Friday, August 9, 2013

The Hiatus is Ending...

I decided last year that I was going to go on a Freestater hiatus and focus solely on my tenure review (something that happens in a professor's seventh year... it's like an academic pon farr, but without the crazy hormones - violent rages and (academic) death are there though). I stopped almost all political writing and commentary, scaled back interviews on Maryland politics, and focused on my classes, book, and tenure.

I'm proud to say that I received tenure at the end of the May and my book, American Government and Popular Discontent was published shortly thereafter. I've had a nice summer with my family, but classes resume in 3 weeks, so...

The hiatus is over. Next week I plan to re-enter the world of Maryland politics with a nice little piece exploring the current state of the Maryland gubernatorial race and the GOP and Democratic prospects. As I argued last year, Doug Gansler was not then, and is not now, the favorite in the race. Heather Mizeur entered the race with minimal press attention, but has suddenly gained (well deserved) media attention. Anthony Brown eliminated a potential opponent by coaxing Ken Ulman to be his running mate - and the team has spent the summer collecting endorsements and cash.

On the GOP side former Harford county exec David Craig was the first man in and he has picked solid running mate whose conservative credentials well balance Craig's moderate politics. Delegate Ron George and failed Congressional candidate Charles Lollar are also on board. We're still waiting to hear from other potential candidates - perhaps none more important than ChangeMaryland's Larry Hogan.

After exploring the gubernatorial race, I plan to begin a series looking at the MD GOP and whether or not it can be saved (and whether it wants to be saved). The party is experiencing a revival at the county level, but still has no real impact at all on state politics. I'll begin by exploring the state senate seats the GOP would need to win to reach the 19 seats needed to mount a filibuster in the state Senate - 17 can happen, but 19 will require one hell of a race for governor.

I'm looking forward to jumping back into the fray.