Recap: Legislative Affairs Member Meeting - Why Do Primary Results Matter? - July 16, 2014

Posted Date: 
July 16, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 Recap

Guest Speaker: John Stierhoff, Partner, Venable LLP

Tom McElroy, Vice-Chair of the Legislative Affairs Committee, welcomed members and introduced our guest speaker, John Stierhoff, Partner, Venable LLP. He discussed the results of the primary elections, the impact at the state and local levels, and the shift of power moving forward.

Lt. Governor Anthony Brown won the nomination for Governor from the Democratic Party. He will compete against Republican Larry Hogan in the General Election. Maryland State Senator Brian Frosh won the democratic primary election for Attorney General.

The structure of the Maryland General Assembly as a whole will change dramatically, as 32 percent of the group will be new. With population changes, Baltimore has fewer representatives than before and yet they remain a powerful voting block. Stierhoff stated the importance of having the Montgomery County Delegation vote together on key issues for the county. There are some key leadership positions in both the Senate and House that have yet to be decided.  Delegate Shelia Hixson is the only current Montgomery County official to hold a committee chair position (House Ways and Means).

At the local level, current Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett won the democratic primary election to hold his current position. He is widely respected at the State level and his decisive win adds to his credibility.

Low voting turnout both statewide and in Montgomery County may indicate that either people are happy with the current officials or that potential voters are not engaged. Attendees discussed the importance of the younger generation becoming more involved. Members added that the need to identify with one political party in the Maryland Primary Election may hinder voter participation.

There are serious issues on the horizon, specifically the Board of Public Works eliminated $77 million from the FY 15 budget due to revenue short falls.  There is opportunity for the business community to build relationship with legislators to address issues of business climate going forward.

The General Election takes place on November 4. To learn more about the candidates’ priorities, read the MCCC candidate questionnaires at www.mcccmd.com/advocacy.

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