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New faces for Montgomery County legislative delegation as two incumbents lose their seats

  • Published in Local

The Montgomery County delegation in the Maryland General Assembly will have at least 10 new legislators heading to Annapolis for the 2019 legislative session.

Of the 32 Democrats who represent the County in the state’s legislative body, two incumbents, Del. Marice Morales (District 19) and Del. Shane Robinson (District 39), lost their party’s nomination in Tuesday’s primary election after being successfully overtaken by challengers.

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Two incumbents in County delegation lose bids for Democratic nomination; Meiklejohn wins her rematch

  • Published in Local

Two incumbents in Montgomery County’s delegation in the Maryland House of Delegates lost their bids for the Democratic nomination after being overtaken by challengers.

Del. Shane Robinson came in fourth place with 19.4 percent just behind incumbent Del. Kirill Reznik and Lesley Lopez to finish just outside one of the three spots to represent District 39 which includes Germantown and Montgomery Village.

In District 19, which includes Wheaton, Aspen Hill, and Olney, incumbent Del. Maricé Morales finished fourth with 15.7 percent just behind incumbent Del. Bonnie Cullison and Derwood attorney Vaughn Stewart.

In a 2014 rematch, Barbara Meiklejohn defeated Alan Bowser to secure the Democratic nomination for Clerk of the Circuit Court for November’s General Election.

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District 20 candidates show few differences

  • Published in State

TAKOMA PARK — Seven Democratic candidates seeking to represent District 20 voters in the Maryland House of Delegates found themselves mainly in agreement as they spoke to voters at a forum Tuesday evening.

With little daylight between them, the candidates gave similar responses to questions on a variety of topics, including Interstate 495 traffic, taxes, education, economic development, and the environment.

Hosted jointly by the Women’s Democratic Club, The District 20 Breakfast Club, The Greater Silver Spring Democratic Club, Montgomery County Young Democrats, Montgomery Green Democrats, and the District 20 Caucus at Takoma Park Middle School, and moderated by former State delegate Karen Britto (District 16), the event featured incumbent delegates David Moon and Jheanelle Wilkins, immigration attorney Fatmata Barrie, community activist Lorig Charkoudian, data analyst Malik Lendzondzo, labor organizer Darian Unger, and lawyer George Zokle.

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Candidates speak at Aspen Hill public forum

  • Published in Local

ASPEN HILL — Nine of the 11 candidates seeking either reelection or their first election to one of the three seats in the Maryland House of Delegates from District 19 came to a public forum at the Aspen Hill Library Monday night. 

The Aspen Hill Library Advisory Committee, the Aspen Hill chapter of Friends of the Library, the Aspen Hill Civic Association, and the Strathmore Bel Pre Civic Association sponsored the forum. Elliot Chabot, chair of the Library Advisory Committee, served as moderator of the event.

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Maryland legislative update

  • Published in State

With less than a month left to go in this year’s legislative session, both chambers of the Maryland legislature are still working their way through several key pieces of legislation as their final deadline draws near.

Here is an update thus far on a select number of a few state bills:

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2018 Maryland Legislative Preview

  • Published in State

Sen. Craig Zucker (D14)

D14 Craig ZuckerSen. Craig Zucker COURTESY PHOTOZucker said he is wary of potential federal cuts that could impact the state -- including cuts to programs for keeping the Chesapeake Bay clean. The General Assembly should be aware of such cuts during the budget process, Zucker said, adding that the Trump administration has created new expectations for the state. 

“We have to be proactive in our budgeting,” Zucker said.

In addition to funding for the Chesapeake Bay, Zucker emphasized that state funding for Montgomery County Public Schools is as key an issue for the County's delegation to Annapolis as it is for local elected leaders.

“I think it's important to make sure to meet our commitment on our education spending and on the capital side to make sure we are investing in our school construction,” he said.

Zucker said he plans to introduce a bill that would reverse a state law about serving alcohol to people with developmental disabilities. Currently in Maryland bars and restaurants can deny serving alcohol to of age adults with developmental disabilities. Zucker said his bill would make that illegal.

“That is not fair; it’s an equity thing,” he said.

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MoCo Dems begin the Summer of Resistance and Renewal

  • Published in Local

The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee launched its “Summer of Resistance and Renewal in Montgomery County” in mid-July, but the canvassing that makes up those efforts began in earnest this past weekend. Those canvassing efforts are aimed at drop-off voters with the hope of ensuring a Gov. Larry Hogan loss in 2018.

“There’s good turnout for general elections, for presidential elections, more of a drop-off with midterms,” said Jackie Coolidge, a precinct official in District 18. “This is going to be a very exciting year leading up to the election.”

Before the canvassing started, the small group of canvassers gathered in the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center, and one of the organizers, Marie Mapes, posed an important question: “What are the barriers to (drop-off voters) feeling engaged in the Democratic Party?”

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Palakovich Carr announces bid for House of Delegates

  • Published in State

Rockville City Council member Julie Palakovich Carr filed her paperwork this week to run for District-17 in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Palakovich Carr, a two-term member on the Rockville City Council, said she wanted to run for state government because she believes she can have a greater impact on education, transportation and economic issues at the state level.

“I decided to run because I think it's important to be pushing progressive reforms in Annapolis,” Palakovich Carr said.

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Maryland House debates safety commission as FTA cuts funding

  • Published in State

ANNAPOLIS – A Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) union member said at a bill hearing that he was concerned about the future of due process for employees if Maryland legislators pass a bill to create a new safety commission.

The commission would serve as WMATA’s state-level safety oversight agency, which Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia are required to set up by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The FTA has been acting as Metro’s temporary state-level safety oversight agency since October 2015 after it determined the previous oversight agency, the tri-state oversight commission, failed to fulfill its safety oversight role effectively. The Metro Safety Commission would take over from the FTA.

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Raskin successor in state senate named

  • Published in State

Del. Will Smith 2Del. Will Smith (D-20) COURTESY PHOTO  

Del. Will Smith (D-20) was selected to replace outgoing Congress-bound Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-20) in the Maryland Senate last Wednesday.

A former appointee by President Obama to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Smith will become the first African American to represent Montgomery County in the state Senate.

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