GOP Counters Klausmeier and Democrats With Own Mailer


As expected, The Maryland Republican Party sent out its own mailer to District 8 Voters to counter Sen. Kathy Klausmeier and the Democrats claim of working with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

The mailer pointed out Klausmeier’s vote for the Rain Tax and her vote to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto for the “Backroom Bill” which takes away school construction funding authority from the Governor.
The mailer also correctly stated that Hogan endorsed Miele and not Klausmeier.

The Title of the Mailer: “Kathy Klausmeier joins Democratic Party Bosses to fight Gov. Hogan nearly every day”.

This mailer explained everything that GOP challenger Del. Christian Miele criticized Klausmeier on social media and in an East County Times article last week.
However; it was important for Miele and the MD GOP to send out a responding mailer because not every voter goes on social media or reads the local paper.

I’m sure Miele’s team has the same mailing list as Klausmeier so everyone that received her mailer probably received his mailer too.

Only six weeks until Election Night.

My Assessment of Maryland Matters’ Assessment of Delegate Races -Part 2

As I mentioned earlier in the week Maryland Matters [MM] had their assessment of the most competitive House of Delegate races two weeks ago. According to MM, there is going to be a blue wave across Maryland in the Delegate races, despite Gov. Larry Hogan’s poll numbers. I wrote on Monday where I agreed with their breakdown and today I will give my opinion where I respectfully disagree. Tomorrow, I will point out competitive races that they missed.

My Disagreement With Maryland Matters
These races would possibly be in play if Gov. Larry Hogan was in trouble and a real blue wave was heading towards Maryland, but most of these races were more than razor thin victories for the GOP in 2014 and I expect those GOP wins to increase more in 2018.

District 2B
Yes I know that GOP Del. Paul D. Corderman was not elected but was appointed to his position about former Del. Brett Wilson became a Circuit Court judge. I am also aware that Democratic challenger Peter E. Perini Sr. has only less than $1,500 compared to Corderman. MM also points out that Donald Trump only won the district by 500 votes, but there are many districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 that will be won by Larry Hogan and other Republicans. Gubernatorial elections have a much more moderate electorate compared to Presidential races. Wilson won by 9 percentage points in 2014 and Corderman should win by more in Washington County.

District 3B
This is ironic because I thought that the Republicans had a shot at taking a seat or two in Frederick County District 3A with Democrats Delegates Carol Krimm and Karen Lewis Young. I will admit that the demographics might have changes too much for the GOP to win in 3A but now MM thinks 3B is in play with GOP incumbent Del. William Folden. I disagree.
Folden won in 2014 by 1,700 votes and he should do better since Republican Craig Giangrande has an opportunity to defeat District 3 Democratic Senator Ron Young or least run a competitive race. If there is a chance for an incumbent delegate to lose in District 3, it is one and/or two Democrats in 3A and not the lone Republican in 3B.

District 8
Since I ran in this race in the GOP primary in northeast Baltimore County, I do not want to comment too much on the race. I like all six gentlemen in this race on both sides of the aisle, but obviously my politics align with the Republican team of the Joes – Cluster, Norman and Boteler and I support all three.

District 9B
Del. Bob Flanagan is looking to get re-elected in a moderate district in Howard County. His Democratic challenger and former Councilwoman Courtney Watson have nearly the same amount of money.
Flanagan won his race by 1,500 votes in 2014. It is true that Watson is a formidable opponent, but Flanagan should be fine.

District 29-B
MM believes that Republican Del. Deb Rey could be in trouble after she narrowly defeated then-Del. John C. Bohanan in 2014 by 76 votes, but Rey is now established in her Southern Maryland district where Gov. Hogan is expected to do well. Now that she is an incumbent in a conservative district, Rey should have a comfortable win.

Next post, I will explain the House races that could flip from one party to another. You guessed it, there are many blue seats that could go red that Maryland Matters missed.

Miele Campaign Criticizes Klausmeier over Hogan Mailer


Some residents across the 8th District received a mailer (pictured) sent out by Sen. Kathy Klausmeier that appeared to imply that she was endorsed by Gov. Larry Hogan. The mailer stated “Kathy Klausmeier is Working With Governor Hogan For a Better Baltimore County ” This is similar to the mailer that I received back in the summer that showed a picture of Klausmeier and Hogan, but her Republican challenger Del. Christian Miele and his team claim this mailer went a step further and gave the appearance that Hogan is a Klausmeier supporter.

“This is the problem with career politicians; they will say just about anything to get elected,” Miele said in a statement.
Miele also posted pictured of Hogan and himself and posted the video where Hogan endorsed him at his kickoff event in 2017.

“[The Klausmeier mailed suggested] that she has worked closely with and is being supported by Governor Larry Hogan. Specifically, she boasts about repealing the very taxes that she voted to create, including the Rain Tax and 41 other O’Malley tax and fee increases.”

As I mentioned in my earlier post about Klausmeier, many of the Democrats are trying not to be tied to their gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous. The only way to do that is to show partisanship by claiming that you are willing to work with Hogan, but Democrats can only go so far.

Miele is endorsed by Hogan and Miele also pointed out many times where Klausmeier went against the Governor. The mailer also tries to make Klausmeier look independent from the Democratic establishment, but Miele explained that is far from the truth.

“This mailer was paid for by the same party bosses that she claims to have stood up to! How do we know this? Look at the legal authority line: “By Authority: Maryland Democratic Senate Caucus Committee,” a committee controlled by Senate President Mike Miller, the chief party boss in Annapolis,” Miele explained. “Are voters really supposed to believe that the party bosses are supporting someone who has opposed them politically? Unbelievable!”

In my opinion, it appears that Klausmeier is worried about Miele and she should be worried. There was an early poll last year where Klausmeier was beating Miele in a head-to-head matchup. However; when it was made known by the pollster that Hogan endorsed Miele, the race was closer. To his credit, Miele went out a placed signs in District 8 with his picture with Hogan’s to inform that he is being endorsed by the Governor.

It appears that hard work and strategy is now paying off for Miele.

My Assessment of Maryland Matters’ Assessment of Delegate Races

Maryland Matters [MM] is a great news source for Maryland Politics and they had a break down on their assessment of the most competitive House of Delegate races two weeks ago. According to MM, there is going to be a blue wave across Maryland in the Delegate races.

Despite Gov. Larry Hogan’s increasing poll numbers and the possibility of Republicans picking up three to seven seats in the Maryland Senate, MM believes that Democrats can increase their 71 to 50 majority in the House of Delegates. This assessment is based on campaign finance reports. It’s true that some Democrats have some impressive cash numbers, but cash does not always win elections. I’m more impressed with poll numbers. I do see a few races where incumbent GOP seats could be in danger, but there are other races where it is unrealistic to think the Democrat has a chance. There are also some Democratic seats in play that were not mentioned in this article.

Over the next three posts, I will respectively explain where I think MM is right, where I think they are wrong and what they missed.

Today- Where we agree

GOP Weak Spots

District 30A
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, this is a split district that includes Democratic Speaker Michael Busch and outgoing Republican Delegate Herb McMillian.
There was some excitement for the GOP as former Congressional candidate Mark Plaster entered this race. Many dreamed of McMillan and Plaster knocking out Busch in this two-member Annapolis area-district, but then McMillan decided not to seek re-election and Plaster dropped out of the race.
Now Democrats believe that their candidate Alice Cain can take McMillian’s vacant seat. I am a little concerned, but I believe Republican candidate Bob O’Shea will retain McMillan’s seat with Larry Hogan’s strong numbers in the district.

District 34A
This is another two-seat split district with Republican Glen Glass and Democrat Mary Ann Lisanti. Both delegates represent southeast Harford County. I haven’t seen a poll in that district, but I would predict that this is a moderate district that probably has a lot of Hogan Democrats. That would be helpful to Glass and his running mate JD Russell, but as MM reported, Lisanti had over $33,000 in her account compared to Glass who has less than $2,000. This district could go blue with Lisanti and her Democrat running mate Steve Johnson, might go red with Glass and Russell or could remain a split district with Glass and Lisanti.

GOP Bright Spots

District 31A
MM has District 31A Democratic Del. Ned Carey in trouble and I agree. Brooks Bennett has been a great campaigner and has been working hard for over a year and a half. This is a conservative district in northern Anne Arundel County where Carey won by only 523 votes in 2014.
There are many more Democratic seats in play that MM did not mention, but this is one that they did acknowledge.

Lack of AC Becoming an Issue Again in Baltimore County

We remember the air conditioning controversy during 2016 when Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot wanted to give non-AC Baltimore County schools funding to install single classroom AC units until central air projects were completely in those schools. At the time, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz refused the plan calling for portable units and called it a waste of taxpayers’ money.

The late county executive’s plan called for an accelerated schedule to get all 20 non-AC schools climate control by 2021.

The heat in September 2017 was not as excessive as September 2016 and none of the non-AC schools had to close.

That has not been the case the first two days into the school year. Even a later start after Labor Day could not prevent a heat wave. Now there are only 10 schools that are part of the closure but many argue that is still 10 too many.

In Dundalk, there are three non-AC elementary schools that are being rebuilt but those students will suffer in the meantime at their old schools. With the closures, many are pointing the blame to the Kamenetz/ Don Mohler Administration.

“The status quo in Baltimore County has failed our students. It’s time to move in a new direction,” GOP County Executive candidate Al Redmer said in a statement about the schools closing.
Hogan also criticized both Baltimore City and County for still having to close schools for lack of climate control.

“It is completely unacceptable that some schools in the same two jurisdictions are back in this same position this year, starting the school year with no air conditioning when we have been pushing them to fix it for years,” Hogan told the Baltimore Sun.

Air Conditioning in Baltimore County Public Schools was not supposed to be a campaign issue, but then the temperature decided to soar into the high 90s after Labor Day.

Baltimore County GOP Responds After Democratic Attack

It’s not even Labor Day and the first official local shot has been fired between the Democrats and Republicans for the November election.

Colleen Ebacher, who is challenging 3rd District Councilman Wade Kach, took a photo from 8th District Senate candidate Christian Miele’s event from last Tuesday night.

The photo featured Gov. Larry Hogan, GOP County Executive nominee Al Redmer, Councilman David Marks, Miele, Del. Joe Cluster, Delegate candidate Joe Norman, County Council candidate Ryan Nawrocki and former Delegate John Cluster. Ebacher used the photo for an online ad where she stated “Its 2018 not 1958. It’s time for political leadership that looks like Baltimore County.”

The Baltimore County Republican Club responded with a social media response that featured some of its candidates that feature women and minorities.

“Today, a partisan Democrat running for the Baltimore County Council attacked our Republican team. Here’s a look at some of candidates running for our Baltimore County Republican Party–men and women of many backgrounds,” said the statement from the BCGOP.

“We agree that it’s not 1958 in Baltimore County, when one party ruled local government. We need all types of diversity in Baltimore County, and that includes the robust debate that comes from two strong political parties. Let’s not go back.”

Some of the pictured candidates included Del. Kathy Szelgia, Houses candidates Laura Aiken and Melanie Harris, Congressional candidate Liz Matory, Council candidate Mike Lee and Clerk of the Circuit Court candidate Deb Hill.

The irony is that Kach was mentioned in the photo as “not pictured” because this event was not in his district. So basically Ebacher took an indirect shot at Kach by criticizing members of another district. That is the best she can do?

Can Hogan’s Numbers Help Miller and Busch’s GOP Opponents?

Gov. Larry Hogan is doing well across the state of Maryland. Hogan is so strong that the Maryland GOP website reported that Hogan is beating Democrat Ben Jealous 57 to 28 percent in Mike Miller’s 27th District and has an unbelievable 71 to 21 percent lead over Jealous in Michael Busch’s District.

Since Hogan is dominating in their Districts could it transfer over to their local GOP opponents? It’s possible but I’m not sure about probable.

District 27th Senate Race

Sen. Mike Miller is being challenged by Republican Jesse Allan Peed. Of course Miller is loaded with cash as his Tuesday campaign finance report showed him with $665,000.


This is a rematch from 2014 where Peed got 37.4 percent of the vote and that was with Hogan only getting 52 percent of the vote against Anthony Brown. With Peed’s name ID from four years ago and with Hogan’s projected higher numbers, Peed should get at least 40 percent of the vote in 2018. The problem is that Peed doesn’t even have $665.00 in his account as his records only showed him with $482.01.

If Peed could raise a couple grand, maybe some of the statewide donors might consider sending money into Peed’s account. He obliviously won’t match Miller but $20,000 to $25,000 in the bank could help make Peed competitive.

District 30 A House of Delegates Race

Michael Busch is the Delegate in this district along with GOP Delegate Herb McMillan. There was some excitement for the GOP as former Congressional candidate Mark Plaster entered this race. Many dreamed of McMillan and Plaster knocking out Busch in this two-member district, but then McMillan decided not to seek re-election and Plaster dropped out of the race.

The dream scenario of taking Busch’s seat could turn into a GOP nightmare as McMillan’s vacant seat is in play for Democrat Alice Cain.

The good news is that Republican candidate Bob O’Shea has just under $20,000 in the bank compared to Cain’s $26,818 and Hogan’s endorsement and poll numbers should help O’Shea retain McMillan’s seat.


The wild card in this race is my friend and former colleague Chelsea Gill. She has little money compared to Busch who has over $253,000. It is a real David vs. Goliath battle, but Chelsea proved a lot of doubters wrong to win her primary. She also has the endorsement of Larry Hogan and I’m pulling for her.

FOP Endorses Hogan and Wolf

Gov. Larry Hogan announced on his website today that the Maryland Fraternal Order Of Police (FOP) voted to unanimously endorse his re-election bid.

While it should not be a big deal and appears to be a common sense move by the FOP, this is an official endorsement that is a little surprising and refreshing. Many labor unions always appear to endorse the Democrats, although you can usually find many workers that are upset with their union’s choices.

Four years ago, the FOP endorsed Democrat Anthony Brown and now selected a Republican Governor.
Democratic nominee Ben Jealous’ rhetoric about wanting to give more criminal rights does not sound friendly to our hard working men and women in law enforcement. I am glad that the vote was unanimously.

The shocker was the endorsement of GOP Attorney General nominee Craig Wolf. The FOP endorsed Attorney General Brian Frosh in 2014 but this time they are going with Wolf. I could not find an explanation why the FOP selected Wolf over Frosh. However; it does not look good when the incumbent AG that they endorsed four years, is not receiving their endorsement again.

Craig Wolf has real shot to be Maryland’s next AG.

Can Hogan’s Poll Numbers Create a Drive for Ten in MD Senate?

We all know about the Drive for Five where Republicans are trying to pick up five seats in the Maryland Senate to prevent Democrats from overriding Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of bad bills.

Now that the latest Gonzales Research poll shows Hogan with a 52 percent to 36 percent lead over Democrat Ben Jealous, why not Drive for Ten for the Win? If the GOP can pick up 10 seats in November, they will take over the Senate. This might have seemed like a “pie in the sky” dream a few years (even a few months ago), but it is an outside possibility.

First, Hogan won many districts in 2014 that are occupied by Democratic senators and that margin is on pace to increase with this matchup against Jealous.

Another factor is that many of the moderate Democratic senators either retired or lost in the primary in those moderate districts and many of those Democratic nominees are more liberal.

Here is an overall chart of all 47 senate races and a list below of the Drive for Five races followed by five more races that could give the Maryland GOP a majority in the Senate. They are listed in the order where I believe each GOP candidate has the best chance to win.

Solid RLikely RLeaning RToss UpLeaning DLikely DSolid D
Edwards 1-RSalling 6-ROpen 30-D (George -R)Young 3-DOpen 12-D (Lam-D)Kelly-10-DZirkin 11-D
Serafini 2-RBates 9-ROpen 42-D (West-R)Klausmeier 8-DZucker 14-DGuzzone 13-DLee 16-D
Hough 4-RWaugh 29-R (Bailey)Mathias 38-DFeldman 15-DKegan 17-DOpen 18-D (Waldstreicher-D)
Ready 5-RCassilly 34-RMiddleton 28-D (Ellis-D)Open 19-D (Kramer-D)Smith 20-D
Jennings 7-RHershey 36-RMiller 27-DRosapepe 21-D
Simonaire 31-REckardt 37-RFerguson 46-DPinsky 22-D
Reilly 33-RPeters 23-D
Open 35-R (Gallion-R)Benson 24-D
Open 25-D (Griffith-D)
Open 26-D (Patterson-D)
King 39-D
Robinson 40-D (Hayes)
Open 41-D (Carter-D)
Conway 43-D (Washington)
Nathan-Pulliam 44-D
McFadden 45-D (McCray)
Open 47-D (Augustine-D)

Leaning Republican

Chris West District 42
Chris West is going after Jim Brochin’s old seat in the senate in Northern Baltimore County West finds himself in a great position in a moderate district. I believe West has the best chance of all the Republican candidates to flip a blue senate seat red.

Ron George District 30
Ron George is not too far behind West as I believe he has the second-best chance to flip a Democratic seat. Sen. John Astle is not running for re-election and George appears to be miles ahead of the Democratic nominee. Since District 30 is Speaker Michael Busch’s home district, this might be a little harder for George to win compared to West, but not by much.

Toss Up

Craig Giangrande District 3
Frederick businessmen Craig Giangrande has nearly $100,000 in the bank as he is challenging Democratic Sen. Ron Young. In 2014, Young won his race by 500 votes. Since District 3 is a close race, with Giangrande’s money and Young’s poor voting record, Giangrande is the Republican most likely to knock off an incumbent.

Marybeth Carozza District 38
Marybeth Carozza is a Delegate in District 38C and is challenging Democratic Sen. James Mathias. Carozza is in good shape as this lower Eastern Shore District is now heavily Republican after Donald Trump dominated the District in 2016. The bad news is that Mathias is the former mayor of Ocean City and has been a well-respected politician the past few decades. Although a photo with Mathias and Democrat Ben Jealous is hurting that reputation.

Christian Miele District 8
Of all the toss up races, Christian Miele might have the toughest battle. Democratic Sen. Kathy Klausmeier has been an elected official since 1995 and District 8 is more moderate as Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by a few points in 2016. The good news for Miele is that Larry Hogan beat Anthony Brown almost 2 to 1 in 2014. That number is expected to increase against Jealous and many voters are tired of career politicians such as Klausmeier.

Leaning Democrat

John Grasso District 32
Anne Arundel Councilman John Grasso is challenging Del. Pam Beidle for the open senate in District 32 as Democratic Sen. James Ed DeGrange did not run for re-election. Beidle is a liberal Democrat in a moderate District. Since Grasso is a current councilman, his experience should help him in this race. I have District 32 as Leaning Democrat for the simple reason that there are no elected Republicans in District 32 House of Delegates, but Grasso can win this race.

Bill Dotson District 28
When Arthur Ellis upset Sen. Mac Middleton in the Democratic primary, the Republicans scrambled to nominate Bill Dotson via the local central committee. John Leonard won the GOP nomination in District 28, but the Republicans asked Leonard to step aside to give Dotson the opportunity. Dotson had more money in the bank in June and I guess the GOP believes Dotson has a chance to win this race.

Joe Hooe District 12
Joe Hooe has unsuccessfully run for the House of Delegates in 2006, 2010 and 2014 and his June report showed him with under $2,000 in the bank. If Hooe can raise some money, he has a chance to take retiring Democratic Sen. Ed Kasemeyer’s seat away from Democrat Clarence Lam and Hooe should also benefit from a strong District 12 Republicans ticket as Republicans have an excellent chance to take a few Democratic House of Delegates seats in that District.

David Wilson District 15
This is where the GOP is starting to run out of gas to get to 10. David Wilson has just under $10,000 in the bank reported around June. That is enough to run a formidable campaign, but he could use a lot more. Wilson did not catch a break as he is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Brian Feldman in Montgomery County, but this is a very moderate district for Montgomery County standards. Feldman just received over 60 percent of the vote in 2014 and that number could go down as Larry Hogan has a chance to win this District over Jealous. Wilson could benefit and pull this off.

Robert Dronz District 14
Looking at the 2014 Election results, I believe that District 14 could be more winnable for the GOP over District 15. The GOP Senate nominee received over 42 percent of the vote in 2014 but Dronz has only raised less than $500 as of June compared to Wilson’s $9,000 in District 15. It will not be easy for Dronz to upset Democratic Sen. Craig Zucker, but this Montgomery County district is not as liberal as other parts of Montgomery County. I believe that Hogan won this district in 2014 and he should win by a wider margin in 2018. Dronz is probably guaranteed 40 percent of the vote. If he can get out there, work hard and raise some money, Dronz has a chance to upset Zucker.

So that is how I see some of these Senate race as of Aug. 20. What do you think? Email me at benjaminjboehl@gmail.com

Klasumeier’s Literature Features a Photo with Hogan


I received a piece of literature from Sen. Kathy Klasumeier’s campaign in my door today. Sen. Klasumeier is my state senator in District 8 and she is in the battle of her political life against Republican challenger Del. Christian Miele.

The literature was positive and spoke of Klasumeier’s accomplishments in Annapolis. She had a few photos on the piece, including one of herself and Gov. Larry Hogan at what appeared to be a bill signing.

Now she did not claim that the Governor endorsed her and she did not endorse the Governor. The photo of Klasumeier and Hogan stated that she worked with him on many pieces of legislation, including bills to fight the opioid crisis.

The piece wanted to show that a Democratic senator can work across the aisle with a Republican Governor.

I am not criticizing Klasumeier for being misleading at all. Instead I find it interesting to watch this balancing act that many Democrats are going to have to take over the next few months.

These Democrats in moderate Districts can not come out and endorse Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous and they sure can’t bash Gov. Larry Hogan. On the other hand, Democrats can not praise the Governor too much because the Governor has endorsed many of their Republican opponents such as Christian Miele. It’s a tough balancing act for Democrats.