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Laurel voters head to the polls in three counties

Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. today for the general election.
Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. today for the general election. (File staff photo by Brian Krista)

Laurel voters have few contested local races in today's general election, but will join voters across the state in deciding who will be the next governor.

Supporters of both Democratic candidate Anthony Brown and Republican candidate Larry Hogan have said voter turnout in the mid-terms could help decide who will win the race. As he cast his vote at the Florence Bain Senior Center in Columbia during early voting last month, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, who is running for lieutenant governor on Brown's ticket, said it was critical to both candidates in the gubernatorial race that supporters show up to vote.

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"We feel strong in any circumstance, but there's no question that stronger turnout helps us," Ulman said of his and Brown's campaign. "We know our voters are out there."

Hogan's running mate is Boyd Rutherford.

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Polls are open to day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In county races, Prince George's County District 1 Councilwoman Mary Lehman, a Democrat from Laurel, is running for re-election uncontested, as is County Executive Rushern Baker III, also a Democrat.

If elected, Lehman and Baker would both begin their second, and final, terms under the current term limit rules. The council voted to place a question on this year's ballot that would increase the number of consecutive terms for council members and the county executive from two to three terms. Voters will decide if the length of time in office should be increased from eight to 12 years by voting on Question J.

In Howard County, Courtney Watson, a Democrat, is facing Republican Allan Kittleman in the race for county executive; and in Anne Arundel County, Democrat George Johnson is running against Republican Steve Schuh for county executive.

Howard County's District 3 includes North Laurel, where incumbent Jen Terrasa, a Democrat, is running unopposed.

Maryland City and Russett are in Anne Arundel's fourth councilmanic district, where Democrat Andrew Pruski is running against Republican Chike Anyanwu.

Among the races for seats in Annapolis, state Sen. Jim Rosapepe, a Democrat, is running uncontested for re-election in Laurel's District 21, which includes portions of Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties, while incumbent District 21 state Dels. Ben Barnes, Barbara Frush and Joseline Peña-Melnyk all Democrats, have a Republican challenger in Katherine Butcher in the race for three seats.

District 23 incumbent state Sen. Douglas J. J. Peters is running unopposed for re-election, and in District 23A, incumbent Democrat Del. Geraldine Valentino-Smith is challenged by Independent Shukoor Ahmed.

District 13 in Howard County has an open Senate seat with the retirement of James Robey. Guy Guzzone, currently a District 13 Democratic delegate, is running against Republican Jody Venkatesan.

In the District 13 house race, incumbent Democrats Shane Pendergrass and Frank Turner are running for re-election, along with Democrat Vanessa Atterbeary and Republicans Danny Eaton, Jimmy Williams and Chris Yates. There are three seats.

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