In new oversight role, Cummings pledges aggressive scrutiny of Trump

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Maryland Democrat who is slated to take over the powerful House Oversight Committee, says a key focus for the newly aligned panel would be to determine whether President Trump is improperly profiting from his office. On the morning after his party won control of the House, Cummings said Democrats would seek to review Trump’s tax returns as well as delve into dealings between the federal government and the Trump International Hotel near the White House. Democrats have alleged that Trump, by virtue of his hotel, is in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clause, which bars presidents from doing business with foreign governments. (Wash. Post)

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Federal judges say Maryland's 6th congressional district is unconstitutional; map must be redrawn for 2020

A three-judge federal court panel ruled Wednesday that the state unconstitutionally drew the boundary lines for Maryland’s 6th Congressional District to benefit Democrats, and banned the map from being used in future elections. Because the congressional maps are interconnected, the decision effectively requires the state to alter more than just the 6th District’s outline — and sets a four-month deadline for making the changes. The process could result in an entirely new map, or one that involves changes to a few districts. The court said “the state might be well advised to establish a neutral commission to develop a conforming plan” and said the new map will need its approval before it is used. (Balt. Sun)

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Larry Hogan blames President Trump for downballot GOP losses in Maryland

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) says he was able to withstand Democratic anger at President Trump and soundly defeat challenger Ben Jealous in a deep-blue state because he “didn’t govern as a Republican.” “I was the governor for all the people,” Hogan said at a news conference Wednesday at the Maryland State House, blaming anti-Trump sentiment for “a tough night” for Republicans in which several down-ballot candidates lost key races. “It was just too much of an albatross around their neck from Washington to get them over the line,” Hogan said. (Wash. Post)

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Maryland congressmen Hoyer, Cummings could play key roles in new Democratic House

The Democratic takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives positions a pair of Marylanders for influential new roles — one in the leadership and the other as chairman of a committee expected to step up scrutiny of the Trump administration. Rep. Steny Hoyer, who long eyed the job of speaker if Democrats regained the House, will seek instead to return to the No. 2 role of majority leader, the Southern Maryland lawmaker said Wednesday. (Balt. Sun)

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Gov. Larry Hogan’s ‘impressive feat’ spurs talk of national ambitions

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s decisive reelection win in Democratic Maryland is fueling speculation about whether he can parlay his popularity into a more prominent role on the nation’s polarized political stage. While Democrats in Maryland and other blue states across the country stacked up wins Tuesday night, Hogan insulated himself from partisan backlash, defeating challenger Ben Jealous (D) by more than 13 percentage points in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 2 to 1. Hogan is already in line to lead the National Governors Association next year, and Republican strategists say his ability not just to survive but to thrive amid a blue wave opens more political opportunities for him — though he would probably be forced to veer right to bolster his national appeal. (Wash. Post)

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Andy Harris defeats Jesse Colvin, keeping his seat as Dems take House of Representatives

The Democrats picked up more than 20 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday, but Maryland's 1st District was not one of them. Republican Andy Harris won a fifth term in the House, beating Democrat Jesse Colvin by the narrowest margin since the election that first gave him the seat. Harris remains the only Republican in Maryland's congressional delegation. Unofficial results show that as of Wednesday morning, Harris won 176,595 votes, representing 60.5 percent of the vote. Colvin took 109,617 votes, which is only 37.6 percent of the vote. Jenica Martin, a Libertarian, won 5,420 votes, putting her just shy of 2 percent of the vote. (Daily Times)

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November 7 // Republican Gov. Larry Hogan wins a second term in deep-blue Maryland

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan won reelection Tuesday, defying a strong anti-Trump backlash to become the second Republican executive in state history to earn a second term. The governor’s promises to roll back taxes and work with Democrats, coupled with his high approval ratings, lifted him to victory over Democratic challenger and political newcomer Ben Jealous. (Wash. Post)

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Casino 'lockbox' for Maryland school funding and Election Day voter registration win approval

Voters gave their backing Tuesday to a pair of amendments to Maryland’s constitution. One requires casino revenues to be added to school budgets and the other opens the way for people to sign up to vote on Election Day. There was strong support for both measures. The voter registration amendment allows the General Assembly to create a system for eligible Maryland residents to show up at the polls, register and cast a ballot, all on Election Day. (Balt. Sun)

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