Meet the one person in Maryland with the temerity to challenge Peter Franchot

Maryland Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) is Public Enemy No. 1 to many establishment Democrats who tally his various apostasies – chief among them cozying up to Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R). But after furiously trying to recruit a candidate to run against him in the Democratic primary, party leaders came up empty handed – not even a token Democrat jumped into the race. Republicans believe Hogan has very strong coattails – witness political newcomer Craig Wolf's relative strength in public polling against Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D). But GOP leaders declined to recruit someone to run against Franchot, content to give a free pass to the Democrat who most helps provide Hogan his patina of bipartisanship. Anjali Reed Phukan was not afraid to toss her hat in the ring – and more than many politicians, she's inclined to wear one. (Md. Matters)

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Red, Blue or … Green? Meet Western Maryland's emerging opposition party

The Green Party has been around for a while. But for the first time this year, the environmentally mindful party is fielding nearly a full local slate of local candidates for the Maryland General Assembly. “It’s the largest slate of Green Party candidates we’ve ever had,” said Andrew Barnhart, who's running for House of Delegates in legislative District 2A. As of Sept. 30, the last date for which numbers were available, there were 250 registered Green Party voters in Washington County. (Herald-Mail)

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In Senate district with tightest race in 2014, another close contest

Internal polling suggests that the tightest Maryland Senate district in 2014 is likely to be tight again. This time around the race to represent District 3 is fueled by a blue wave battling popular Republican Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.'s coattails in Frederick County, which is growing increasingly purple. Republicans are hoping businessman Craig Giangrande, a first-time candidate, can capitalize on "Young fatigue" and a healthy fundraising account to win the seat and help shift the Maryland Senate from a veto-overriding Democratic supermajority. (Md. Matters)

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October 15 // T.J. Smith for Baltimore mayor? Ex-Police Commissioner Kevin Davis calls for spokesman to run

Citing a need for new leadership, former Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis called for T.J. Smith, the department’s plainspoken chief spokesman who resigned last week, to run for mayor in 2020. The former commissioner compared the spokesman, who he hired from the Anne Arundel County Police Department in 2015, to Erricka Bridgeford, the charismatic co-founder of Baltimore Ceasefire. Davis called each of them a “shining light” for the city. “I was probably one of the first to say it out loud, but a lot of thoughtful people are encouraging T.J. to consider it,” Davis said afterward. (Balt. Sun)

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Number of Maryland voters registered as unaffiliated grows faster than those for either major party since 2014

The number of voters registered as independents in Maryland has grown faster since the previous gubernatorial election than the tally for either major party. As of the end of September, the latest period for which the state Board of Elections provides numbers, 18 percent of voters were registered as independent — officially termed “unaffiliated.” That’s an 8 percent increase over September 2014. Democrats and Republicans each recorded 6 percent increases over the four-year period. (Balt. Sun)

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Q&A with County Executive Candidate Nancy Floreen

Louis Peck sat down with the candidates for Montgomery County executive to discuss the issues and their visions for the county: You had made pretty clear that you weren’t planning to run for county executive in 2018. Was that your position until the night of the June 26 primary? Nancy Floreen: "It really was: I am not making this up. I was not planning to run. You can tell that I had not been raising money. I had been working really hard for Rose Krasnow [for county executive] and for Rushern Baker [for governor in the Democratic primary]. This is no behind-the-scenes thing." (Bethesda)

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Progressive activist Jerry Segal denied spot on Maryland's U.S. Senate ballot

Progressive activist Jerry Segal's request to appear on Maryland's U.S. Senate ballot has been denied by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. "We knew that it was a big lift for them to change the ballot at this point, but it was something that was doable," Segal said Friday. Segal had hoped to appear on the ballot representing the “Bread and Roses” party, which he said emphasizes promoting peace internationally and creating an equitable society at home. (Balt. Sun)

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Ike Leggett endorses Jealous, but says he won’t campaign against Hogan

After hesitating for months, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) has endorsed Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ben Jealous. But Leggett says he will not campaign “against” Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, whom he counts as a personal friend and as a supporter of Maryland’s most populous jurisdiction. Leggett, a former state Democratic Party chair, said in an interview that he announced he was supporting the entire Democratic ticket at a fundraiser in Kensington Saturday hosted by Democratic county council candidate Gabe Albornoz. (Wash. Post)

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