There are two critical contests in the 2014 general election — for governor and for Montgomery County Board of Education — and a trio of interesting ballot initiatives.
For governor of Maryland, I urge you to vote for Democrat Anthony Brown, a solid candidate. A plus: Howard County Executive Ken Ulman will be an excellent lieutenant governor.
Brown’s opponent for governor, Republican Lawrence Hogan, espouses tax cuts that would be detrimental to Maryland’s economic health. He is iffy on transportation projects such as the Purple Line and Baltimore’s Red Line. And he’s an advocate for expanded gun ownership who refuses to answer direct questions related to his planned policies.
The race is reportedly closer than one would hope. Your vote is important.
Election day is Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 7am to 8pm, and you can vote early, through October 30, 2014, 10am to 8pm each day, at any of nine county locations. They include the Silver Spring Civic Building, where I voted myself yesterday (October 25).
Board of Education races are always important. Our public schools define who we are as a community, and who we hope to be.
I strongly support Jill Ortman-Fouse, running at-large. You couldn’t ask for a more accessible, sensible, engaged candidate. What won me over for Jill, early on, was her belief in a flexible approach that responds to the individual schools’ concerns, in contrast to the cookie-cutter approach that has prevailed for some time.
I’ve looked into the candidates in the various district races, but frankly, my picks were strongly influenced by Sue Katz-Miller’s and Lindsey Parsons’ endorsements of Kristin Trible (District 1) and Laurie Halverson (District 3) and Dan Reed’s endorsements of those candidates and Michael Durso (District 5) for reelection. Progressive Neighbors also endorses Durso. (The district candidates reside in the districts listed, but voting is county-wide.)
I suggest a For vote on the three ballot questions:
- Disallowing non-transportation use Maryland Transportation Trust Fund money except in a fiscal emergency.
- Authorizing “charter counties,” including Montgomery County, to decide whether to amend their charters to institute direct election to fill mid-term county executive vacancies.
- Refining residency requirements for Montgomery County district councilmembers.
Other Races: Circuit-Court Judges
I’ve saved other races for last because there’s really no contest in the Maryland District 20 state-legislative races or in the races for Montgomery County executive and District 5 and at-large county-council seats — the Democratic candidates will win — and because the election of circuit-court judges needs some explaining.
I will not vote to retain Audrey Anne Creighton as circuit-court judge, given questions regarding her conflicts and conduct surrounding a personal relationship. Please see the Gazette endorsement article, Three on the bench, one challenger for circuit judge. I voted for sitting judges Nelson W. Rupp Jr., Joan E. Ryon, and Gary E. Bair and for challenger Daniel Patrick Connell. I spoke briefly to Judge Rupp, who urged anyone concerned about Creighton to vote for the sitting judges (including himself) minus Creighton, and then rely on the system to remove Creighton if merited: an alternative to consider.
I hope this helps!