(BALTIMORE – January 2, 2018) – If you’re a political junkie like me, then you know that today is the official start of the 2018 political season. Here in Maryland, the primaries are June 26, 2018. Next, the 2018 Maryland gubernatorial election will take place on November 6, 2018, to elect the Governor of Maryland. There, incumbent Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican who currently enjoys a high approval rating, will square-off with the winner of the Democratic primary.
Between now and then, any Democratic challenger has a lot of work to do, including convincing the powers-that-be on the Democratic side that they are, in fact, the best one to challenge Hogan.
At present, the Democratic field includes Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, former President and CEO of the NAACP Ben Jealous, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings – as in, wife of Congressman Elijah Cummings, State Senator Richard Madaleno, Ralph Jaffe, author and former State Department official Alex Ross, noted attorney Jim Shea and Krishanti Vignarajah, the former Policy Director to former First Lady Michelle Obama and former State Department official.
In Baltimore, it appears as though there will be some heavyweight slug-fests in the 40th, the 41st, the 43rd, the 44th and the 45th. There are expected challenges in these state legislative districts. In the 40th, incumbent Sen. Barbara Robinson and Delegate Antonio Hayes have already started exchanging blows for that seat. Robinson will have the fight of her political career.
In the 41st, the current state Senator, Nathaniel Oaks, is currently indicted. Hence, there will likely be a fight. Many locals are hoping that former Mayor Sheila Dixon will run for the seat.
Up in the northeast section of town in the 43rd, state Senator Joan Carter Conway is expecting a challenge from Delegate Mary Washington. That should be an interesting one to watch. Those who know Conway know that it is not a game; she is all about her business when it comes to winning an election. It will be tough to beat her.
State Senator Shirley Nathan Pulliam has a challenger who is backed by the SEIU, Aletheia McCaskill. It will be surprising if McCaskill does well against Pulliam, a tenured Democrat who has a pristine record of service.
In the 45th, there is a similar scenario where Delegate Corey McCray is seeking to unseat state Senator Nathaniel McFadden. It will be tough to beat “Mac”. At the same time, if there is a man to do it, it is McCray. He is organized, methodical, and he has been working since the summer. McCray understands the game, he understands preparation, and there is little doubt that he can pull together an army of volunteers. Will the voters in East Baltimore stay where they have been? Or, are they tired of what they have been getting and opt to give McCray a try? Inquiring minds want to know.
Another race to watch is the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s race. Will incumbent Marilyn Mosby get re-elected. Or, will challengers knock her off the thrown. Challengers include former Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah. Another challenger is Ivan Bates, Esquire. To date, Bates has made the most noise, showing up for everything from community meetings to church services.
Out in Baltimore County, there is a County Executive’s race that has drawn many eyes, including Republican candidate Al Redmer. Democratic candidate Jim Brochin is hustling hard to win the Democratic nomination. Councilwoman Vicki Almond plans to upset Brochin’s apple cart. And John “Johnny O” Olszewski, Jr. intends on beating them all.
The Westside of the county will be a key battleground in that fight.
Down in Prince George’s County, there are two big fights we’re watching. The first is the State’s Attorney’s race where former Delegate Aisha Braveboy is putting it all on the line. State Senator Victor Ramirez is also going for the same seat.
The other race to watch is that for County Executive. Democratic candidates include:
*Angela D. Alsobrooks, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney;
*Donna Edwards, Former Maryland Rep;
*Paul Monteiro, Former Obama Administration Official; and
*C. Anthony Muse, Maryland State Senator.
Long story short, strap on your seat belt. This is sure to be a nail-biting affair!