Cennamology Chief Editor
If the Maryland gubernatorial primary was held on Twitter, Heather Mizeur would be the Democratic nominee for Governor of Maryland. Unfortunately for the delegate and her supporters, you cannot vote on Twitter. If her younger supporters actually showed up to the polls like they were showing up on the hashtags yesterday, the results may have been a little different.
Therefore in the low turnout gubernatorial primaries yesterday, O'Malley's right-hand man, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown won the Democratic nomination to succeed his term-limited boss. He will face off against conservative activist and founder of the right wing Change Maryland Larry Hogan, who was an official in the administration of former Gov. Bob Ehrlich, the only Republican to have served as Governor of Maryland in the last 40 years.
The results of this election prove that the Maryland Democratic Party is still very much under the control of Gov. O'Malley and that the Maryland Republican Party is still longing for the days of Gov. Ehrlich. Ehrlich, who served from 2003 to 2007, is still arguably the most important Republican political figure in the state. Ehrlich attempted a comeback in 2010, but was beaten by O'Malley by an even greater margin than he was in 2006.
Despite Brown delivering disappointing performances in two televised debates, and one in which he did not even show up, it is quite surprising that he won by such a large margin. Not only was he running almost entirely on O'Malley's record, the other two candidates had fresher ideas for the state. The idea to take from this election is that O'Malley's policies, despite being criticized as rather tax happy by some in his own party, are popular among Maryland Democrats. Essentially, O'Malley has been nominated for a third term.
Brown's pick for lieutenant governor, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, may be the rare occasion where the choice of running mate influenced the election. Ulman, who before being chosen by Brown was speculated as a possible candidate for governor himself, is a very respected politician all over the state and was undoubtedly a very strong asset to Lt. Gov. Brown. Since Ulman is young, and Brown has now defied the odds and shown that the job of lieutenant governor can be used as a stepping stone for the governor's mansion, expect to see Ulman in the Democratic primary for governor in 2022. I would like to see Ulman run some day, he may have even had my support if he ran for governor this year.
Primaries across the state for local and statewide offices also had outcomes that can be described as the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Cennamology-endorsed candidate State Sen. Brian Frosh won the Democratic primary to succeed attorney general Doug Gansler over Delegates Jon Cardin and Aisha Braveboy. Frosh won by about 20 percent, much higher than polls predicted he would win by. Frosh received about 50 percent, compared to Cardin's 30 percent and Braveboy's 20 percent. Frosh will most likely prevail in November.
Also, the District 19 race for the House of Delegates appears to have been won by Del. Bonnie Cullison and Marice Morales, along with Del. Ben Kramer. Morales will be replacing Del. Sam Arora, who chose not to run for reelection as it would be unlikely for him to win after voting against the marriage equality bill after fundraising off the promise that he would vote in favor of it. This enraged Democrats all over Montgomery County, including myself as I am from District 19. Morales, who is in her mid-20s, is expected to be one of the youngest members of the House of Delegates next session.
Also in House of Delegates news, it was a very good night for fellow liberal bloggers. David Moon has advanced to the general election, emerging successful in the District 20 primary. I am a huge fan of his blog Maryland Juice, which has not been updated recently due to Moon obviously being very busy with the race. I am very excited for him to become a delegate representing Montgomery County and hope that he will keep his blog running while serving in the House of Delegates! Also, HoCo Rising blogger Tom Coale won with 62 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary to represent District 9 (northern Howard County) in the House of Delegates. He will face former delegate and Ehrlich transportation secretary Bob Flanagan in November. While Moon is pretty much guaranteed to win in November, Coale has a competitive general on his hands.
On the Eastern Shore, in what was rather shocking to those of us who have been active in Democratic politics here for the last few years, Bill Tilghman won the Democratic primary for the 1st Congressional District against physician John LaFerla, the write-in candidate in 2012 who stepped up after nominee Wendy Rosen withdrew from the election in disgrace. After Eastern Shore Democrats regretted not nominating him in the first place in 2012, in which he lost the primary by 63 votes, one would think it would be a shoo-in for them not to make the same mistake twice. Surprisingly, he lost by a rather wide margin. This is also surprising because at Eastern Shore Democratic forums that I attended, LaFerla seemed to be a more effective speaker who was able fire up the base much better than Tilghman did. Nevertheless, Harris is still favored in the fall.
On the last day of the campaign, Doug Gansler managed to stir up controversy, which is the last thing we need when voters head to the polls. In a campaign dogged by controversial stories, it was dejavu all over again when another one broke. Ending the campaign on a low note, Gansler did something strategically smart yet so stupid at the same time. On Election Day, Gansler was distributing apple-shaped literature at polling places in Montgomery County that said "supported by teachers across Montgomery County," with the names of elected officials supported by teachers, including Gansler's. The Montgomery County Education Association, who endorsed Brown, noticed this and sued for an injunction to stop the distribution of Gansler's apple-shaped literature, claiming that he was distributing fake "apple ballots" in order to deceive voters. The "apple ballot" is famous in Montgomery County and is handed out at the polls to inform voters which candidates are supported by the teachers' union. The ballot is also a registered trademark, giving the MCEA grounds to sue. However, since Gansler lost the primary, the case is moot at this point. But if he had won, the story may have spawned into national news.