By John Wagner, Jenna Johnson and Bill Turque, Published: May 14, 2014.
Maryland voters go to the polls June 24 to nominate Democrats and Republicans for a variety of state and local offices. Here’s a look at where candidates for governor, attorney general and Montgomery County executive stand on some of the most pressing issues facing the state.
Brown says he will build on the record of Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), for whom he has served as lieutenant governor for the past eight years. The Prince George’s County resident is a former member of the House of Delegates, where he quickly rose to the leadership position of majority whip. An Army reservist who served in Iraq, Brown has overseen health care reforms in Annapolis and led the state’s response to the federal base realignment and closure process. He would be Maryland’s first African-American governor.
Gansler, the state’s attorney general for the past eight years, says he is an Annapolis outsider who would shake up the status quo. Prior to winning election statewide, the Montgomery County resident served for eight years as state’s attorney in his home jurisdiction, overseeing prosecution of the Washington area snipers in Maryland. In his current role, he has been active on home foreclosures and environmental pollution. Gansler stresses he is the only major Democratic candidate who grew up in Maryland.
Mizeur, serving her eighth year as a delegate from Montgomery County, is a self-described “progressive powerhouse” who says she would bring a fresh perspective to Annapolis. Prior to running for the House, she served on the Takoma Park City Council and was an aide to Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Massachusetts). As a delegate, Mizeur has focused on issues including health care, family planning and environmental protection. She would be Maryland’s first woman governor and its first who is openly gay.
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Craig, the executive of Harford County for nearly nine years, says his experience at several levels of government gives him a leg up on the competition. Craig was mayor of Havre de Grace, where he was born, and served on the council there. He later served stints in both the House and Senate of the Maryland legislature. A 10th generation Marylander, Craig also worked 34 years in the Harford public school system as a teacher and assistant principal. He is the only Marylander to have served as president of statewide associations of both municipal officials and county officials.
George, a two-term delegate from Anne Arundel County, touts his understanding of business and ability to work on government reforms with members of both parties. George owns jewelry stores in Annapolis and Severna Park, as well as a national manufacturing design business. In 2007, he joined the House of Delegates, where he is the ranking Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax legislation. George also has a degree in psychology and is a volunteer youth counselor. He has also been an actor, including on soap operas.
Hogan, who owns a real-estate company in Anne Arundel County, argues that his combination of business experience and understanding of state government, makes him an ideal candidate. Hogan served for four years as appointments secretary under former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), filling thousands of administration jobs and posts on state board and commissions. Three years ago, Hogan founded Change Maryland, a grass-roots government watchdog group. He is the son of a former congressman and ran unsuccessfully himself for Congress in 1992.
Lollar, a Charles County businessman, says he would bring a fresh perspective to Annapolis. A major in the Marine Corps Reserve, Lollar has worked for UPS and as a manager for Cintas Corporation. He has also been active in a number of political organizations, including the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, the Charles County Republican Central Committee and the Conservative Victory political action committee. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2010.
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Braveboy never planned on becoming a “career politician.” But as an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, she took a class taught by political analyst Donna Brazile that focused on the Voting Rights Act. Braveboy was struck by the fragile nature of voting rights and decided to attend law school. She was elected to two terms in the Maryland House of Delegates, representing Prince George’s County and actively working with the Legislative Black Caucus. She tried three times to pass legislation that would raise the state minimum wage – an issue that Gov. Martin O’Malley took on this year and recently signed into law.
Jon S. Cardin
Cardin’s biggest asset on the campaign trail has been his last name. His uncle is Ben Cardin, a Democrat who has never lost an election and has represented Maryland in the U.S. Senate since 2007, after spending nearly 20 years in the U.S. House of Representations. The younger Cardin has spent three terms in the Maryland House of Delegates, representing Baltimore County and holding a seat that was previously occupied by his uncle, great uncle and grandfather. But Cardin, a criminal defense attorney, is trying to teach get voters something more about himself than his family tree.
Brian E. Frosh
When Frosh announced that he was running for attorney general last year, he said that he wants to be the “people’s lawyer.” To him that means representing average Marylanders whose voices can sometimes be lost. Frosh, a commercial litigation and real estate attorney in Bethesda, was first elected to the General Assembly in 1986. He has been the chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee since 2003 and has overseen the passage of several pieces of landmark legislation, including gun safety, marriage equality and a repeal of the death penalty.
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Jon S. Cardin
Brian E. Frosh
Leggett is asking voters to elect him to a third term based largely on his management of the county during the Great Recession, when he cancelled employee raises and cut jobs, but still expanded police and other key services while retaining Montgomery’s AAA bond rating. He said he wants a chance to serve in better times, pursuing “smart growth” projects built around Bus Rapid Transit and the Corridor Cities Transitway up the I-270 corridor. A law professor and former Maryland State Democratic Chairman, Leggett lists education as his top priority. His failure to secure extra school construction funding he sought from Annapolis this year was a setback.
Duncan, the former three-term executive (1994-2006), contends that Montgomery has lost competitive energy under Leggett and suffers from a “paralysis by analysis” that has led to sluggish job creation, overcrowded schools and delays in completion of the Silver Spring Transit Center. He touts the projects launched or completed during his tenure—Strathmore Hall, a revitalized downtown Silver Spring and the Intercounty Connector—and promises a more aggressive approach in securing state funding from Annapolis, tougher oversight of county departments and business-friendly policies to grow the county’s job base.
Andrews, a four-term County Council member, is offering himself as the reform alternative to Ike Leggett and Doug Duncan, whom he calls part of a “broken” Montgomery politics dominated by special interests. He takes no campaign contributions from developers, unions or PACS. A fiscal conservative who opposed raises Leggett negotiated last year with county labor unions, Andrews promises to lower property and energy taxes. He was chief sponsor of the county’s 2003 smoke-free restaurant law and has introduced a bill to create a partial system of public financing to county election campaigns. He is former head of Common Cause Maryland.