Mike Miller: The Senate President begins the 2011 legislative session absent his two least favorite Republican senators – Andy Harris and Alex Mooney. And, one of his favorite political blood sports – redistricting – is just around the corner.
David Gildea: The
development attorney and his law partner were criticized for their aggressive fundraising activities on behalf of Democratic candidates for the Baltimore County Council. But you can’t really argue with success, as at least three of the non-incumbent candidates they supported won. Their election, along with the election of pro-development Kevin Kamenetz as Towson , elevates Gildea's status as a player in county politics and governance. County Executive
Black Voters: Now comprising 30 percent of the state’s population,
Maryland’s black electorate once again demonstrated that it is the foundation of Democratic dominance in . Some predicted that black turnout might drop into the low teens without President Obama at the top of the ticket. That, of course, did not happen, and black voters propelled Governor O’Malley to a bigger margin of victory than many of us expected. It will be interesting to see what the state’s black political leaders do to leverage this surging force in Maryland politics. Maryland
Insurgent Republicans: From newly-elected Baltimore County Councilman (and possible future county executive candidate) Todd Huff to Senator Chris Shank in
Western Maryland, Republicans who challenged tired incumbents were often rewarded. Despite the disappointing outcome at the top of the ticket, state Republicans leave 2010 with something they have long needed: The makings of a political farm team consisting of young, energetic, upwardly-mobile candidates.
Julius Henson: This one is a no-brainer. Henson has always operated around the margins of respectability, but his involvement in the infamous election night robocall attempt to trick black voters into staying home from the polls eliminates any credibility he had as a consultant.
Joe Bartenfelder: The affable, conservative former Baltimore County Councilman was rightfully upset over some of the red meat tactics employed by Kevin Kamenetz during their Baltimore County Executive primary battle. But his kind-of-but-not-really “endorsement” of Ken Holt in the general election is something
’s Democratic establishment will not forget anytime soon. This could limit his political options in the future. Baltimore County
Paul Schurick: As critical as I was of some of Team Ehrlich’s campaign missteps, I think Paul Schurick delivers some value as a strategic communicator. Now that his thirteen year run as Ehrlich’s political guru has ended, and a return to Womble Carlyle is no longer an option for him, one has to wonder what options remain for this Henry Gondorff of state politics and his cronies in Martin O’Malley’s
The Tea Party in
Maryland: The Tea Party movement in was a non-factor in state elections this year, as evidence by the fact that two of its darlings – Brian Murphy and Jim Rutledge – lost their respective races handily. It never approached the level of relevance and organization evident in other states, and its influence will only wane over time. Maryland