Amid dispute over lawsuit, advocates urge Democrats to write-in "HBCU" rather than vote for Maryland Attorney General Frosh

Advocates who want increased funding for Maryland’s historically black colleges and universities took the fight to Attorney General Brian Frosh's office Friday, urging Democratic primary voters to write in “HBCU” rather than vote for Frosh next month. The protesters contend the state owes Maryland’s four historically black colleges more than $1 billion for systematically discriminating against them over decades, and they accuse Frosh of delaying settlement of a decade-long lawsuit over the issue. Frosh’s office has appealed a federal judge’s ruling that would appoint a “special master” who would come up with a plan for increased funding. (Balt. Sun)

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Some Montgomery candidates fail to qualify for public financing

Several candidates for Montgomery County offices who were seeking funds from the county’s new public campaign financing system failed to qualify by the deadline this month, potentially narrowing the field of viable candidates in some races. Six candidates for the four open at-large County Council seats and three candidates for district council seats failed to show they had raised enough money from a required amount of donors by May 12 — 45 days before the June 26 primary. (Wash. Post)

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Madaleno, staunch liberal and policy wonk, hopes to build on Montgomery County base as he runs for governor

Maryland Sen. Richard S. Madaleno stood on stage at a candidates’ forum in a Baltimore tap room surrounded by a formidable field of rivals seeking the Democratic nomination for governor: Ivy League grads. Accomplished lawyers. A Rhodes scholar. Yet when a question on Maryland’s $44 billion budget went to Madaleno, the event’s moderator joked: “Maybe the fix is in.” That’s because of the Democrats vying to challenge Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, Madaleno has a singular reputation as an expert on the state budget. It’s not the most thrilling campaign topic. (Balt. Sun)

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Jim Shea, Democratic candidate for governor, begins statewide ad campaign

With a plan of running campaign ads non-stop until the primary election next month, Democratic candidate for goverrnor Jim Shea released his first TV ad Friday. The 60-second spot introduces Shea — who is the former chairman of the state’s largest law firm but largely unknown outside the legal community — to voters. It emphasizes his experience as chairman of the Maryland Board of Regents, which runs the state’s colleges, as well as his work with small businesses and on transportation issues. “My highest priority will be to return Maryland to the top,” Shea says in the ad. (Balt. Sun)

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Dead man walking: To support Ervin, vote for Kamenetz

Kevin Kamenetz may have been buried May 11, but he remains very much alive on Democratic primary ballots. The death of the Baltimore County executive as he campaigned for governor exposed problems with Maryland election laws, as well as long-standing constitutional issues with the job of lieutenant governor. Here’s the apparent state of affairs now that his running mate, former Montgomery County Council member Valerie Ervin, has decided to take the option of running in his place, as provided in state law. Her name will remain under Kamenetz on more than 2 million Democratic primary ballots. There is no time to reprint the ballots, officials say, and thousands have already been sent to absentees, particularly overseas and military voters. (Md. Reporter)

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Crowded field of Republicans taking aim at Democrat Bevins in Baltimore County Council race

Republicans in Eastern Baltimore County are lining up for next month’s primary election as the party takes aim at unseating a two-term Democratic councilwoman in the fall. Five candidates are competing in the June 26 GOP primary for the District 6 County Council seat held by Councilwoman Cathy Bevins, who is running for a third term. The Republican field is the biggest group of hopefuls in any council race in the county. The winner will face Bevins in the November general election. The councilwoman, elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014 with 57 percent of the vote, faces no challengers in the Democratic primary. (Balt. Sun)

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County Executive Steve Schuh to add school counselors, mental health professionals to budget

County Executive Steve Schuh will increase counselor and mental health staffing for Anne Arundel County schools within his proposed budget. The supplemental budget would add $640,000 to hire school counselors, social workers and conflict-addressing staff members, Schuh said Friday. The number of hires has not been released. Schuh’s announcement was on the same day as a shooting at a Santa Fe, Texas, high school where 10 people were killed, many of them students. Events like the Santa Fe shooting — and other high-profile school attacks — have motivated parents and advocates to request increased behavioral health staff at schools. (Capital)

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Fruits, flowers and a financier's cakes: Mayor Pugh discloses gifts in annual transparency filing

Flowers flowed into City Hall during Mayor Catherine Pugh’s first year in office — along with fruit baskets and a trio of cakes from a prominent local investor. Pugh detailed the gifts in her annual financial disclosure, a transparency tool designed to let the public know about any conflicts of interest city officials might have. The forms, required to be filed by April 30 each year, ask officials to disclose eight kinds of information: Ownership of real estate, ownership of business entities, business with the city, gifts, debts, employment of family members, other sources of income and “any additional information.” (Balt. Sun)

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