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The Aegis offers its opinion on the 2018 General Election

Election Day is less than a week away, but many Harford County residents have already flocked to the polls for early voting.

As always, we reject in the strongest terms any and all angry, divisive, hate-filled partisan politics.

Here are some other thoughts about the choices on the 2018 ballot:

For Gov. Hogan

For governor, the choice is as clear as it is easy. Gov. Larry Hogan, the incumbent Republican, has done nothing to dissuade voters from supporting him. More importantly, Hogan has done plenty for Marylanders to be happy about and proud of, especially the way he has calmly navigated our state through turbulent times.

In these, the most divided of times, Gov. Hogan has rejected the angry, divisive ugliness afflicting our nation, treating all Marylanders the way they should be treated.

Ben Jealous, his inexperienced Democratic challenger, has run a spirited campaign, but falls short of being a worthy replacement for Gov. Hogan. We enthusiastically endorse Gov. Hogan for another four years.

Harford County Executive

The choice for Harford County Executive is as clear and easy as the choice for governor. Barry Glassman has earned four more years at the top of the Harford County government, for the same reasons Hogan has earned another term. Glassman, too, has shunned the angry, divisive, hate-filled partisan politics poisoning our county and our country. But more than that, he has been a steady hand at the helm, focusing on fiscal responsibility and paring back the county government’s debt. He also has been a calming presence during the tragic events, among the worst in our county’s history, of the past four years. We enthusiastically endorse his re-election.

For Harford County Sheriff

We strongly support the re-election of Jeffrey Gahler as Harford County Sheriff. His multi-faceted efforts to beat the addiction epidemic is more than enough to warrant him getting four more years. But there’s more. We have marveled at his graceful leadership in the face of horrific tragedies. He would better serve his constituents, and we encourage him to do so, by backing off of some of the unnecessary, partisan political steps he has taken as paeans to the ultra-conservatives in the county. We not only endorse Gahler’s re-election, but also endorse him focusing fully on being Harford County’s top law enforcement officer and dropping his occasional role as a partisan hack.

Other statewide offices

For comptroller, we support the reelection of Democrat Peter Franchot. While some of his visits to Harford County and other parts of the state as well as public positions he has taken have been somewhat puzzling for the person who is essentially the state’s top tax collector, we see no reason to replace Franchot with an unknown.

We feel the same way, though not quite as strongly about the race for Attorney General, where Brian E. Frosh, the incumbent Democrat, is being challenged by Republican Craig Wolf. Vote Frosh.

The Congressional races

For U.S. Senator, we strongly endorse Ben Cardin, the incumbent Democrat.

For Congress from the First District, we’re intrigued by the candidacy of Jesse Colvin, the Democratic challenger, who faces a tall order running in the heavily Republican district. Colvin has campaigned hard, has been well-funded and has one other thing in his favor – he’s not Andy Harris, the incumbent.

Harris is wildly popular in his district and is as sure a thing as there is in this year’s Congressional elections, but we don’t support his reelection to another term where his constituents can expect very little from him beyond his unrepentant demagoguery.

As he fights for his supposed ideology that includes taking down Obamacare, especially its protections for those with pre-existing conditions, we can’t help but remember how angry he was when he was elected to Congress and learned he had to wait 30 days for his premium health care coverage, a benefit of being elected to Congress. That’s Andy Harris, looking out for number one, but just not for the one in First District. Jesse Colvin would do better.

In the Second Congressional District, we strongly support the return of C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, the Democratic incumbent, to another term.

State legislative races

For state senate from District 7, we strongly endorse the re-election of Republican J.B. Jennings. He is being challenged by Democrat Donna Hines.

For state senate from District 34, we support the re-election of incumbent Republican Bob Cassilly over former state legislator Mary Dulany-James. Cassilly has served his constituents very well and that’s among the best of reasons for supporting any elected official.

For state senate from District 35, we endorse Republican Jason Gallion. A longtime member of the community, who put his toe in the election waters years ago before stepping out of the spotlight for a while, Gallion stepped forward to seek election to the seat held by the late Sen. Wayne Norman, who died suddenly during the last legislative session. Gallion is the right man at the right time to be the next state senator from District 35 and we support his election.

For House of Delegates from District 7, we strongly endorse the three Republicans — incumbents Rick Impallaria and Kathy Szeliga and newcomer Laura Arikan.

For House of Delegates, District 34A, we support the re-election of incumbent Democrat Mary Ann Lisanti and the election of first-time candidate Republican J.D. Russell. Democratic challenger Steve Johnson has pushed hard with his campaign as has incumbent Republican Glen Glass; a vote for either wouldn’t be wasted. But Lisanti and Russell are seemingly the best candidates and we support each.

For House of Delegates from District 34B, we support the re-election of Susan K. McComas, the Republican incumbent, who has served the public in this district well for years after doing the same thing as Bel Air Town Commissioner. Jeff Dinger, her Democratic challenger, has done a lot for his Bel Air South community and we think a vote for him would be well-earned on his part; we just think McComas deserves to return to Annapolis for another four years.

For House of Delegates from District 35B, we strongly support the re-election of the two Republican incumbents — Andrew Cassilly and Teresa Reilly. Reilly and Cassilly have represented North Harford’s views well in Annapolis and deserve another four years.

County Council president

For President of the Harford County Council, Democrat Frank “Bud” Hines, seeking his first election, and Republican Patrick Vincenti, a sitting Republican council member, are running to replace the retiring Dick Slutzky, who has been council president the past four years. We offer no recommendation.

Other state offices

For State’s Attorney, we strongly endorse Republican Albert Peisinger, who won a tough, spirited primary election to be the Republican nominee to replace the retiring Joseph I. Cassilly, who has been state’s attorney for more than three decades. Carlos R. Taylor is the Democratic challenger.

For Clerk of the Circuit Court, we strongly endorse the re-election of James Reilly, a Republican. In his first campaign, Reilly ran on the “I support law enforcement” platform, an odd approach to trying to get elected to the post of the keeper of the court records. But it worked. He is being challenged by Democrat Sabra M. Kurth.

For Register of Wills, we strongly endorse the re-election of Republican Derek K. Hopkins. He is opposed by Jo Wanda Strickland Lucas, a promising Democratic candidate, but not this time. Vote Derek Hopkins.

The questions

We offer no preference on Question 1, “Constitutional Amendment Requiring Commercial Gaming Revenues that are for Public Education to Supplement Spending for Education in Public Schools.” Whether it passes or not, we’re not convinced it’s an iron-clad guarantee state gambling money won’t be diverted, in some way, shape or form away from school funding.

We strongly support Question 2, “Constitutional Amendment allowing Same-Day Registration and Voting at the Precinct Polling Place on Election Day.” Being against anything that makes it likely more people will vote is partisan nonsense. All Americans should want more people to vote. We do.

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