Last month, before the primary, I gazed into a crystal ball and predicted the outcome of the primary. I did OK. Some races were a surprise–District 6 Council for one as Trumbauer came off like the Little Engine That Could. District 7 County Council was another surprise to me. Maybe I did not know enough about Jerry Walker, but I thought that Phil Bissett, despite the brouhaha over his son’s recent arrest, woudl secure the nod on the Republican side. And for the US Senate race, Wargotz was a surprise to me–but I think he was helped incredibly by his exposure on Fox News for his “unusual” commercials.
So, now the players are known, let me have another crack oat November and we can see how well I do. Remember, these are not my selections, but my perceptions of who will win.
Governor–O’Malley (D). The mud will still be flinging through Election Day and there likely will be sniping about unethical activities to increase turnout from both camps. But, Ehrlich was an anomaly the last time he was elected in this heavily democratic state and I just don’t see the electorate giving him a second chance. Unless O’Malley does something to really screw things up (or there is an incredible October surprise), I see O’Malley taking this election but not by a landslide.
County Executive–Leopold (R). Leopold has had his name in the news for all the wrong reasons lately and his democratic opponent, Joanna Conti is pouncing on that. However, I do not see the electorate taking a chance on a newcomer from Colorado who has no public experience. Of course the criticism of Conti’s involvement with her husbands company does not help, nor does her reputation from Colorado politics. Mike Shay, some say, is also in the race and I think that more than anything he will be the spoiler here and draw votes from Conti–whom he is attacking whenever possible. All told, Leopold was a successful Delegate and as County Executive he didn’t screw up. (Disclosure, Conti is advertising with Eye On Annapolis)
Council District 1–Jones (D). He is a well liked incumbent. I also do not know too much about his opponent or the area and issues in this race.
County Council District 2–Middlebrooks (R). Again, without a lot of knowledge of this race, but in a republican leaning county, Middlebrooks will likely trade on the last name recognition (as does Sarbanes) and win this seat.
County Council District 3–Fink (R). Despite the controversies that seem to come up in this race, Fink seems to be like water off a ducks back and able to overcome anything tossed his way. He is a newcomer to elected office and in this election cycle, that “quality” is a plus in any race. For some good background on this race, check out The No BS Zone.
County Council District 4–Benoit (D). Again, a relatively popular incumbent who was vocal and in front in the slots issue. His opponent, Charlotte Weinstein, gained some notoriety as the attorney representing the Retalliatta’s in the shooting of Bear-Bear. Puppies and cops with guns make for great media and had she exploited it a bit more, it may have helped. But, King of George, the Perez Hilton of the local blog scene too an strange interest in this race and did his best to discredit her campaign on several occasions.
County Council District 5–Ladd (R). Dick Ladd is using a powerful campaign strategist to manage his campaign and nothing seems to be off the table when winning is concerned. Paul Rudolph is experienced and well liked, but I question how much his heart is in this race at this point.
County Council District 6–Trumbauer (D). I know, last time around I thought Ferrar would trump Trumbauer. Chris does not have the experience and is a complete newcomer to the political scene. However, he resonates with the voters, has a very well run campaign and (as shown in the primary) can get his supporters out to vote for him. Can Doug Burkhardt deliver the same? Burkhardt ran uncuccessfully against Annapolis Ward 1 Alderman Dick Israel in a previous election and the campaign got ugly. I suspect it might get ugly this time around as well in the coming weeks. I just have a feeling that Trumbauer will once again be the surprise of this race. (Disclosure, both Burkhardt and Trumbauer are advertising with Eye On Annapolis)
County Council District 7–Jacobsen (D). I don’t have a lot of knowledge on this race, and I realize it is currently held by a republican, but I from anecdotal conversations and observations, it seems Jacobsen has run a better campaign than Jerry Walker. Crofton also turns out to vote.
Circuit Court Judge–Keissling and Asti. Laura Kiessling will run away with the votes. Alison Asti will come in a distant second, and Ron Jarashow will be back in private practice. Kiessling is a well spoken, well liked, tough prosecutor whose mind is needed on the bench. Jarashow may also be, but I think that the concept of running as a “slate” of democrats in a “non-partisan” election will hurt them–ask David Bruce. I do not see voters selecting their judges because they are a team. In fact, I see voters separating judges because they are a team. Asti has been portrayed as unqualified for the bench, and she may indeed be, but I feel voters will see the partisan undercurrents and give her the seat of Jarashow. (Disclosure, Asti is advertising with Eye On Annapolis)
Comptroller–Franchot (D). Why not. Personable guy, done reasonably well in office, democrat, incumbent. His opponent has really not run any sort of campaign. Nuff said?
United States Senator–Mikulski (D). Because she is Mikulski.
United States House Of Representatives District 1– Harris (R). This is a tight and ugly race like the last time around. Kratovil has been pretty centrist in a heavily republican dominated district and voted against Obamacare. But all in all, he has done a decent job–not stellar, but decent. But someone might be able to do a better job and I think the voters will likely select Andy Harris to see what he can do. After all, it is only a two year term–how much damage can be done–wait, don’t answer that!
United States House Of Representatives District 2– Ruppersberger (D). Dutch is a popular democrat incumbent representing a heavily democrat district with a strong democrat base.
United States House of Representatives District 3–Sarbanes (D). John Sarbanes is still trading (and will continue to trade) off his father’s name. That is not to say he is not effective in Congress. While Anne Arundel County only represents a part of his district, he is well liked, personable and has the name recognition. He also has not screwed anything up. Jim Wilhelm might be a viable candidate in this race had it been any other candidate other than Sarbanes.(Disclosure, Wilhelm is advertising with Eye On Annapolis)
United States House Of Representatives District 5–Hoyer (D). Charles Lollar will give Steny Hoyer a run for his money. I think Hoyer is very vulnerable and this will be a lot closer than anyone expects. If Lollar begins his 2012 campaign on November 3rd, I bet he wins in a landslide in 2012.
Maryland State Senate District 30–Elfenbein (R). This might be the “Hail Mary” prediction for me. There is no love lost between Ron Elfenbein and John Astle and to a large degree it is personal. Astle has been in his seat for a long time and Elfenbein has run an effective campaign detailing the shortcomings of John Astle as a legislator. John Astle almost seems too confident about his seat–almost to the point of feeling entitled, which is never a good sign. On the other hand, Astle is wildly popular and personable. I feel the practice of electing a “team”–Astle, Busch, Claggett, Legum will hurt him as well. Voters across the country are not happy with the status quo and are showing their elected officials that it is time for a change. If Elfenbein wins, this may put a large wrinkle in the rumored rise of Josh Cohen (Annapolis Mayor) to State Senate. (Disclosure, Elfenbein is advertising with Eye On Annapolis)
Maryland Senate District 31–Carey (D). You can read the dirt at The No BS Zone on this race as well. Simonaire has been controversial for the wrong reasons and arguably ineffective as a legislator. Carey resonates with the majority of the people in the district and served well on the school board. Look for this seat to turn over.
Maryland State Senate District 33–Reilly (R). Considering he has no opponent, he is in. Same with Gansler for Attorney General. Maryland voters were let down by their respective parties because they could (would?) not field candidates for certain races. The parties should be ashamed.
House of Delegates District 30–Busch (D), George (R), and McMillan (R) or Claggett (D). Mike Busch is wildly popular and according to his supporters (which are many) has done good job. He is the Speaker of the House and will likely retain that spot and having a local Speaker is a good thing no matter which side of the aisle you are on. Ron George has been an effective legislator and is popular and understands the issues that are facing both individuals and businesses. Her is where it get’s foggy. Herb McMillan has been running for this seat since the day he lost it and he has been screaming fiscal responsibility from day one–a notion the nation is listening to. His love affair with Bob Ehrlich (the “Ehrlich’s choice” add-ons to his signs were a bit much) may ultimately hurt him as the former Governor falls further in the polls. But he has a strong message that people want to hear. Virginia Claggett has served her constituency for a long time both at the County level and the state level. She is wildly popular as well and really should be a shoe-in. However, at the Ward One Candidates Forum last week, she broke ranks and declared that Maryland was a wonderful state for businesses. I think Delegate Claggett may be a bit out of touch and think she may be vulnerable to Herb McMillan. Seth Howard is a newcomer also screaming about fiscal accountability. However, I do not see him as having a tremendous grasp on the issues at hand. Maybe next time around, but not this time. Judd Legum is a shrewd political insider who was in chanrge of digging up dirt on opponents for the Hillary Clinton campaign. He has done a lot of legwork knocking on doors and trying to get his message out. He has raised an awful lot of money for this race, and while he eschews PAC money and developer money, a good portion of the money raised is from well place political insiders inside the beltway–as to be expected. I often wonder if Judd is actually running for this race, or perhaps one yet to be determined. (Disclosure, Busch, McMillan, and Howard are advertising with Eye On Annapolis)
House of Delegates District 31–Chiapelli (D), Kipke (R), Schuh (R). Again, head to The No BS Zone for some more insight. I just don’t think the area will put Don Dwyer in for another round and are ready for a small change with Chiapelli. Kipke and Schuh are effective legislators popular with the constituents.
House of Delegates District 32–Beidle (D), Love (D), Sophocleus (D). Popular, effective, and well liked. Although when the question of dirty politics came up from an opponent, I will give additional props to Pam Beidle–she responded, yet Ted Sophocleus remained mum. Hmmm.
House of Delegates District 33A–Vitale (R), McConkey (R). While Tony McConkey has had his share of problems and scandals, he is well liked and will earn another seat at the table. This is Cathy Vitale’s first shot at the House of Delegates after being termed out from the County Council. Cathy is a tireless worker for her constituents and is a no BS politician which is laudable. There is no reason to think she would not do as good of a job at the State level.
House of Delegates District 33B–Costa (R). No competition.
House of Delegates District 36–Not A Clue. I do not know anything of this race and any selections would likely be made on their favorite color and if it was the same as mine!
Question A–YES. Slots will prevail. As the days go by, more and more of the deceptive practices of the No Slots At The Mall people come to light. It has moved from a neighborhood issue to one of big bucks and I think the voters see through it. Maryland, Anne Arundel County, and the affected voting districts already voted in favor of slots in 2008 and they will again this time around. The question remains, if there are more legal challenges to be thrown–or attempted to be thrown. What are you thoughts on the slots? How will you be voting?