Election season heats up

With the filing deadline passed for June's primary election, we know who's running, who's in trouble and who's safe.

Locally, there are hot races for House of Delegate.

In District 11, Northwest Baltimore County, six Democrats and one Republican filed.

Incumbent Del. Jon Cardin is giving up his seat to run for attorney general, creating a vacancy in the three-member House delegation.

Former Del. Ted Levin is seeking to return to Annapolis, while a longtime aide to U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, Shelly Hettleman, is running for a delegate slot with his strong endorsement.

The district's two incumbents are heavily favored to gain another term, Dan Morhaim, the only physician in the legislature, and Dana Stein.

Bobby Zirkin, the district's state senator, has no opposition in either the primary or general election.

The adjoining District 10 is a huge, diverse political subdivision stretching from Blackrock Road and Reisterstown all the way south to Liberty Road and then onward to Security Boulevard and I-70 in Woodlawn.

Incumbent Del. Adrienne Jones is running for reelection against eight other Democrats vying for the three seats, including Carin Smith, the daughter-in-law of former county executive Jim Smith, who is now secretary of transportation.

This crowded race is the result of the retirement of the Rev. Emmett Burns after four terms and redistricting that placed Del. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam in the new city-county District 44, where she is running for state Senate.

That conjoined district includes western parts of the county inside the beltway as well as extending south to Frederick Road and Wilkens Avenue.

It contains twice as many county voters as city voters, which makes Nathan-Pulliam the early favorite to defeat the incumbent city senator, Verna Jones-Rodwell.

Two of these districts are divided sharply along racial lines. District 11 is 65 percent white; District 44 is more than 80 percent black. African Americans also dominate District 10, though the split is less lopsided, 57 percent black and 34 percent white.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, meanwhile, has token opposition and is in great shape to win a second term. State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger is unopposed.

As for the local County Council races, District 2 Councilwoman Vicki Almond of Reisterstown has one opponent, Jon Herbst, a real estate attorney who sits on the county planning board. He ran against Almond in 2010 as a Republican but filed this year as a Democrat in this heavily Democratic district.

In the Republican-dominated District 3, incumbent Todd Huff has a difficult challenge against five-term Del. Wade Kach, who opted to run for the council due to an unfavorable redistricting of his old legislative district.

And in District 4 in western Baltimore County, incumbent Ken Oliver, who's had a turbulent tenure on the Council, faces two Democratic foes, Julian Jones of Woodstock, who lost to Oliver in 2010 by just 98 votes, and Makeda Scott of Owings Mills, a former congressional aide.

The fireworks can commence.

Contact Barry Rascovar at politicalmaryland.com

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