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Predictions for today’s election in Anne Arundel County

| November 6, 2018
Rams Head

The following is a transcript of a podcast released last night at midnight. You can read it here, or listen! I wanted to get it published to hold myself accountable!

OK…I do not do endorsements…first of all…what the hell does my opinion count for? Your vote should not be influenced by anything other than what your own research shows and who will do the best job for you as your elected representative.

But I have been watching the elections closely and have heard from candidates, their supporters and detractors, as well as John Q Public.  And based on zero scientific or mathematical formulas, I offer my predictions for some area races and questions that are on the ballot.

 

Let’s start with the ballot questions …

There are 5 total questions 3 for the County and 2 for the state.

County Question A- This involves zoning. As in zoning out. The wording is complex and confusing and most people will vote for the status quo. AGAINST will win this one!

County Question B- This is about procurement. A vote for it will allow the Council to raise the limit for competitive bidding. Now if it is over $25K it is bid out. This proposes to increase that to $50K. There is another bit of it that will require the county to post all bids over $5k on the website.  People will not want to give the council any more free reign over their tax dollars and this will likely be defeated. AGAINST will win this one.

County Question C- This increases the authority of the County Auditor. Again, with people wanting more transparency with their tax dollars, this question will be accepted. FOR will win this one

Moving onto the state!  Two questions.

Question 1 – This is the education lockbox bill. When we all said casinos were cool we also said that the money from them will go to schools. Well..that did not happen and the powers that be (incumbents in the legislature) raided it and spent it elsewhere leaving schools begging for more money. This seals that loophole and forces the money to be used for education.  This will resoundingly be accepted. FOR will win this one.

Question 2— This will allow unregistered voters to register and vote on election days. There are plenty of opportunities to register to vote as it is. By law we can register and vote the same day for the 8 days of early voting. Voters will suggest that if someone is not able to find time to do it before an election or during early voting—no need to allow them on the day of the election. What’s next…after the election?  This will be resoundingly defeated.  AGAINST wins this one!

Governor.  Hogan by a new term that someone will come up with that will exceed landslide. When you have a challenger that is so far removed from the mainstream that even his own party shuns him—the writing is on the wall. Welcome to another 4 years Governor Larry Hogan.

Comptroller.  Peter Franchot by a mile. While I would personally love to see Anjali Phukan shake things up for entertainment value..check out The Maryland Crabs Podcast we did with her…Franchot by a mile. And I will go out on a very safe limb here and suggest Franchot will defeat whomever runs in 2022 and take the governor’s mansion. He says he is not running..but he is.

Attorney General.  Brian Frosh. While he has spent most of his time in the past two years suing the Trump administration, he has done some good things for Maryland and is not so entrenched that he needs to be voted out. Craig Wolf just did not make that big of an impact..but keep your eye on him.

US Senator. Two words.. Ben Cardin. Yes he is entrenched and a career legislator. But he is doing well by his constituents.

US Congress.  John Sarbanes. He is approachable. And gets things done. Charles Anthony might as well be Charles Who?

State Senate District 30.  I think Ron George will take this one. I will not be shocked to see Sarah Elfreth either, but I think George weeks out a win due to his legislative experience and bipartisanship he showed while in the house. Elfreth ran a textbook campaign, but it was VERY negative and I think people are tired of establishment candidates and she embedded herself very deep into the old boys network of District 30.

State Senate District 31. Bryan Simonaire, as kooky as he is, he has been doing a good job for his district. If he was running in any other district, he’d have a much more serious race.  He’ll win again easily.

State Senate District 33.  Big Ed Reilly is heading back to Annapolis. He is an effective legislator and has the experience to get things done and has shown he can. Eve Hurwitz, his challenger has aligned herself with the very far left movement and in generally conservative Anne Arundel that will likely not fly. Remember…none of the established dems in Anne Arundel are supporting Jealous. Only the newbies to politics.

State Senate District 32. Forgot this one in the audio, but Pam Beidle is solid and I am not sure the constituents can handle John Grasso.

State Senate District 21.  Sorry, you are on your own. Don’t know a lot about that one.

House of Delegates District 30A.  Mike Busch and Bob O’Shea. Alice is a great candidate, but there is a strong republican streak in the district as is evidenced by Herb McMillans past wins where he earned more votes than the speaker.  Busch will win on his name, but I am hearing many feel he may not be able to lead due to his health. We did discuss some borderline conspiracy theories  a few weeks ago, and they may hold water. I suspect that this is Busch’s last hurrah. The other republican..Chelsea Gill really has not been too visible other than signs. But make no mistake this will be a tight race. I bet O’Shea earns the most votes of all the candidates and Busch #2

House of Delegates District 30B. South County. Seth Howard will handily win this race. His opponent in deeply republican country is Mike Shay who is a perennial candidate who will flip parties like a real estate agent on some new HGTV reality show. Not sure he can or ever will be taken as a seriously candidate.

House of Delegates District 31A. Very similar to Senate 33. Ned Carey coming from the school board into the House of Delegates gives him a wealth of experience that his opponent does not have. He is well liked and effective for the district. A strong candidate any way you look at it and to beat him you’d need a very strong candidate and Brooks Bennet is not it.

House of Delegates District 31B. Ah yes Pasadena. Well, Nic Kipke is a shoe in here. He’s been good and effective. Considering that the district is highly conservative (but it is changing) I think Brian Chisholm will find that the second time running is the charm for him and will earn that seat vacated by Megan Simonaire. But let me put a caveat on that and say that the dynamic of the Dena is changing a bit and Harry Freeman might squeak by there and bounce Chisholm.

House of Delegates District 32. Highly democratic district. To be hones i don not know too much about it, but going to say that the three seats will go to Mark Chang, Patty Ewing and Sandy Bartlett and split that district up a bit.

House of Delegates District 33.  Now this one will be interesting. Weird district mostly conservative, but with some deep blue pockets. McConkey’s time is up. People are fed up with the bullshit and there are some other better choices.  Mike Malone was appointed to the seat when Cathy Vitale was appointed to the bench. He’s done well as has Sid Saab and the conservatives in that district will send them back. Ad for McConkey’s chair… the three women running ran as a pseudo slate in the primary…Pam Luby, Tracie Hovermale and Heather Bagnall.  Tracie has aligned herself with the far left and they are just not going to get the support here in Anne Arundel County.  It could go either way between Heather Bagnall and Pam Luby, but I am leaning a bit more to Pam for that third seat.

Now, lets work up from the bottom…

Board of Education. I have not been following this too much but here are my thoughts.

District 1. Candace Antwine and David Starr. Take your pick. The most qualifications both seem to have is that they have or had kids in school. Pretty low bar if you ask me.

District 4. Melssa Ellis and Julie Hummer. Julie is currently on the school board and incumbency is powerful. While Melissa seems imminently qualified, I think voters will agree with Hummers appointment and send her to the board.

District 5. Terry Gilleland and Dana Schallheim. Terry is a political animal and the school board is not supposed to be political. Dana, while somewhat aligning with that hard left..has been out there and very vocal and responsive. She’ll probably win this handily.

District 7.  Michelle Corkadel or Laticia Hicks. While  Michelle Corkadel has made her name as a potential candidate for delegate and certainly as a school board candidate, and being  active in the south county schools for many years on the PTA I thkn voters will see her as too pitiably connected to Steve Schuh and want someone with at least the appearance of impartiality on the board. Can Corkadel be independent on the board when the County Executive may be paying her salary? Yeah, this one goes to Laticia Hicks—who by the way had some of the best political campaign signs I have ever seen..aside from the Chris Trumbauer purple!

OK lets look at the … and I hate to call them lesser…races but the down ballot races that few pay attention to.

We get to pick 3 Orphans Court Judges. The three incumbents have been there a while and I guess done a decent job. Who knows. The only outsider challenger is Vickie Gipson who is a a community activist in town and an attorney.  Qualified for sure, but I think this office will look exactly like it did three weeks ago with  Nancy Phelps, Maureen Carr York and Alan Rzepkowski holding down the fort.

Register of Wills. Lauren Parker and Joe Janosky are the two candidates. Similar to the Orphans Coutt.. not too many people know what they do and absent a pubic scandal…they are going to send Lauren Parker back.  But I do want to say that Joe Janoski got my vote this time around—I am one of those that really does not know too much about the office, but I saw a hand made sign for Joe that looked like it was done by his kids down in South COUnty and I said hey that has to cont for something!

Clerk of the Courts. He or she is the guy that sort of keeps the courthouse running. Scott Poyer is a retired federal executive and this is his first campaign. Doug Arnold has been the deputy for many years and is endorsed by the current Clerk who is retiring. The courthouse is a complex office and experience counts for a lot. Doug Arnold will get this one by a wide margin.

States Attorney. You’ve no doubt seen all the negative mailers from Anne Colt Leitess. That did not work well for Mike Pantelides, I don’t think it will work well for Sarah Elfreth and I definitely don’t see it working for Anne Colt Leitess. She was appointed to the job when the old States Attorney retired and lost to Wes Adams 4 years ago. The campaign has focused more on her bitterness in losing the race than the issues at hand. And as one endorsement for Adams  said…in Anne Arundel she was unable to hold onto a job that was given her. Wes Adams has really made an impact on the drug issues facing the county which is the #1 issue. The office has been modernized and aside from the utterly stupid move of hiring Lawrence Scott—he’s done a very solid job. And also, with the prosecution of Jarod Ramos looming, I am not sure we want to change horses mid stream.  This may be close, but I think Wes will have a very solid lead.

Sheriff. Here is my only endorsement of the cycle.  I whole heartedly endorse a James for sheriff. We have Jim Fredericks and James Williams running. Jim Fredericks bounced out long time sheriff Ron Bateman in the primary. He has the police experience, the backing of the law enforcement community and he should handily win this race. I just wish it was not political—lose the R and D.

OK for the main events…County Executive and County Council….

District 7. Jessica Haire the wife of the State GOP Chairman who is a lawyer with no real direct political experience or James Kitchen who also has no political experience. Jerry Walker was well liked in this conservative district. But much of Crofton is in here and they are fired up about overdevelopment so I am thinking this may switch from a R to a D and Kitchen takes it. Although Councilman Kitchen has a Mr Rogers sequel ring to it.

District 6. Annapolis area. Tough for a republican to win this. Even tougher when he is a reluctant candidate and did not get out there to knock on doors unless they were neighbors. I heard he was hand picked by Steve Schuh to run tis race and if Steve paid him any money—he needs a refund because the campaign was weak,  Lisa Rodvien had a VERY tough primary and came out ahead. She has the nod from Trumbauer and will take this handily.

District 5. Two incredibly capable women in Amanda Fiedler and Dawn Myers running and the only think that separates them is the letter after their name. But this is the district that elected Michael Peroutka….so any D that wants this seat needs to be pretty conservative and I think Amanda takes this pretty handily…also to be noted, Amanda was the one that bounced Peroutka in the primary.

District 4. I thought this might be an interesting race back in the primaries. But it turned to pretty lacklucster. Torrey Snow is a republican and incumbent Andrew Pruski is the dem. Andrew is the ONLY returning councilmanic candidate and that says something. Torrey’s campaign never really got out of the gate so Andrew is headed back to the Arundel Center.

District 3. Conservative district. Nathan Volke the R and Deb Ritchie the D.  On the surface, I think Deb is more qualified for the position but the makeup of the district may be a problem for her. This will be a very tight race but I think Nathan Volke will eek out a slim win.

District 2. John Grasso’s old district. Conservative. Will they go with politico Tom Gardner or former school board member Allison Pickard. I think Allison will pick up the votes on experience and Tom based on party and in the end it will be very close, but I say Alison will take this.

District 1.  This was a shocker in the primary when Sarah Lacey defeated incumbent Pete Smith for the general election. Pete was effective and popular and for her to knock him off was a surprise. That tells me that the district is looking for whole hearted change. There are two women running here ..Sarah and Kim Burns.  Kim has run a better campaign in my opinion but I am not sure that this seat will flip.  I give it to Sarah by a slim margin.

For those that are keeping track….that is a 5-2 democrat council. This past term is was a 4-3 republican council. So , if my predictions are on the mark, it could prove to be problematic for the County Executive. And if my numbers are correct, it will be a majority female council–something that has never happened!

And speaking of which….drum roll please….

The County Executive race has been fun to watch. Steve Schuh …I think … felt he was a shoe in a year ago. Now, not so much. Steuart Pittman has been an admirable opponent and the polls have really narrowed considerably.  Steve has done some boneheaded things—fighting marijuana…dissing school children…talking down to teachers. But when it comes to doing the job he was elected to do—manage the county, he has done a good job. I also said that while John Leopold was a wacky guy—he was an effective county executive.

Steuart Pittman has not experience running for office. He is a political animal and ran a very solid grass roots campaign. But in the end, we have nothing to bank on except promises. And that is not a diss on Pittman.

Schuh has not done anything to compromise the county and to fall back on the old axiom voters will be asking if they are bette roff today than four years ago…. most will say yes. The rest will say they are no worse off.

When hungry and in need of quelling that hunger and your choices are a bowl of macaroni and cheese and a bowl of fish sperm sashimi we are going with the mac and cheese and Steve Schuh is the mac and cheese!

But that is not to say we aren’t able to develop a taste for fish sperm sashimi over the next few years.  Schuh will be out and looking at a gubernatorial run….and if I had some money to put down…I’d put it on Pittman to be back in it again…not sure what capacity, but he’s be back.

So there you go.  Opinionated crystal balling for all the local races.  Stick around and we’ll see how it all plays out tomorrow!

Now…in all seriousness.   if you have not already done it… go out and vote. Don’t vote for the R or the D…vote for the man or the woman that you feel will do the most good for you. THAT is the way a true democracy should work!

Rams Head

Category: OPINION, Post To FB

About the Author - John Frenaye

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for nearly 25 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.

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