Some sniping but also consensus at first Montgomery County executive debate

The first debate in the fall campaign for Montgomery County executive — which this year is an unusually contested affair — yielded occasional sniping but also consensus among three candidates vying for the county’s top elected post. Democrat Marc Elrich, Republican Robin Ficker and independent Nancy Floreen — who earlier this year broke from the Democratic Party to run for the seat — answered questions for nearly two hours at a forum at Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Rockville. (Wash. Post)

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Will Howard County go red or blue? Voters see spirited campaign for county executive

For years, the defining issue in Howard County politics has been education — specifically, the direction of the district’s top-flight school system. But as Republican County Executive Allan Kittleman faces a spirited challenge from Democratic Councilman Calvin Ball, another issue of great importance has emerged in this year’s campaign: the deadly flooding that ravaged historic Ellicott City twice within two years. As Howard voters head to the polls this November, they won’t just be deciding which candidate is best equipped to lead one of the country’s wealthiest counties and properly fund its vaunted school system. (Ho. Co. Times)

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Former Baltimore State's Attorney candidate Ivan Bates' campaign must repay $150,000 loan

The campaign of defense attorney Ivan Bates must repay an outstanding $150,000 loan that it received during the race for Baltimore State’s Attorney, according to recently filed campaign finance reports. Bates’ campaign received the loan from Jack Luetkemeyer Jr., a real estate entrepreneur, shortly before the June 26 Democratic primary election against incumbent Marilyn J. Mosby and former prosecutor Thiru Vignarajah. Mosby won the primary and, without a Republican challenger, will remain the city’s top prosecutor for the next four years. (Balt. Sun)

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Howard County executive candidates share common ground on education as a priority

The men vying for county executive in Howard County deemed education funding to be a top priority. Republican incumbent Allan Kittleman blamed the school board for a $50 million deficit in the school system budget, which he said was caused by the “neglected health fund.” “That school system needs to get their act together,” Kittleman said at a Thursday night forum with his Democratic challenger, Calvin Ball. Kittleman said school superintendent Michael Martirano is a “much better person to be there” than his predecessor, Renee Foose, who resigned after her relationship with the Board of Education, teachers union and parents soured. (Ho. Co. Times)

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September 14 // Baltimore City Council committee presses forward with regulations on Airbnb-style rentals

A Baltimore City Council committee is moving forward on a bill that would impose regulations and taxes on Airbnb-style properties, an issue that continues to pit the interests of the short-term rental hosts and the hotel industry against each other. The council’s taxation, finance and economic development committee voted Thursday on a slew of amendments that represent wins and losses for both sides. Another committee hearing is expected within the next month. (Balt. Sun)

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Md. sues federal government to enforce Affordable Care Act

Maryland has asked a federal judge to declare the Affordable Care Act constitutional and enforceable. The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, comes after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in June he would not defend the ACA against a lawsuit brought by 20 states, led by Texas, alleging the law is unconstitutional. (Daily Record)

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Kittleman, Ball debate in Turf Valley

Howard County Executive incumbent Allan Kittleman highlighted a growing business climate in one of the first debates in the race, while his opponent Calvin Ball questioned how the county’s economy is doing compared other counties in the state. At the Howard County Chamber of Commerce’s Candidate Forum on Sept. 13, both Kittleman, a Republican, and Ball, a Democrat and county councilman, laid out their respective visions for leading the county for the next four years. (Md. Reporter)

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Jealous, Abrams, Gillum call for new playbook in majority-white states

Maryland’s Ben Jealous joined forces Thursday with two other candidates of color who won Democratic nominations for governor in their states to call on progressives to throw out the old political playbook and take bold stands to win elections in majority white states. Jealous, who is running to unseat Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, appeared at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's annual conference with Stacey Abrams of Georgia and Andrew Gillum of Florida for a sometimes raucous panel discussion that did not shy away from racial themes. (Balt. Sun)

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