WOW, Maryland turns a little more red

| November 5, 2014 | 0 Comments

In a surprise to many, Larry Hogan trounced Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown in the Governor’s race for Maryland last night.  While most polls gave Hogan a solid shot at the Governor’s Mansion, it was widely speculated that Prince Georges County, Montgomery County, and Baltimore City would lift the Lieutenant Governor; but they actually let him down and Brown conceded the race shortly before midnight.

Anne Arundel County Executive

The red tide also swept Anne Arundel County with Steve Schuh wining big over George Johnson and Wes Adams handily defeating incumbent State’s Attorney Anne Colt-Leitess.

https://twitter.com/Schuh2014/status/529835579848925185

Schuh was the favored candidate in all the polls and had, in fact, been campaigning for the office for several years. His message of lower taxes and smaller schools seemed to resonate with the voters in the usually conservative Anne Arundel County. Schuh was skipped over when current County Executive Laura Neuman was appointed in early 2013 after the resignation of John Leopold.  Schuh defeated Neuman in the primary which also saw Democrat George Johnson running unopposed. In the end, Schuh received more than 60% of the vote.

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House of Delegates 30-A

Another very tight, and fascinating race was the one for the two available seats in the House of Delegates in District 30-A.  The district lost a seat due to the gerrymandered re-districting that many allege Democrat House Speaker Michael Busch orchestrated to secure his seat.   The field included Busch, incumbent Delegate Herb McMillan (R), local businessman and former County Councilman Chuck Ferrar (D), and political newcomer Genevieve Lindner (R). The seat for Busch was always thought to be safe due to the redistricting, however that was not the case. While the Speaker did, in fact, retain his seat, it was certainly not a mandate. Busch narrowly kept his seat in the prior election season. This campaign was marked with a lot of negative rhetoric attacking McMillan. For the most part, McMillan stuck to his platform and did not engage, but refuted when necessary.  In the end, McMillan ended up being the top vote-getter in the race with the Speaker of the House coming in second place.

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Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney

Another contentious race was that of the State’s Attorney of Anne Arundel County. The Democrat incumbent, Anne Colt Leitess was appointed to fill out the term of longtime prosecutor Frank Wethersbee who retired.  Her Republican opponent was Prince George’s County prosecutor Wes Adams. The Leitess campaign also relied on negative attack ads against Adams. She cited some failed prosecution attempts, tied the candidate with unpaid taxes on a property owned by his deceased father, and questioned his residency. The Colt Leitess campaign built an attack website; and another one surfaced against Adams, although Colt Leitess denies any connection with that one. Adams had won several law enforcement endorsements which likely bolstered his campaign. What was initially thought to be a very tight race, ended up being a surprise with Adams claiming 57% of the votes.

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Council District 5

Last night on WNAV, both Barbara Cox and Dr. Dan Nataf of Anne Arundel Community College felt that Republican Michael Peroutka (just google it) had a tough battle. I was not so sure. I am convinced that the majority of the electorate is typically under-informed and will vote according to party lines. Despite all the exit polls and pre-election polling, it appears that is what they did. While the race was always very close, Peroutka extended his lead late in the evening and will take over the seat from the unpopular Dick Ladd. Peroutka won the Republican primary with a significant media buy late in the game. During the General election, his demeanor seemed to change as the election neared–he resigned from the League of the South (just google it), and toned down his anti-government rhetoric. It remains to be seen how much of an obstructionist Peroutka will be on the Council if any. Most of the Republican candidates running in this cycle publicly disavowed him.  Peroutka’s opponent was thrust into the limelight when Peroutka won the primary. Patrick Armstrong is a young candidate who still lives at home with no political experience. With little hope of winning the seat in a heavy Republican district, he won the primary and was thrust into being made into a contender when Peroutka won on the Republican side. The Democratic establishment saw this as an opportunity to gain an additional seat on the Republican controlled Council. The voters felt otherwise and Peroutka took 53% of the vote!

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Other Races

I hate to lump all of the rest into one category, but there were few surprises in the County. The makeup of the County Council remains the same with Pete Smith (D) reclaiming the seat he occupied when Daryl Jones was in prison, John Grasso (R) retaining his seat for a second term, Derek Fink (R) retaining his seat for a second term, Andrew Pruski (D) replacing the term limited Jamie Benoit (D), Michael Peroutka (R) replacing Dick Ladd (R), Chis Trumbauer (D) retaining his seat for a second term, and Jerry Walker (R) who ran unopposed retains his seat for a second term. With term limits on the Council, the 2018 race will be interesting as Grasso, Fink, and Walker (all Republicans) will be leaving along with Chris Trumbauer.

All of our State Senators retained their seats handily, Jim Rosapeppe, John Astle, Bryan Simonaire, Ed DeGrange, Ed Reilly will return to the State House in January. The Democrats hold a 3-2 advantage in the Senate.

There were no surprises in the House of Delegate races either and the different districts tended to vote as expected. Earning or maintaining a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates are Katherine Butcher (R), Barbara Frush (D), Ben Barnes (D), Mike Busch (D), Herb McMillan (R), Seth Howard (R), Ned Carey (D), Nic Kipke (R), Meagan Simonaire (R), Pam Beidle (D), Mark Chang (D), Ted Sophocleus (D), Tony McConkey (R), Cathy Vitale (R), and Sid Saab (R).  The Republicans hold a 8-7 advantage in the house.  So, if the math is right, our County State delegation is split evenly.

Sheriff Ron Bateman handily won re-election against an opponent with no law enforcement background.

To view all results in the county or the state, check this out!

Mud Slinging

Just an observation based on discussions with voters at the polls, neighbors, and friends. The negative attack ads will get you noticed, but not in a good way. If you look at the losing candidates, many of them employed fiercely negative attack ads. Anthony Brown, Chuck Ferrar, Anne Colt Leitess all went very heavily into attack-mode and all lost pretty handily. Voters are becoming skeptical of any attack piece with seemingly outrageous claims.

Chris Trumbauer ran a campaign on the promise to not robo-call his people and to stick to the issues and he won readily.

 

The sheer amount of mailers was overwhelming. This is my pile for two voters in my household. And people worry about the trees being lost at Crystal Springs? It weighs in at 6.7 pounds!

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About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.