Maryland Gov. Hogan to take No. 2 spot at National Governors Association

Gov. Larry Hogan is expected to be elected vice chairman of the National Governors Association this weekend. The National Governors Association is a bipartisan group that represents the nation’s governors. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, is expected to be elected as chairman when association holds its summer meeting in Santa Fe, N.M., this weekend. (Balt. Sun)

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Blair to seek recount in Montgomery County executive race

Montgomery County executive hopeful David T. Blair (D) is all but certain to request a formal recount of the June 26 primary, a contest he lost to Councilman Marc B. Elrich (D) by 79 votes. The county Board of Elections certified Elrich's win on Monday, nearly three weeks after voters went to the polls. In a letter to supporters Tuesday afternoon, Blair said, "We share the desire to have a nominee chosen in a timely manner so the party can come together and prepare for the General Election. On the other hand, we fully believe that participation in the electoral process is the hallmark of our democracy and it is imperative that all ballots are accurately counted." (Md. Matters)

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Maryland Gov. Hogan criticizes Trump, calls Putin a 'thug'

Gov. Larry Hogan added his voice to widespread criticism of President Donald Trump's Monday appearance with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying Trump "failed to stand up for our country." In a tweet posted Tuesday morning, Hogan wrote: “I remember when President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union the evil empire. Not much has changed. Putin is a thug & his actions against our democracy are despicable. On this I agree with our intelligence community. President Trump failed to stand up for our country yesterday.” (Balt. Sun)

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Andy Harris praises Trump's Russia summit, bashes press

President Donald J. Trump’s appearance with Russian President Vladimir Putin has drawn broad condemnation from Democratic and Republicans alike. But a handful of Trump loyalists remain in the president’s camp. Among them are Baltimore County’s own Rep. Andy Harris. In comments first reported by Vox, the Republican praised the appearance as “a successful summit” and said, “I disregard and discount anything that involves the mainstream media press.” (Balt. Sun)

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Robbins officially on ballot for Frederick County executive

A third candidate will be on the ballot for the county's top position in November.  Earl Robbins, running as an independent, has earned enough signatures to put his name on the ballot in a run for county executive.  Robbins needed 1,794 valid signatures from registered county voters — equating to 1 percent of the electorate — in order to run for the position. In Robbins’ first petition, he had 1,931 signatures, but only 1,611 of them were validated by the Frederick County Board of Elections. (News-Post)

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July 17 // Maryland gubernatorial campaigns trade barbs on transparency, business ties

Top Maryland Democrats on Monday took aim at Gov. Larry Hogan’s business interests, saying during a conference call with reporters that he should divest from his family real estate brokerage and investment company to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Those on the call could not point to specific conflicts, but they said the governor should be more forthcoming with details about his businesses so that voters can be sure there are none. “The point is, we don’t know, because we don’t have full transparency,” said state Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Matthews. (Wash. Post)

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Trone’s District 6 Primary Win Underwritten by Nearly $11.5 Million From His Own Pocket

Potomac businessman David Trone pumped nearly $11.5 million of his personal fortune into his successful bid for the District 6 congressional nomination in last month’s eight-person Democratic primary, according to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). A report filed by Trone with the FEC late Sunday showed him making a $1.2 million loan to his campaign two weeks prior to the June 26 primary. That was in addition to nearly $10.3 million in direct contributions that Trone had made from personal assets since announcing his bid for the seat of outgoing U.S. Rep. John Delaney a year ago. (Bethesda)

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Elrich certified as Democratic nominee, recounts likely in two races

The Montgomery County Board of Elections on Monday certified Marc Elrich as the winner of the Democratic primary race for county executive. Businessman David Blair, who lost by 79 votes, said he will “likely” ask for a recount. Blair, who self-funded his campaign, would have to pay for a recount and had three days to make the request. A countywide recount is estimated to cost between roughly $146,000 and $190,000, depending on how the ballots are counted. Elrich and Blair had been locked in a close race for the Democratic nomination for the liberal county’s top elected post since the June 26 primary, with a separation of hundreds of votes dwindling down to dozens. (Wash. Post)

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