No woman has ever been elected to the position of Maryland comptroller, a job that essentially amounts to serving as the state’s chief accountant and tax collector. In fact, no woman has ever been elected to statewide office, outside of lieutenant governor — a glass ceiling that can be shattered with the choice of Del. Brooke Lierman to be our next comptroller.
Setting that historic opportunity aside, voters can be assured that Lierman is the best qualified person for the job. The 43-year-old Baltimore attorney and mother of two has developed an expertise on state fiscal matters during her two terms in the House of Delegates and a track record in Annapolis of bipartisan consensus building, a skill that’s desperately needed in these politically polarized times.
Her Republican challenger, Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, 60, of Darlington, a father and grandfather, is a worthy opponent, particularly in a year when other GOP nominees have demonstrated an extremist ideology. Glassman, a former state senator and delegate, is no political moderate, but the fact that he did not support the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol or proffer elaborate conspiracy theories to explain the 9/11 attacks, sets him apart — sadly, enough — in the 2022 campaign for statewide office. One can only hope that the Maryland Republican Party will soon return to the Barry Glassman model and disengage from the white nationalist, conspiracy-theory-driven populism that Donald Trump has so ruinously promoted.
The next comptroller will certainly face challenges. The economic outlook is uncertain, with high inflation and falling stock values, and Maryland’s current budget surplus is unlikely to last. Adequately funding the state’s pension plan and modernizing the technology within the comptroller’s office should be high on the Lierman agenda. But so should the revival of Baltimore, particularly given the role of the Board of Public Works in spiking two essential city investments: the development of the Red Line light rail system and the redevelopment of the State Center office complex. The comptroller holds one of three votes on the board, which oversees major state purchases (and often budget reductions when they are needed between annual 90-day legislative sessions). Voters can be confident that Lierman will use that authority responsibly to not only serve the interests of Baltimore but of all Marylanders.
The Baltimore Sun editorial board endorses political candidates in races that are of particular importance to our readers for reasons such as the critical nature of the work, the tightness of the election contest and the dearth of available information that occurs when an office has no incumbents competing for it. We make our conclusions after reviewing a range of data, including: the candidates’ campaign materials and responses to The Sun’s voter guide questionnaire, news stories written about the candidates, debates they’ve participated in, and interviews we’ve conducted with community leaders or the candidates themselves.