Prince George’s County Council member Mel Franklin speaks behind a lectern on June 29 where the majority of County Council members endorse Democratic candidate Wes Moore for Maryland governor. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)
Prince George’s County Council member Mel Franklin speaks behind a lectern on June 29 where the majority of County Council members endorse Democratic candidate Wes Moore for Maryland governor. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

After several legal challenges that pushed the Maryland primary election date back into this summer, voters can officially begin choosing prospective candidates Thursday, July 7.

The main race features 14 candidates for governor – 10 Democrats and four Republicans – to replace Gov. Larry Hogan, whose second four-year term ends in January. A person elected governor cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.

Author and military veteran Wes Moore and former U.S. Education Secretary John King, Jr. seek to make history for voters to choose them as the first Black man elected governor. Both have running mates for lieutenant governor who are women of color.

The majority of Prince George’s County Council supported former County Executive Rushern L. Baker III when he announced his intentions last year for the Democratic nomination. Now they support Moore.

“I do not take these endorsements lightly. I do not take this moment lightly,” Moore said June 29 at his campaign office in Largo. “This is about partnership and unity.”

Baker announced June 10 to suspend campaign activities but he and his running mate, Montgomery County Council member Nancy Navarro, represent the only team to use the state’s public financing system. Baker officially remains on the ballot because state election law requires his campaign to repay money received if he officially withdrew.

The other Democrats include: state Comptroller Peter Franchot; former U.S. and state labor secretary Tom Perez; former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler; former nonprofit executive Jon Baron; former Obama administration official Ashwani Jain; Jerome Segal, a retired research scholar and professor at the University of Maryland in College Park; and perennial candidate Ralph Jaffe.

The four Republican candidates include: former state Commerce secretary Kelly Schulz; Del. Daniel Cox, who represents portions of Carroll and Frederick counties and has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump; perennial candidate and former state Del. Robin Ficker of Montgomery County; and Joe Werner of Baltimore County.

Early voting runs until July 14 with Election Day on July 19.

Here’s a look at two statewide and Prince George’s council races.

Attorney General

Four candidates seek to replace Attorney General Brian Frosh next year after his retirement.

The main race features the two Democrats: Rep. Anthony Brown of Prince George’s County and retired judge Katie Curran O’Malley of Baltimore City, wife of former Gov. Martin O’Malley and with whom Brown served as lieutenant governor.

Brown’s campaign chest of more than $941,000 succeeds Curran O’Malley’s $623,000.

The race received a bit of tension when O’Malley, seeking to be the state’s first woman attorney general, released a negative campaign ad June 25 summarizing Brown’s record.

“My opponent, Anthony Brown, is a fine congressman but he’s never tried a criminal case in Maryland and he doesn’t have the right experience for this job,” she said in the video. “I’ll be ready to fight for you on day one.”

Brown responded three days later on social media summarizing his 30 years as an attorney graduating from Harvard Law School in 1992 and his work in the U.S. Army that included command of 80 legal professionals.

“I’ve tried cases in state and federal courts and military proceedings,” he said. I’ve represented clients against big tobacco, small businesses against giant corporations and defended the constitutionality of federal laws that restricted gun sales. I’d be honored to earn your vote on July 19.”

The Democratic winner will face one of these Republicans in the November general election: Michael Anthony Peroutka, who served on Anne Arundel County Council, or Jim Shalleck, who resigned as president of the Montgomery County Board of Elections to run for attorney general.

The attorney general serves as the chief legal officer of the state with several divisions focused on civil rights, consumer protection, courts and judicial affairs and securities.

Comptroller

The race for comptroller features two Democrats: Bowie Mayor Tim Adams and Del. Brooke Lierman of Baltimore City.

Both ran TV commercials highlighting their experience, support in public school funding and supporting small businesses. They also have plenty of cash on hand.

According to campaign finance reports filed last month, Lierman has $1.5 million. Adams funded most of his campaign and currently has $965,812.

One difference Adams will note stands from hiowning Systems Application & Technologies Inc. (SA-TECH) of Upper Marlboro that employs more than 600 people and annual revenues of almost $100 million to provide engineering, technology and other support services for the defense industry.

Lierman, a popular lawmaker in Annapolis who also works as a civil rights and disabilities attorney, garnered statewide and local endorsements including House Speaker Adrienne Jones, Senate President Bill Ferguson and Bowie Mayor Pro Tem Adrian Boafo.

The primary winner will face Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, running unopposed as a Republican candidate. The seat became open once Franchot decided to run for governor.

Besides working as the state’s tax collector, the comptroller also serves alongside the governor and state treasure on the Maryland Board of Public Works, which approves millions of dollars on government contracts and other spending.

The comptroller’s office also encompasses the Bureau of Revenue Estimates, with one of its jobs to provide fiscal analysis on the state budget for the governor and legislature.

Prince George’s races

Thirty-seven people filed paperwork to run for the 11 County Council seats to represent nine council districts and two at-large.

Council members Tom Dernoga (D-District 1) of Laurel and Jolene Ivey (D-District 5) of Cheverly are running unopposed.

Five incumbents face challenges in the primary with only one registered Republican in the entire field. Here’s a summary of each race.

  • At-large: seven people seek the two open seats to represent the entire county. The two incumbents, Council chair Calvin Hawkins II and Mel Franklin, have five other challengers including Rudy D. Anthony, Sam Elira Sr., Leo Bachi Eyombo, Stanford Fraser and Jonathan White.
  • District 2 – An open seat due to term limits for council member Deni Taveras. Del. Wanika Fisher, Raymond Nevo and former state Sen. Victor Ramirez seek the Democratic nomination to represent municipalities and neighborhoods that include Adelphi, Mount Rainier and North Brentwood.
  • District 3 – An open seat due to term limits for council member Dannielle Glaros. The three people running are Sia Finoh, Eric Olson and Eve Shuman to represent municipalities and neighborhoods that include College Park, Seabrook and University Park.
  • District 4 – An open seat due to term limits for council member Todd Turner. Four people seeking to represent the Bowie area and parts of Upper Marlboro are Michael Estève, Ingrid S. Harrison, Patrice Murray and Trance A. Washington.
  • District 6 – Council member Johnathan Medlock will only serve the remaining term of former council member Derrick Leon Davis, who resigned in April. Five Black women running to represent parts of Upper Marlboro, Largo and Kettering are Wala Blegay, Barbara Holt Streeter, Belinda Queen, Denise Smith and Nakia Wright.
  • District 7 – Incumbent Rodney Streeter has two Democrat challengers, Krystal Oriadha and Anita G. Naves. The winner would face Gary Falls, a member of the GOP, in the November general election to represent Capitol Heights, Suitland and Seat Pleasant.
  • District 8 – Incumber Edward Burroughs III joined the council in February after he won a special election to replace Monique Anderson-Walker, who resigned to focus on her race as lieutenant governor candidate alongside state comptroller Franchot. The four other candidates running to represent Joint Base Andrews, Camp Springs and Fort Washington include former state delegate and council member Tony Knotts, Dania Lofton, Jerry Mathis and Vernon Wade.
  • District 9 – Incumbent Sydney Harrison, who serves as council vice chair, will face three opponents that include Lisa Burman, Ernest Canlas and Dorian Sibedwo to represent Brandywine, Clinton and parts of Upper Marlboro area.

For more information on the primary election, check out the state Board of Elections website.

Prince George’s County voters can cast ballots at one of 13 early voting centers. Voters who received mail-in ballots can return them in the envelope provided, or return to a drop-off box between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

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