Experts decry single debate between Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Democrat Ben Jealous before election

Debating about debates is a timeworn tradition in politics, especially in contests for Maryland governor. Every four years gubernatorial campaigns bicker about how many debates to have and where to have them. Each side claims to be more willing to face-off more often, accusing the other of fearing too many encounters. But in the end — after all the bluster — candidates in Maryland typically settle on at least two debates. Not this year. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Democrat Ben Jealous will meet only once, on Sept. 24 — the fewest televised debates in 16 years in Maryland. And that’s a huge loss for the state, experts say. (Balt. Sun)

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Ex-Senate candidate makes a federal case of his bid to create third party

Rebuffed by the voters in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and rebuffed again by state election officials in his desire to set up a new political party and appear on the Senate ballot this fall, Jerome Segal has decided to take his case to court. Segal, a peace activist who is proposing to set up a socialistic Bread and Roses Party, and two other plaintiffs, filed suit against the Maryland State Board of Elections in federal court in Greenbelt last week. (Md. Matters)

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Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh promises to lobby for state police tax credit, seeks endorsement

County Executive Steve Schuh has pledged to pursue state legislation expanding state police access to property tax credits, according to a letter seeking endorsement from a statewide organization representing Maryland State Police. Requesting an endorsement is a common tactic for politicians. Other times they fill out endorsement forms and submit them to popular endorsement groups. Schuh’s letter was sent to the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 69, which represents Maryland State Police. (Capital)

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Out-of-state booze businesses boost GOP attorney general candidate's campaign

Campaign contributions from out-of-state alcohol distribution companies and their executives constituted more than 60 percent of recent contributions to the candidate vying to unseat Maryland’s attorney general. Craig Wolf, the Republican candidate for attorney general, reported dozens of campaign contributions from out-of-state companies and individuals tied to the wholesale alcohol distribution industry in the most recent reporting period. Such contributions accounted for 61 percent of total donations for Wolf, a former wholesaler trade group CEO. (News-Post)

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Report: Maryland lawmaker made inappropriate sexual comments but no evidence to support sexual assault claim

An ethics panel that investigated sexual misconduct charges against a veteran Maryland lawmaker thought the delegate made inappropriate sexual comments but was unable to decide if a 14-year-old sexual assault claim against him was true, according to a report released late Friday. Del. Curtis S. Anderson (D-Baltimore City) was stripped of his leadership positions by House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) at the close of the investigation last month. But the report from the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics was not released until Friday. (Wash. Post)

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Hot Baltimore County schools, hot election for county executive

As students returned to Maryland public schools last week, Baltimore County once again became Ground Zero in the never-ending political fight over inadequate classroom facilities in the state, with 10 schools closed due to the extreme heat. While the political battle has largely involved Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) and Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) taking on elected officials and school bureaucrats in Baltimore County – and more recently, in Franchot's case, legislative leaders – the candidates for county executive inevitably got involved in the discussion last week. (Md. Matters)

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New staffers on board as Montgomery Co. exec campaigns sprint to election

If this was any other campaign year, the winner of the Democratic primary in the race for Montgomery County executive could kick back and hit cruise control en route to a stress-free victory in November. Not this time. Three-term County Councilman Marc B. Elrich (D), who won his primary by the barest of margins (just 77 votes), was forced to spend the summer retooling for a general election battle against two brand-name opponents, Democrat-turned-independent Nancy M. Floreen and attorney Robin Ficker (R). (Md. Matters)

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Struggling not to stutter: Candidate Ben Jealous talks about his speech disorder

Aides to Ben Jealous prepped him for days, repeatedly telling him the key words that he should emphasize in the 90-second introduction of his first debate of the Maryland gubernatorial primary. And then it happened, about halfway through: Jealous was living one of his worst nightmares. He began to stutter. On stage. In front of his rivals for the Democratic nomination. (Wash. Post)

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