Election Guide: Maryland 2012
Your guide for November's general election in Maryland.
As we look ahead to November’s elections, Germantown Patch is devoted to bringing you the information you need about every race in town. Here's our start on the candidates and issues we'll be covering as November draws near. Bookmark this page for updates.
President Barack Obama: Maryland is a reliably Democratic state for presidential candidates. Obama held a fundraiser in Owings Mills on June 12 as well as campaigned in Baltimore with Gov. Martin O'Malley. He visited Towson University for a basketball game in November 2011.
GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney: The former Massachusetts governor visited Maryland in March. Remember the Etch A Sketch comment? That came on the day Romney visited Arbutus. In explaining how the candidate will avoid being pushed too far to the right on the issues during the primaries to capture wide appeal for November's general election spokesperson Eric Fehrnstrom, in a CNN interview, likened Romney's positions to an Etch A Sketch. "You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again,” he said. Political opponents wasted no time in capitalizing on the misstep. Nonetheless, Romney won the Maryland primary in April.
Sen. Ben Cardin: The incumbent Democrat is seeking a second term in the U.S. Senate. He has shared many of his views in his blog on Patch.
Daniel Bongino: Cardin's Republican opponent is Daniel Bongino of Severna Park. He is a former Secret Service agent.
Rep. John Sarbanes, a Democrat, is seeking a fourth term in Maryland’s 3rd congressional district. If re-elected, the Towson resident will represent parts of Baltimore, Howard, Anne Arundel and Montgomery Counties as well as parts of Baltimore City in the newly reconfigured district. Sarbanes made headlines in May when he announced that the majority of his campaign funds would come from small donors. In 2010, he was re-elected with 61 percent of the district’s vote.
Eric Knowles - No one is predicting a close race in Maryland's Congressional 3rd District, but if someone is going to upset Democratic incumbent Rep. John Sarbanes, it's the Republican Knowles. The son of a former Green Beret and police officer, Knowles calls himself a strict constitutionalist who says the nation's economic problems can be solved if the government prints less money.
In his run for an 11th term, Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett must now consider Montgomery County because of the new boundaries for the 6th District. A Frederick County resident, Bartlett claimed the Republican nomination with 43.8 percent of the primary vote. Bartlett, whose background is in science and business, was listed as the state’s wealthiest congressman (58th out of 435 members of the House of Representative). Get to know the Bartlett on his official website.
Democrat John Delaney hopes to bring his understanding of the economy and ideas for job creation to Congress. As a successful businessman, the Potomac resident believes his experience and expertise will prove beneficial to lowering the deficit and unemployment rate for Maryland and the United States.
Rep. Christopher Van Hollen (D), a longtime Kensington resident and ranking member on the House Budget Committee, touts health care, education, the environment, and open government among his top issues.
Kenneth Timmerman, a Republican, is a long-time resident of Kensington with his wife Christina and has five children in Maryland public schools and universities. Timmerman writes about on defense and intelligence issues and has testified as an expert witness in terrorism trials in U.S. federal courts and before Congress. He was head of the Maryland Taxpayers Association and worked on the Divest Terror movement to prevent Maryland pension funds from being invested in companies doing business with terrorists.
The Dream Act would allow illegal immigrant students to pay in-state tuition at institutions in the University System of Maryland if their parents filed to pay state taxes, if they attended a Maryland high school for at least three years and if they graduated. Passed by the General Assembly in 2011, opponents launched a petition effort that blocked the legislation from taking effect and landed it on the 2012 ballot as a voter referendum.
On March 1, Gov. Martin O’Malley signed into law a bill allowing same-sex couples to wed in Maryland. Despite celebrations from supporters, opponents in May of same-sex marriage turned in about twice the number of signatures they needed to send the law to referendum in November. Until then, supporters of same-sex marriage, such as Equality Maryland are mobilizing support, canvassing and holding public events. Groups that oppose same-sex marriage, including the Maryland Catholic Conference, are still soliciting support and fundraising.
Ballot Amendment on Workers with Disabilities:
An amendment to Montgomery County law that would give the government more flexibility to hire people with significant cognitive and physical disabilities will be decided by voters in November.
Spearheaded by Councilmember Phil Andrews (D-Dist 3), with the support of County Executive Isiah Leggett, the change would create a program within the county's internal employment system to recruit, select and hire people with certain disabilities for some county jobs.
Currently, the language of the county's charter prevents people with significant disabilities from holding some positions within county government.
“The unemployment rate for people with disabilities far exceeds the general unemployment rate,” Andrews said.
“If employed, many people with severe disabilities could help support themselves financially. This would help them directly, and would help taxpayers too by reducing dependence on government services."
This is how the proposed amendment will appear on the ballot:
Question A Charter amendment by act of County Council Merit System – Hiring Individuals with Disabilities
Amend Section 401 of the County Charter to allow the County to operate a program within the merit system to recruit and select qualified individuals with severe physical or mental disabilities on a noncompetitive basis.