No one is yet coming forward to confirm interest in entering the special election to replace the late Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Baltimore) who passed away on Thursday, but speculation as to who might run is beginning.
No less than 14 people have been mentioned as potential candidates, but the big question is whether the Congressman’s widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings the current Maryland Democratic Party chair, will decide to run. Others being mentioned include former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, and no less than ten state legislators. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) must set the special election calendar on or before October 28th.
House Oversight & Reform Committee chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), serving his 12th full term in office, passed away yesterday morning at the age of 68. Now, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has ten days to schedule a replacement special election to fill the vacancy. According to Maryland election law, the special primary must occur before the end of this year, with a general to follow within 65 days of the first vote. This means the entire cycle must be completed on or before March 5th.
We can expect a crowded Democratic primary to form as future candidates will battle to become Mr. Cummings’ successor. With a 68-16% party registration advantage, the 7th District will remain in Democratic hands. The Maryland vacancy now becomes the 26th open seat during the current election cycle, including the three vacancies: MD-7 (Cummings), NY-27 (Chris Collins), and WI-7 (Sean Duffy). Republicans currently hold 19 of the open seats, and Democrats now up to seven.
Attorney and Bronze Star winner Sheila Bryant, a Marine Corps veteran, announced that she will oppose Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Bowie) in next year’s April 28th Democratic primary.
Ms. Bryant begins by attacking Rep. Brown for what she claims is his weak opposition to President Trump and wanting to use the House district as a stepping stone for a 2022 gubernatorial run. In 2014, Mr. Brown lost to current Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in the statewide race. He then was elected to the House two years later. The Congressman is favored for re-nomination, but, in today’s politics, all primary challenges must be taken seriously at least in the early phase.
As we covered last week, the US Supreme Court released their rulings on the Maryland and North Carolina partisan gerrymandering cases and whether asking about a person’s citizenship status can be placed on the 2020 census questionnaire.
On the redistricting question, the high court definitively ruled that the partisan gerrymandering question will not be adjudicated by the federal court system. Looking practically at the live cases the SCOTUS’ action affects, the redistricting battles in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin are essentially dead and their current congressional district boundaries will remain in place through the last election of this decade, in 2020.
With Democrats controlling the North Carolina state Supreme Court, it may be possible that the Tarheel State lines are redrawn because of partisan gerrymandering but whether a new case can get to them in time to affect 2020 remains questionable. Unlike the US Supreme Court, the North Carolina high panel does not have the authority to bring a case up before the lower courts rule.
The citizenship question is a bit more convoluted. The court ruled that the government has the right to add this question to the census, but they are sending this particular case back to the Department of Commerce because of potential motivational evidence relating to placing the citizenship query on the questionnaire.
Turning to the census ruling, though the SCOTUS made clear the government does have the right to ask the question, the result of returning it to the Commerce Department likely means the citizenship question will not be on the census questionnaire. Though the Trump Administration may try to stretch the calendar, it is probable that Commerce will not be able to comply with the high court’s directive before the 2020 census must be fielded.
The Supreme Court issued the rulings on the Maryland and North Carolina redistricting cases, which dictates that partisan gerrymandering is not an issue for the federal courts. The high court ruling stated that the legislatures and Governors, for the most part, have sole authority to draw the district boundaries.
In a blow to the Administration, and most likely the Republicans, the court also returned to the federal district court the census citizenship case. The majority opted to send the case for further investigation to determine the motive behind the Commerce Department decision to include the citizenship question on the 2020 census questionnaire. The court did affirm the government’s authority to add such a question to the census main document but will allow the lower court to determine if the reason to do so was tainted.
The Supreme Court has been considering two major redistricting cases and another that pertains to whether the government can include the citizenship question on the 2020 census. Since tomorrow has been announced as the last day of the current session, all three of these rulings will be released this morning.
The North Carolina and Maryland cases could result in those states having to redraw their congressional boundaries, which could set the parameters for other states doing the same.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who didn’t appear to be overtly squelching political rumors that he was considering challenging President Trump, has finally put an end to the speculation. To the surprise of very few, Gov. Hogan confirmed that he will not be running for President in 2020. Whether his slight foray into presidential waters is a prelude to a potential 2024 national campaign, however, remains an unanswered question.
At the end of last week, the US Supreme Court granted the Republicans’ motion to stay redistricting orders in Michigan and Ohio that would have forced the legislature to re-draw the respective states’ congressional maps before the 2020 election. The move could be a prelude to three important high court rulings scheduled for release at some point in June: those on the Maryland and North Carolina redistricting cases, and the constitutionality of including a citizenship question on the upcoming census questionnaire.
As rumors continue that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan may launch a Republican primary challenge to President Trump, Gonzales Research, Marketing & Strategy, a Maryland-based company, polled the GOP electorate (4/29-4/4; 203 MD likely primary voters). Though the sample size is very small, the President’s margin is very large. The results find Mr. Trump holding a 68-24% advantage over Gov. Hogan in the latter man’s home state.
Former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), now a CBS News commentator, publicly confirmed that he will not be running for President next year. Speculation previously occurred that he was testing the waters toward challenging President Trump for the GOP nomination.
Now media speculation is centering around Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan as a possible Republican opponent to the President. The latest tangent suggests that his second gubernatorial inaugural address, where he calls for more conciliatory politics, actually lays the groundwork for a national campaign against the GOP incumbent.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, leading in all national polling for both the Democratic nomination and against President Trump, says he is getting closer to making a decision about running but will still ultimately decide whether to launch a new national campaign in the very near future.
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