May 21 // Leventhal unveils superhero-themed county executive ad

Democratic Montgomery County executive candidate George Leventhal is showing his lighter—and stronger—side in a new superhero-themed digital ad that has him flying like Superman, landing like Iron Man and standing up to the “Orange One”—President Donald Trump. The 90-second “Avenger: MoCo” ad—a play on the Marvel Comics movie franchise—has already generated significant publicity for Leventhal since he released it Wednesday. (Bethesda)

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Valerie Ervin is running for governor — but it's not clear how Marylanders can actually vote for her

Valerie Ervin is officially a Democratic candidate for governor — but how voters will actually cast a ballot for her remains unclear. Ervin’s name will not appear on ballot papers as a candidate for governor, the state elections administrator confirmed in a court filing Friday, and with only three and a half weeks left before early voting begins in the Democratic primary, officials say they’re still figuring out how people will vote for her. Linda Lamone, the state’s top elections official, filed an affidavit Friday in a case unrelated to Ervin’s candidacy, saying she had consulted with her staff and local elections directors in making her decision. (Balt. Sun)

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Census question about citizenship status angers Maryland Rep. Cummings, Democrats during congressional hearing

Frustrated congressional Democrats accused the Trump administration Friday of politicizing the 2020 Census after a Justice Department official declined to answer questions on how the administration came to include a question asking people their citizenship status. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said he had wanted more information about the administration’s rationale for the question. At a hearing Friday, committee Democrats said the question would have a chilling effect on responses from immigrant communities and others suspicious of government. (Balt. Sun)

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Amid dispute over lawsuit, advocates urge Democrats to write-in "HBCU" rather than vote for Maryland Attorney General Frosh

Advocates who want increased funding for Maryland’s historically black colleges and universities took the fight to Attorney General Brian Frosh's office Friday, urging Democratic primary voters to write in “HBCU” rather than vote for Frosh next month. The protesters contend the state owes Maryland’s four historically black colleges more than $1 billion for systematically discriminating against them over decades, and they accuse Frosh of delaying settlement of a decade-long lawsuit over the issue. Frosh’s office has appealed a federal judge’s ruling that would appoint a “special master” who would come up with a plan for increased funding. (Balt. Sun)

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Some Montgomery candidates fail to qualify for public financing

Several candidates for Montgomery County offices who were seeking funds from the county’s new public campaign financing system failed to qualify by the deadline this month, potentially narrowing the field of viable candidates in some races. Six candidates for the four open at-large County Council seats and three candidates for district council seats failed to show they had raised enough money from a required amount of donors by May 12 — 45 days before the June 26 primary. (Wash. Post)

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Madaleno, staunch liberal and policy wonk, hopes to build on Montgomery County base as he runs for governor

Maryland Sen. Richard S. Madaleno stood on stage at a candidates’ forum in a Baltimore tap room surrounded by a formidable field of rivals seeking the Democratic nomination for governor: Ivy League grads. Accomplished lawyers. A Rhodes scholar. Yet when a question on Maryland’s $44 billion budget went to Madaleno, the event’s moderator joked: “Maybe the fix is in.” That’s because of the Democrats vying to challenge Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, Madaleno has a singular reputation as an expert on the state budget. It’s not the most thrilling campaign topic. (Balt. Sun)

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Jim Shea, Democratic candidate for governor, begins statewide ad campaign

With a plan of running campaign ads non-stop until the primary election next month, Democratic candidate for goverrnor Jim Shea released his first TV ad Friday. The 60-second spot introduces Shea — who is the former chairman of the state’s largest law firm but largely unknown outside the legal community — to voters. It emphasizes his experience as chairman of the Maryland Board of Regents, which runs the state’s colleges, as well as his work with small businesses and on transportation issues. “My highest priority will be to return Maryland to the top,” Shea says in the ad. (Balt. Sun)

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Dead man walking: To support Ervin, vote for Kamenetz

Kevin Kamenetz may have been buried May 11, but he remains very much alive on Democratic primary ballots. The death of the Baltimore County executive as he campaigned for governor exposed problems with Maryland election laws, as well as long-standing constitutional issues with the job of lieutenant governor. Here’s the apparent state of affairs now that his running mate, former Montgomery County Council member Valerie Ervin, has decided to take the option of running in his place, as provided in state law. Her name will remain under Kamenetz on more than 2 million Democratic primary ballots. There is no time to reprint the ballots, officials say, and thousands have already been sent to absentees, particularly overseas and military voters. (Md. Reporter)

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