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This series of articles is specifically aimed at educating and empowering our viewers on the candidates and campaigns looking to gain your vote later this year!
The 2022 Gubernatorial election cycle in Maryland has begun as a roller-coaster ride for candidates, campaigns, and the voter base they are looking to target in the upcoming Primary elections.
A typical election season would have allowed campaigns to begin formulating their voter contact plan months in advance, laying out a strategic roadmap on how they will interact with the voters they intend to convince that their candidate is the best option for that position. The problem is, 2022 has turned out to be no ordinary election cycle. While candidates in legislative district are ready to hit the doors, produce digital media ads and formulate direct mail strategies, many aren’t even certain what district they may wind up in once the dust settles.
The issue at hand, a long-winded legal process challenging the legislative and congressional maps drawn up by the Senators and Delegates of the democratically controlled Maryland General Assembly. Following the decennial census process, a constitutionally mandated process where the government counts the number of legal U.S. residents in each jurisdiction which is used to apportion the number of seats each state has in the U.S House of Representatives; we have witnessed states across the country draw their congressional and legislative district lines with one goal in mind: packing districts to ensure partisan control over congressional, legislative, and even local county seats.
This process, known as gerrymandering, is done by both Democrats and Republicans alike, though both parties point to the rigged process as unfair when the other party has the advantage. And it is how we got to the point where we now have legal challenges in the federal and state courts regarding the maps created largely by Maryland Democrats, leaving Republican legislators and their constituents at a competitive disadvantage. And thereby leaving voters, and the hard-working men and women at the local board of elections, frustrated and confused as to what the actual district lines will look like when it’s all said and done.
And while the once June 28th Primary elections have been pushed back to July 19th, we will likely see that date changed yet again if the courts and both parties cannot settle on a map that best serves all interested parties sooner rather than later.
It appears that the 43rd legislative district has a bit of dissension within its political ranks, as the incumbent State Senator Mary Washington sent out an email blast last week endorsing Logan Endow for State Delegate – while ignoring the incumbent state delegate she has served with over the past four years, Delegate Regina Boyce. Mr. Endow, a recent council candidate, who just two years ago came up a few hundred votes short of winning the race in the 4th district, is now trying to win an open House of Delegates seat that is being vacated by Delegate(s) Curt Anderson and Maggie McIntosh.
And while Senator Washington has said that she hasn’t ruled out endorsing her district colleague for the second state delegate seat within the city lines, the fact that she endorsed a non-incumbent candidate without mentioning Boyce sent the message it was intended to send. However, Delegate Boyce didn’t take this punch laying down. Two days later, she sent out her own endorsement email, putting her support squarely behind Elizabeth Embry, the impressive former prosecutor and democratic candidate for Mayor and Lt. Governor, who is the daughter of prominent education and housing advocate, and head of the ABELL Foundation, Robert ‘Bob’ Embry.
But she didn’t stop there! Her other House colleague, the influential chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee and the ‘Capo di tutti Capi’ of the 43rd District, Delegate McIntosh followed up with her own email endorsement of both Delegate Boyce and Embry (and not Washington or Endow), showing that the political lines in the sand within the 43rd district have been drawn. The only district incumbent who has yet to weigh in on this political saga is Delegate Anderson.
Based on the legislative maps drawn up by Maryland General Assembly (which is currently being challenged in the courts), the city’s 43rd district will have one of its three House seats moved to Baltimore County, leaving only two-House seats within the city limits up for grabs in the upcoming 2022 elections. And with a half dozen candidates who have already filed to run for these two seats, and the fact that Boyce will be the only incumbent on the ballot this year, it is likely that only one of those folks will make it to Annapolis next year. The question is, if you are a resident of the 43rd district like I am: Do you support the candidate suggested to you by your state senator or do you take the word of Delegates Boyce and McIntosh?
It's likely most voters will sit back and weigh the backgrounds and visions of each of the candidates who are vying for their vote before making a definitive decision; but the likelihood of these political figures having a deciding influence on who voters choose to cast their ballot for later this year is greater than just leaving it to chance. I guess we shall see who will reign supreme as the district’s “political boss” once the dust settles in the upcoming Primary election.
The popular Republican Governor Larry Hogan decided to cross party lines to endorse democratic candidate for State’s Attorney, Thiru Vignarajah. The failed mayoral and state’s attorney candidate who has run unsuccessfully in the past two election cycles, Vignarajah is known more for his political and personal antics than for his professional career as a prosecutor.
Caught on camera with an unnamed, and apparently unknown female occupant, late night on Baltimore’s infamous Greenmount Avenue a few years back, Vignarajah was caught on camera telling a police officer to shut off his body-camera – which later cost that officer his job. As an employee of the Maryland Attorney General’s office, he was also caught on camera divulging sensitive and privileged state secrets to a young lady he had just picked up in a bar, in a video sting that later made national news.
And while just six weeks ago, he told the handful of his supporters that he was laser-focused on running for Mayor in 2024, and had absolutely no interest in running for State’s Attorney again this year; he has now decided that he cannot afford to pass up another chance at failure. And by his side this time around will be Governor Hogan, who has been at odds with current Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
Mrs. Mosby faces pending federal charges that are due to come to trial on May 2nd, and she has yet to file for re-election – which Vignarajah’s camp says was a deciding factor on him jumping into the race at the last minute. His mentee, Roya Hanna, who entered the democratic primary a few months back, was reportedly convinced by her mentor Vignarajah that they would have a better chance at defeating Mrs. Mosby if she dropped out of the race and ran as an independent, so he could run in the Primary, and if he was not successful, she would be on the General Election ballot to try to defeat Mrs. Mosby. The one caveat that he left out when convincing the Ms. Hanna on this plan was that she would need to garner thousands of voter signatures – 1% of the total voter population per the last General Election. Minor details, no biggie, right? (I guess someone also failed to tell Ms. Hanna that you cannot continue to live in Harford County if you are running for a position in Baltimore City?)
They also failed to calculate the large and growing support for Ivan Bates, the leading democratic candidate for State’s Attorney, who as of January raised more than 10x of what Ms. Hanna reported and more than both Hanna and Mosby had combined, according to campaign finance records. And most of the voters and donors who once supported Mr. Vignarajah have now found their home with the Bates campaign, including former Chief Judge Wanda K. Heard – who tried convincing Thiru that he would only serve as a spoiler in the upcoming State’s Attorney’s race, much like he did in 2018, when Mr. Bates came in second to Mrs. Mosby – but had he received the votes Mr. Vignarajah syphoned off, it would have given Mr. Bates the victory.
I guess we will have to see if the law-and-order Republican governor, and his Trump-supporting cronies will have a major impact on this upcoming race? My guess is, in a democratic primary where most party loyalists who are tired of the violent crime, but who are more fed up with the antics of Governor Hogan, his endorsement will mean little to them when they cast their ballot.
43rd District: Elizabeth Embry (left) being endorsed by Delegates Maggie McIntosh and Regina Boyce
Baltimore City State's Attorney candidate Ivan J. Bates Esq.