Kamenetz announces run for governor of Maryland

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz entered Maryland’s crowded Democratic primary for governor on Monday. Like some of his Democratic opponents, he focused on trying to link Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to President Donald Trump. He avoided mentioning the half dozen people he will have to beat to challenge the incumbent next year. Kamenetz, who has been county executive of Maryland’s third largest jurisdiction since December 2010, criticized Hogan for not speaking out against the Republican president and his Cabinet members. (Wash. Post)

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Former Maryland attorney general Doug Gansler does not plan to run for governor in 2018

Former Maryland attorney general Douglas F. Gansler said Monday that he will not join the increasingly crowded field of Democrats seeking to challenge popular incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in 2018. “At this point, I have no plans to enter the race,” Gansler, a partner in a D.C. law firm, told The Washington Post. “I’ve spent 22 years in government service, and I’m enjoying what I’m doing in the private sector and working with nonprofits.” (Wash. Post)

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Audit: Maryland social services agency misspent nearly $5 million

Legislative auditors say Maryland’s Department of Human Services mishandled state contracts and unnecessarily spent nearly $5 million — sometimes without getting anything in return. An audit released Monday found the agency’s handling of a huge IT project “resulted in DHS paying approximately $4 million more than necessary for one project that was ultimately cancelled.” (Balt. Sun)

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State lawmakers seek review of Harford County project

State lawmakers have asked Harford County to halt development of a townhouse community in Joppatowne that an Ahmadi Muslim group promoted as being built for members of the sect. In a letter to County Executive Barry Glassman this month, Republican Dels. Rick Impallaria, Kathy Szeliga and Pat McDonough urged the county to stop issuing permits for the homes — which are already being built along the Gunpowder River — “until a full investigation has been completed.” (Balt. Sun)

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Council candidate wants to tie disaster relief to campaign contributions

A candidate’s plan to direct campaign donations to charities could test Montgomery County’s new public financing law. At-large Democratic County Council candidate Brandy Brooks is running a fundraiser this month in which she’s promising to donate half of the campaign contributions she receives to help victims of natural disasters. Initially, she pitched the campaign as straight donations to charities supporting flood relief efforts in Texas, Florida and South Asia, as well as landslide relief in Sierra Leone. However, state law generally bans candidates from donating directly to charities with campaign funds. (Bethesda)

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Councilwoman drops proposed ban on circus animals in Baltimore County

The circus lives on in Baltimore County. A county councilwoman said Monday she is withdrawing legislation that would have forbidden traveling animal acts, such as those in a circus, from appearing in the county. “The timing was not right,” said Councilwoman Cathy Bevins, who introduced the bill last week. The measure would have affected any circus or other traveling show with live animal acts. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland election security in doubt after hearing

Maryland legislators learned last week the state’s electronic balloting system may need better security measures to protect voters’ information and that the lawmakers must be the ones to add those protections. The state’s electoral board told lawmakers Sept. 6 that they are powerless to make those changes, and that any security changes must come directly from the legislative body. (Capital News)

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Candidates line up to fill Worcester judicial posts

The pool of applicants for two pending Worcester County Circuit Court judgeship vacancies has been released revealing a veritable who’s who among the Lower Shore legal community. Venerable long-time Worcester County Circuit Court Judge Thomas C. Groton officially retired in August, having met the mandatory retirement age of 70, although he continues to sit on the bench in Snow Hill pending the appointment of his replacement. Worcester County Circuit Court Judge Richard Bloxom’s retirement is also pending, creating a rather unprecedented two vacancies in the county’s highest court. (Dispatch)

 

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