Voters see break from election excitement

It's hard to believe we are in the midst of an election year. The silence is deafening.

After all the media ads and unsightly campaign lawn signs promoting the spring primary, you'd expect more of that same political marketing.


It's not happening.

There are two reasons for this welcome respite.


First, state legislators in Annapolis made an appallingly poor decision by scheduling a very early primary this year — June 24.

Previous state primary elections in non-presidential years were in September, after Labor Day, when vacations are over and people start focusing on more serious matters.

The early primary this year meant winners could take the hot summer off before returning to the campaign trail in cooler weather.

For primary election victors, it makes no sense to spend August door-knocking. Most voters are either "down the ocean" or somewhere other than at home.

The winning politicians will resume serious campaigning next month, after the Labor Day weekend.

But there won't be nearly as much hubbub and lawn-sign mania as we experienced in May and June.

Maryland, as we know, is very much a one-party state. In most races, the Democratic primary results determine the outcome in November.

Democrats will win the vast majority of general election races this year by lopsided margins. In districts carved out for Republicans, the reverse will be true. There are exceptions, of course, such as heavily Republican Carroll and Frederick counties.


Larry Hogan Jr., the GOP nominee for governor, will try to stir interest in "throwing the bums out" but that's unlikely.

Recently, he tried pandering to the Fraternal Order of Police, but still lost that group's endorsement.

Hogan will be far outspent and outnumbered by Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown's formidable Democratic Party machine.

State Sen. Brian Frosh, who won the Democratic race for attorney general over local Del. Jon Cardin, will have an even easier time.

He's up against attorney Jeffrey Pritzker, who graduated from Milford Mill High School. But Pritzker stands little chance in such a heavily Democratic state.

Meanwhile, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot enjoys a political holiday from now through November. The Democrat had no opponent in the primary and is the only name on the ballot for that office in the general election.


He's one lucky fellow.

In Baltimore County, Kevin Kamenetz spent heavily in the primary, despite having token opposition.

His Republican foe in November will be George Harman of Reisterstown, a retired state environmental manager and part-time consultant.

Harman is a political neophyte. Yet he's been an active leader in the Reisterstown-Owings Mills-Glyndon Coordinating Council for years.

He's got almost no money to throw into his race, though. He's not well known in the rest of the county, either.

On top of that, he faces a splintered Baltimore County Republican Party, which divided down the middle in the primary between Harman and Tony Campbell.


It took a re-count — the county's first in 35 years — for Harman to be declared the winner, by a razor-thin 20 votes.

This will be a David vs. Goliath contest. Only this time, the odds are stacked heavily in favor of the heavyweight incumbent, Kamenetz.

Still, this race could be one of the few where local residents take an active interest between now and November 4.

Barry Rascovar's political blog is He can be reached at