campaign manager. “The Senator has not endorsed any primary candidates,” Ward said.

She said that it is more “appropriate” for a candidate to check before slapping her name on a door hanger. “They are trying to imply they’ve been endorsed,” she explained.

But, Ward put a positive spin on the faux endorsement. “It is an example of the local ticket supporting the Senator’s re-election bid,” she said.

Posted by Annie Linskey at 11:26 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Primaries 2010

Anti-incumbent fever hits some voters


Election judges at Rodgers Forge Elementary in Baltimore County said the turnout had been slow but steady. By 9:10 a.m., only about 120 votes had been cast. A few people were lined up when the polls opened at 7 a.m., but “they had to wait until there was enough for a bridge game,” said judge Stuart Stainman.

Chief Judge Barbara Lynch, who has served as a judge for 30 years, said that turnout was about average for primary day, considering that only registered Democrats and Republicans could vote --- no independents or other parties.

She didn’t think early voting had had much of an impact in her precinct, because residents were pretty politically engaged. “People here, they like to come. They see their neighbors,” she said.

“They like to come in and find out the number” of votes cast, she added.

Gary Kreipl, 55, a registered Republican from Rodgers Forge, said he supported new candidates, such as Brian Murphy, a Republican running for governor -- though he couldn’t recall his name. “I’m kind of voting against incumbents. I got that fever.” He said he wished that incumbents were identified as such on the ballot.

Louis Zimmerman, 67, concurred. “I’d like to change them, all the incumbents,” he said. “But they seem to have a lot of political pull. I’m just one person.” He’s a registered Democrat, but said “it’s been long and few between that I’ve voted for Democrats” because he feels they don’t support veterans’ groups. Then again, “Republicans will tell you something and do something else.”

Ed Kleinman, 65, said the governor’s race drew him to the polls. “I wanted to see if I could keep teabaggers from running the country,” the Democrat said. “The more votes we can get in for Democrats, the less chance they have to get in.”

Peggy Feild, 61, said she didn’t support early voting. Going to the polls for an election is “one of the last things we have that we do as a community function.”

Meanwhile, at Dr. Bernard Harris Elementary School in the city, election judges were recording the hourly total of ballots. (Shown here, left to right, are Audrey Crumitie, Annie Cosby and Sarah Wagner.)

-- Liz Kay

Baltimore Sun photo by Kim Hairston

Posted by Dave Rosenthal at 11:25 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Primaries 2010

Light turnout early, as Kamenetz starts on west side

Baltimore County executive candidate Kevin Kamenetz put on the navy pinstripe suit, the black loafers, powder blue shirt and blue patterned necktie and headed out shortly before 7 this morning to begin his rounds of polling places. He planned seven stops from his home turf on the west side to the central part of the county in the 13 hours until the polls close and this phase of the campaign ends.

First stop Har Sinai Congregation as the polls opened at 7, minutes from Kamenetz’s home in Owings Mills, then on to Fort Garrison Elementary School in Pikesville, where the county councilman stood out front greeting voters, who at about 9 a.m. were greatly outnumbered by poll workers.

“This traditionally has been one of my strongest precincts,” said Kamenetz, 52, a lawyer who has served on the council since December, 1994. His chief opponent for the Democratic nomination, Joseph Bartenfelder, a former state delegate from the east side of the county, took his seat on the council at the same time. Bartenfelder hit nine precincts on the east side in the morning before heading over to the western part of the county.

“This is the precinct that got me elected in 1994, and they’ve been very supportive ever since,” said Kamenetz.

So far, there were precious few voters to support anyone at the school on Woodvalley Drive, the location of two election precincts – one in a multi-purpose room, one in the cafeteria -- with a combined registration of more than 5,000 voters, the overwhelming number of them Democrats.

Continue reading "Light turnout early, as Kamenetz starts on west side" »

Posted by Andy Rosen at 10:37 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010, In The Counties, Primaries 2010

Gauging gay marriage support at primary polls

Equality Maryland says it will be asking primary voters today about same-sex marriage -- grassroots outreach that the gay-rights group hopes will put it in touch with hundreds of voters.

In a release this morning, Equality Maryland described the exit polling as a "massive voter ID effort" that will occur throughout the day in Anne Arundel, Frederick and Prince George's counties. Anne Arundel and Frederick feature a mix of Democratic and Republican voters, while heavily Democratic Prince George's contains voters with more conservative social values.

According to Morgan Meneses-Sheets, executive director of Equality Maryland:

"On primary day as voter exit the polls in Anne Arundel, Frederick and Prince George’s County they will be asked a simple question, “Do you support marriage for same sex couples?”.

Equality Maryland volunteers will be at these polling places to collect postcards in support of their two key issues – marriage equality and gender identity anti-discrimination protections."

Discussion about same-sex marriage permeated the legislature this year as Attorney General Douglas Gansler released an opinion saying the state should recognize such unions legally performed in other states. In Maryland, marriage is defined as between a man and a woman.

Equality Maryland, a cadre of lawmakers and others predict the legislature may tackle legalizing civil unions -- or perhaps even marriage -- between same-sex couples in the coming session.

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 10:32 AM | | Comments (64)
Categories: Primaries 2010

Howard County turnout light so far

Turnout in Howard County appeared very light, despite the gorgeous weather.

Guy Mickley, deputy Howard election board administrator, said one county precinct had reported only three voters showed up in the first 90 minutes the polls were open. At Clarksville Middle School, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and a gaggle of supporters far outnumbered the occasional voter who showed up.

"This is our polling place," said Ulman as his wife Jaki stood nearby. "We like to come here, if only to see friends and neighbors."

Ulman is backing incumbent Democratic county councilwoman Mary Kay Sigaty in the county's hottest Democratic primary.

Alan Klein, Sigaty's opponent in one of the few primary races in the county, was also at Clarksville. He said that precinct and the one across the street at Pointers Run Elementary school "are the two biggest precincts."

-Larry Carson

Posted by Maryann James at 9:21 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010, Primaries 2010

Campaign workers outnumber voters as polls open

At Francis Scott Key Elementary School in South Baltimore’s Locust Point, a trickle of voters strolled past six campaign workers set up in the middle of the parking lot. Just past 8 a.m., most people appeared rushed, and they sped off to work after voting.

Signs for “Della” dominated the landscape, including several on a pickup truck decked out in red, white and blue bunting and parked near a sign that advertised the school’s “Grandparents Day,” which had occurred Monday.

Patti Berky drove to the school from Riverside and echoed a common complaint: “There was too much literature. I heard that from a lot of people. But I guess it’s good to have an informed electorate."

She said the advertising didn’t sway her, but she was pleased to “see some new names on the signs. It’s good that more people are involved.”

For Berky, the central race is the one for state’s attorney – pitting incumbent Patricia C. Jessamy against attorney Gregg Bernstein. It’s one of the most hotly contested races in this primary, and the two Democrats have fought hard on the issue of crime and who is best suited to make the city safer.

“I think we need to move in a different direction,” Berky said, while politely declining to say for whom she voted. “I’m not pleased with the way things have gone in that arena.”

In the span of about 45 minutes, just a handful of voters made their way to the polls. It appeared a bit busier at other polling places, such as Federal Hill Elementary School on William Street. But there too, campaign workers clogged the sidewalk, outnumbering the 8:30 a.m. voters six to one.

-- Peter Hermann

Posted by Dave Rosenthal at 8:48 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010, Primaries 2010

A slow start in Columbia

From reporter Larry Carson, a look at the start of primary day in Howard County:

Warren B. Mayo III of Columbia said he came straight from his 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. shift as a technician for public broadcasting in Northern Virginia to vote, even though there is little at stake on the Democrat's primary ballot.

"It's my right to vote. My voice can be heard through voting," the 35-year-old said.

He was one of four people who stood at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center when it opened at 7 a.m. The parking lot was festooned with a campaign signs, but no poll workers or candidates were in sight.

Tim Zayatz, 45, the second voter to arrive, is a Republican. He said he came to support former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., for the GOP nomination.

"I figured they'd have a line," he said, and he wanted to beat it. Last night he said he received a robo call at home from Sarah Palin touting the candidacy of Ehrlich rival Brian Murphy, but it did no good, he said.

Two others, both Democrats, also arrived just as the doors opened for the day. Richard Krantz, 70, said he and his wife Nancy are "dedicated citizens and believe in our right to vote."

Posted by Maryann James at 7:27 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010, Primaries 2010

Primary Day: Polls are open

It's Primary Day, and about 1,900 polls across the state opened moments ago. They'll close at 8 p.m. -- making for a long day for election observers and candidates in the tightest of primary races.

Click here to find out if you're a registered Democrat or Republican (the only voters allowed to cast ballots today) and where to vote. More than 77,000 of you voted early this month; results from those ballots will be released shortly after 8 p.m. Another 18,000 of you returned no-excuse-needed absentee ballots, which will be tallied in a few days.

Maryland is one of seven states and the District of Columbia with primaries today. It's the closest round to the Nov. 2 general election. And in a heavily Democratic state, some primary races are tantamount to final selection.

"When you watch two or three of the big jurisdictions, [the] primary is in actuality the general election," former House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. told colleague Annie Linskey in a story this morning. "Most elected officeholders will indeed be re-elected or newly elected [today]. Therefore, that creates a lot of interest."

Please click on the The Sun's Primary Guide to check out mini profiles of candidates in some key races.

Among the races we'll be watching today are the gubernatorial primaries in both races -- though Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley and Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. are expected to prevail, the Baltimore County executive Democratic primary and the Baltimore state's attorney Democratic primary.

What are you most interested in? Check this blog frequently today for updates, and let us know what's happening out there.

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 7:17 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010, Primaries 2010
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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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