A campaign season that has seen some remarkable twists and turns is winding down as early voting begins 10 a.m. Thursday, June 14, and continues through June 21. Polls open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 11 early voting centers across the county, including at the Reisterstown Senior Center- Hannah More campus, Randallstown Community Center, Woodlawn Community Center, and for the first time, the Owings Mills Public Library. While voters can go to any early voting site in the county during the eight-day early voting period, they must vote at their home polling place on Election Day, Tuesday, June 26.
In what has shaped up to be an unpredictable election year across the state and in different races, nine candidates threw in their hats for the Democratic nomination to run against Gov. Larry Hogan, who is enjoying a high popularity rating according to polls.
In a sharp departure from past tickets, this year’s field had three African-American candidates leading their tickets, two of them women, and another one openly gay. The lieutenant governor pairings are just as diverse, with seven of the running mates women and three of them African American. In addition to seeking racial, gender and ethnic diversity, gubernatorial candidates also favored the populous and Democratic-rich jurisdictions of Montgomery, Prince Georges and Baltimore counties.
The race was turned upside down with the sudden death of County Executive Kevin Kamenetz on May 10, giving way for his pick for lieutenant governor, Valerie Ervin, to run for governor. She selected Marisol Johnson, a Baltimore County business owner, and a former school board member. (See related story on page 14.)
While Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and former NAACP President Ben Jealous lead in most major polls, the polls also indicate that a large percentage of voters remain undecided about who they will select for Governor, making the race very unpredictable.
The Senate races for District 10, which includes Owings Mills, Randallstown and Reisterstown, and District 44, which includes Catonsville, Windsor Mill and parts of Baltimore City, are also being closely watched. An international union out of New York and progressive movement is supporting candidates to take on incumbent senators Delores Kelley and Shirley Nathan- Pulliam, as well as incumbent County Council member Tom Quirk.
The County Executive race is also hotly contested with Councilwoman Vicki Almond, Sen. Jim Brochin and former delegate John Olszewski Jr. vying for the Democratic nomination. State insurance commissioner Al Redmer Jr. and Del. Pat McDonough competing for the Republication nomination.
In other state and local races, voters will have choices for County Council, House of Delegates, Board of Education, Democratic Central Committee. See pages 12 and 13 for a list of all candidates running in Baltimore County.
Political observers believe voter turnout will be key in determining who wins in the Primary Election.