Tom Hall | WYPR

Tom Hall

Host

Host, Midday  (M-F 12:00-1:00)

In the Bromo (3rd Friday of the month at 4:44)
What are You Reading? (4th Friday of the month, at 4:44) 

Tom Hall joined the WYPR staff as the Host of Choral Arts Classics in 2003.  After 10 years as the Culture Editor and then host of Maryland Morning, in September, 2016, Tom became the host of Midday, the highly rated news and public policy program that features interviews with elected officials, community leaders, and thought provoking authors, artists, researchers, journalists, and scholars from around the world. 

Tom is also the Host of In the Bromo and What Are You Reading? on WYPR.  In addition, he has served as the host of the Maryland Morning Screen Test, and the WYPR/MD Film Festival Spotlight Series.  In 2006, as the Music Director of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Tom received an Emmy Award for Christmas with Choral Arts, a special that aired on WMAR television, the ABC affiliate in Maryland, for 21 years.  He has been a guest co-host of Maryland Public Television’s Art Works, and in 2007, he was named “Best New Broadcast Journalist” by the Maryland Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2009, the Baltimore City Paper named him "Best Local Radio Personality." In 2016 and again in 2017, he was recognized as "Best Talk Show Host" in the Baltimore Magazine Reader's Poll. 

Tom is invited frequently to speak to professional and community organizations, including the Oregon Bach Festival, the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, the College Endowment Association, the Baltimore Broadcaster’s Coalition, The Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute, the Johns Hopkins Community Conversations Series, and the Creative Alliance.  He has moderated panels and given presentations at the Baltimore City Lit Festival, the Baltimore Book Festival, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum, the University of Maryland, the Enoch Pratt Library, and MICA. He has also moderated Mayoral Debates, panels at Light City in Baltimore, and at the Stevenson University Speakers Series.

He appears each year as the moderator of the Rosenberg-Blaustein Distinguished Artist Recital Series at Goucher College.  His publications include articles in the Baltimore Sun, Style Magazine, and Baltimore Magazine, as well as many scholarly music journals, and he is the co-author of The Bach Passions in Our Time:  Contending with the Legacy of Antisemitism, published on-line by the Institute for Islamic Christian and Jewish Studies.  Tom was appointed the Music Director Emeritus of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society in 2017.

Tom Hall lives in Baltimore, with his wife, Linell Smith.  Their daughter, Miranda, is a playwright.

Photo Courtesy Flickr

It's the Midday International Newswrap: the President returned to Washington this week after histrionics at the G7 meeting in Canada, and history-making in Singapore.

Mr. Trump had great things to say about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and stunningly negative things to say about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, one of America's greatest allies. Is a denuclearized Korean Peninsula more possible this week than it had been in many months? 

photo courtesy The New School

Now, a conversation about a unique classical choral concert that’s happening tomorrow night in Towson, and the unique chorus that will be performing. 

Berkshire Choral International is an organization that for more than 30 years has brought choral singers together from all over the world, to perform in venues all over the world.  Tomorrow night, the BCI will be at Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium in Towson, performing Haydn's The Seasons.  For ticket and location info, click here.  

Joining Tom in Studio A to talk about the performance, and about the BCI's mission of building a global choral community, is Frank Nemhauser, who has been the group's Music Director since 1993.

Last month, Valerie Ervin shook up the Democratic primary race for Maryland governor when she announced her candidacy to replace her former running mate, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who died suddenly on May 10th.  Yesterday, Ms. Ervin shook up the Democratic gubernatorial race for the second time, when she announced her withdrawal from the contest, and her decision to support Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker in his primary bid to challenge Governor Larry Hogan in the general election in November.

Valerie Ervin joins Tom Hall on the line from Silver Spring to discuss her recent moves, and how they might impact the Democratic race to win back the Statehouse.

In this installment of Conversations with the Candidates, Tom Hall is joined in the studio by Sheldon Laskin, a Democratic candidate for the Senate in Maryland’s 11th district, which includes Pikesville, Owings Mills, and Hunt Valley in northwest Baltimore County. 

Photography by Shealyn Jae

Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins us now with her regular Thursday review of one of our region's many thespian offerings.  Today, she spotlights playwright Mark Scharf's The Quickening, now getting its world premiere at Baltimore's Fells Point Corner Theatre, in a co-production with the Collaborative Theatre Company.

The Quickening is a modern ghost story about a pregnant woman and her husband who move into a Richmond, Virginia, home that appears -- at least to the women in the play -- to be seriously haunted. The home's strange energies, and a succession of bizarre events, spark growing tensions between the wife and her skeptical, distracted husband, and remind us of the mysterious space between open and closed minds, and between science and folklore. 

Frederick Board of Elections

Early voting in the Maryland Primary begins tomorrow (June 14th).   Marylanders can vote early, at locations around the state, for a week, until June 21st.  Then, there’s a four-day break in voting until Election Day on Tuesday, June 26th.  A reminder that if you are not yet registered to vote, you can register and vote on the same day -- if you vote earlyYou will not be able to register on Election Day. 

The last time Maryland held a primary election for important offices like Governor, County Executive, or State’s Attorney was in 2014.  In the primaries that year, barely more than 24% of eligible Democrats participated in the election, and even fewer Republicans cast a vote in their primary.  The turnout in the General election was also very low.  Let’s hope that isn’t the case again this year.  

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Maryland’s primary election is two weeks from today.  Early voting begins on Thursday.  And so, today, we’re talking about voting.

Americans vote at much lower rates than citizens of other advanced democracies.  And while voting is the central tenet in a strong democracy, many states have enacted laws and voter requirements in recent years that actually make it harder to vote. What can be done to encourage and enable voting? Is there the political will to get it done?

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Today we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates with Baltimore City State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby.  She is running for re-election in the Democratic primary that takes place on the 26th of this month.  Early voting begins on Thursday.  She is opposed by two other candidates, Ivan Bates and Thiru Vignarajah.  The winner of the primary will run unopposed in the general election.   

Marilyn Mosby drew international attention when she indicted six Baltimore police officers in the police-custody death of Freddie Gray in 2015.   None of those indictments resulted in a conviction, but Ms. Mosby points to a 95% conviction rate to date for her office overall.  The State’s Attorney’s office prosecuted more than 41,000 cases last year.

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Tom’s guest today is Jennifer Palmieri. She was the Communications Director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the White House Communications Director for President Barack Obama. She is also a former national press secretary for the Democratic Party, the press secretary during John Edwards’ 2004 presidential campaign, and she served in the Clinton White House, as well.  Jennifer Palmieri is now the president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Her new book is a reflection on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and a shout-out to the women who will do what Secretary Clinton was unable to do: break the glass ceiling at the White House. It’s called "Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World." 

Photo by Mary Gardella

Norma Pera is a dancer and dance teacher who has trained generations of young dancers in Baltimore at the Baltimore School for the Arts, where she has led the dance department since 1992.

She joined BSA’s dance faculty in 1979, 39 years ago, when the innovative pre-professional public school for the arts first opened. Many of her students have gone on to illustrious careers in dance or the arts, and many other fields. She joins Tom in Studio A.

Ms. Pera is retiring this week from the School for the Arts. The school will celebrate her career and her legacy tomorrow afternoon, June 9, at 4 pm. For more information and to reserve tickets for that event, click here.

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On this edition of Midday at the Movies -- our monthly look at new flicks and new trends in the film industry --movie mavens Ann Hornaday, film critic for the Washington Post, and Jed Dietz, founding director of the Maryland Film Festival,  join Tom to consider the surprisingly weak box office performance of the latest iteration of the Star Wars franchise,  director Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the equally surprising popularity of RBG, the new documentary about the life and career of 84 year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, co-directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen.

Plus, Ann and Jed list their picks for new summer films you'll want to check out at local theaters.

photo by Matthew Murphy

Each Thursday, Midday's peripatetic theater critic, J. Wynn Rousuck, joins us with a review of one of the region's many theatrical offerings.  This week, she's spotlighting On Your Feet!, the new touring musical production based on the life and career of Cuban pop sensations (and husband-and-wife team) Gloria and Emilio Estefan, that's now on stage at Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre.

Photo Courtesy Flickr

 

Today, on Midday, a conversation about the Foster Care System.  Nearly 430,000 children and young people are currently in the care of foster families.  About 112,000 of them are hoping to be adopted permanently.  And for the young people who “age out” of the system on their 18th or 21st birthdays, the challenges are daunting, and the statistics are devastating.

Only three to four percent of young people who are foster care alumni earn a college degree by the age of 26.  One in five will experience homelessness.  Only half will be employed.  7 of 10 female foster youth will become pregnant by the time they are 21, and one in four foster youth will experience PTSD.

Tom’s guests include Shalita O’Neale, Founder and Executive Director of the Fostering Change Network.  Fostering Change is producing a conference this weekend at Johns Hopkins Medicine to connect people in the system with resources and networking opportunities.

And joining us on the line from the studios of NPR in Washington is Jelani Freeman.  Like Shalita O’Neale, he is a product of the foster care system.  He is an attorney who serves as a court appointed special advocate for foster children in Washington, and he sits on the board of the Center for Adoption Support and Education.

We will also hear testimony from Luigi Kramer, a 22 year old college student and foster care alum who has recently transitioned out of the system; and Lisa Phillips an entrepreneur and alum who was  taken into care in the 1980’s. 

Photo Courtesy Flickr

 

On today’s, edition of Midday Culture Connections with Dr. Sheri Parkswe examine some of the stories making headlines across the country.

We begin to with a look at the cognitive effects of violent video games and the Military’s stake in the multi-billion dollar industry of gaming.  Following the deadly May 18th shooting at Santa Fe High School, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick cited violent video games as a contributing factor to the national epidemic of deadly violence and apathy in our culture, reigniting the debate on the psychological effects of violent video games on our children, specifically young boys. 

Serena Williams returned to the French Open last week after 14 months of maternity leave. In keeping with WTA policy, the former world number one entered into the grand slam tournament unseeded.  Serena’s experience has many questioning not only the WTA’s policies towards new mothers; but also, the broader politics of women and pregnancy in the workplace.

Finally, the Trumpian era has been marked by political tension, social tumult and temerarious tweets.   It is an era of fraught with class and racial division, violent identity politics and targeted attacks on the media.  These deep societal fissures came to a head this week, as comediennes Samantha Bee and Roseanne Barr became the mascots for America’s new ‘culture wars’ . 

Dr. Sheri Parks is the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and a regular contributor to our show on Midday Culture Connections.  She’s the author of Fierce Angels: Living with a Legacy from the Sacred Dark Feminine to the Strong Black Woman.

photo by Earl Wilson, New York Times

Many have suggested that this election year is, once again, the year of the woman.  As primaries continue in this mid-term cycle, there are nearly 80 women who have already secured a spot on November 2018 ballots for U.S. congressional seats and governorships across the country.

Today, Tom's guest is Amy Chozick, a reporter for the New York Times who covered Hillary Clinton, the most famous woman in American politics, in her two attempts to win the White House.  Chozick's new book is called Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns and One Intact Glass Ceiling

There is no shortage of theories to explain why Secretary Clinton was not able to break the glass ceiling of the Presidency, even when pitted against a candidate who was as divisive and abhorrent to as many people as Donald Trump was, and continues to be.  But how does Clinton's loss in 2016 -- and her loss to her Democratic rival, Barack Obama, in 2012 -- inform the current crop of women who are storming the barricades in this cycle?  Given Clinton’s unique place in American politics, in what ways might she present a model for that woman who eventually does break the proverbial glass ceiling of the Oval Office?

Amy Chozick joins Tom for the hour.

photo courtesy Thiru for Baltimore.

Continuing our series of Conversations with the Candidates, our focus today is on the Democratic primary election later this month for Baltimore City State’s Attorney Three candidates, including the incumbent, Marilyn Mosby, are competing in that race to be the city’s top prosecutor.

It’s a big job, overseeing more than 200 lawyers and tens of thousands of prosecutions every year, and it's a job our guest today would very much like to have. 

Thiru Vignarajah is a former prosecutor who’s spent most of his legal career in public service.  He was born in Baltimore to Sri Lankan immigrant parents, both of them Baltimore City public school teachers. Vignarajah himself is a product of the public school system, having gone from Edmondson Heights and Woodlawn High to Yale University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review . He went on to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and he served as a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore, working under then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein. Vignarajah subsequently moved to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, where he headed the Major Investigations Unit.

Today on Midday, a conversation about race, and corporate culture. 

Last Wednesday, the NFL announced that they would ban players from kneeling on the field during the national anthem, and that they teams would face fines if any players chose to do so. 

On Tuesday, ABC cancelled the reboot of the popular 90’s sitcom “Roseanne” following racist tweets by the program’s star Roseanne Barr. 

While Barr was getting boot, 175,000 Starbucks employees were engaged in racial bias training, as the company closed 8,000 locations following an incident in Philadelphia in which two African American men were arrested for...well, being in Starbucks.   How is institutional racism and racial bias confronted in the corporate world?

Tom is joined by Dr. Kimberly Moffitt is an associate professor of American Studies and affiliate assistant professor of Africana Studies and Language, Literacy and Culture at the University of MD Baltimore County.  

Michael Fletcher is a senior writer at the Undefeated, ESPN’s online platform that explores the intersection of race, culture and sports.  He is a former national economics reporter for the Washington Post..  

And on the phone, Milton Kent, the host of Sports at Large here on WYPR, and a lecturer in the School of Global Journalism and Communication at Morgan State University. 

photo courtesy Annapolis Shakespeare Co.

It's Thursday, and time again for a visit with Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck, who joins us in the studio each week with her reviews of the region's theatrical endeavors.  This week, she spotlights the new production of Kiss Me, Kate, the Bard-inspired musical now on stage at Annapolis Shakespeare Company

Kiss Me, Kate is the "backstage" story of the production of a fictional musical version of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, fueled by the conflicts, on-stage and off, between the show's director, producer and star, and his temperamental leading lady (and ex-wife).

Written by Samuel and Bella Spewack, with music and lyrics by the inimitable Cole PorterKiss Me, Kate opened on Broadway in 1948 and enjoyed a long and successful initial run. In 1949, it won five Tony Awards, including the first Tony ever presented for Best Musical.  Ever since, it has been a frequent and internationally popular choice for revivals.

Directed and choreographed for Annapolis Shakespeare Company by Sally Boyett, with musical direction by Marc IrwinKiss Me Kate features a 17-member cast led by Benjamin Russell as producer Fred Graham and Robin Weiner as his ex-wife and star, Lilli Vanessi.

Kiss Me Kate continues at Annapolis Shakespeare Company through Sunday June 3.

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Early on Saturday morning, June 2, several thousand runners are expected to turn out for the 10th annual Baltimore Ten-Miler.   It starts and finishes in Druid Hill Park, and includes scenic strolls across 33rd Street and around Lake Montebello.  When that many runners lace-up and hit the pavement, there are bound to be a few twisted ankles, sore knees and strained backs.  

Dr. Miho Tanaka joins Tom in the studio to talk about how you can avoid serious injuries on race day and how you can minimize some of the inevitable aches and pains that follow a long run.  Dr. Tanaka also discusses the importance of an active lifestyle, and different kinds of exercise that help us stay healthy.  

Dr. Tanaka is an orthopedic surgeon and the Director of the Women’s Sports Medicine Program at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Before moving to Baltimore, she was the team physician for the St. Louis Cardinals and the St Louis Surge in the WNBA.  She’s also served as assistant team physician for the Baltimore Orioles and another professional women’s basketball team, the NY Liberty.   

Dr. Tanaka also answers listeners' questions about fitness and training routines, and possible treatments for the aches and pains of their active lives.

Johns Hopkins University

Before we begin today’s show, here’s a link that lists organizations that are helping people in Ellicott City with shelter, food and other humanitarian relief, following the severe flooding in that city’s historic downtown on Sunday – the second deadly flood in two years.

Today, it’s another edition of Midday on Ethics. We’re exploring some ethical questions pulled straight from the headlines. We begin with the ethics of organ transplantation, amid news of a medical breakthrough -- a transplant performed just weeks ago at Johns Hopkins Hospital here in Baltimore. For the first time, anywhere, doctors successfully performed a total penis and scrotum transplant on a service member who was injured in Afghanistan. Now that it’s possible to transplant a penis, or a uterus, what are the ethical issues that donors, recipients and transplant surgeons need to consider? Should we think about life-saving transplants like hearts and kidneys in the same way as non-lifesaving surgeries, the so-called quality-of-life transplants?

Plus, another news story caught our eye: California investigators used publicly available genetic information that was posted on an ancestry website to identify someone that they say is the Golden State Killer. He has been charged with murders police say he committed more than 30 years ago. Is your genetic information publicly available? Should it be, and if so, should it be more private than it is?

Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, the director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, is Tom’s guest today in Studio A.  Dr. Kahn stops by from time to time to help us explore how ethicists frame these kinds of very complex questions.

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It's Midday: The Afro-Check In, a regular feature where we sit down with our colleagues at the Baltimore-Afro American Newspapers to talk about some important local news developments.  

This week: grief and racial tension on both sides of the City/County line as the death of Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio, and the subsequent charges handed down to four Baltimore City teens, have unleashed a torrent of political mudslinging and racially charged bitterness. 

Also, with early voting in the Maryland primaries a little more than two weeks away, tensions continue to simmer between the campaign of gubernatorial candidate Valerie Ervin and the Maryland State Board of Elections, over the Board's decision not to provide updated ballots printed with the names and new candidacies of Ms. Ervin and her running mate, Marisol Johnson. 

Joining Tom here in Studio A:  Sean Yoes, the Baltimore Editor of The Afro-American Newspapers, and host of the podcast, Afro First Edition.  Sean is also the co-host of a new podcast that has its home here at WYPR:  Truth and Reconciliation.

Photo courtesy U. of Pennsylvania

This program originally aired on March 28, 2018 .

Today on the show, a conversation with Dr. Mary Frances Berry.  She is a scholar, an author and activist whose new book chronicles the history of American protest and resistance movements, from the Roosevelt administration through the Obama years.

From the Vietnam War to the end of apartheid in South Africa, to her long tenure on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission that spanned several administrations, Dr. Berry brings deep experience and erudition to her fascinating book.  It’s called History Teaches Us to Resist: How Progressive Movements Have Succeeded in Challenging Times.  

Tom Pelton

May 25, 2018

Tom talks with Environment in Focus Host Tom Pelton.

Tom recommends: 

"Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser

"From the Bottom Up" by Chad Pregracke

Today, Tom speaks with Derek Thompson, a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about business and technology, and hosts the new podcast Crazy/Genius.  He is also the author of  Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in the Age of Distraction.   

In his book -- which happens to be a best-seller -- Thompson takes a scientific approach to understanding why certain things in our culture become "cool," at least for a while, and whether or not there are commonalities between them across creative and cultural disciplines.  Thompson examines the hidden psychological and market forces that make a song, a movie or a politician popular, and how those forces are constantly reshaping our cultural landscape.  

photo by Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun

Today we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates...

Here in Baltimore, the city’s top prosecutor is the Baltimore City State’s Attorney, an elective position that's often in the eye of the storm surrounding some very high profile criminal cases.  The incumbent State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, attracted national attention with her decision to indict six officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray in 2015.  Mr. Gray died while in police custody.  None of the indicted officers were convicted of a crime.   

But while cases like those involving Freddie Gray get a lot of scrutiny, the State’s Attorney’s office prosecuted more than 41,000 cases in 2017.  The State’s Attorney oversees more than 400 people, including more than 200 lawyers, and the salary is the highest of any city employee.  It’s a big job, and there are two people challenging the incumbent for it in next month’s Democratic primary. 

Tom's guest for the hour today is one of those challengers. 

Ivan J. Bates is a veteran litigator, defense attorney and city prosecutor.  He earned his BA in journalism at Howard University in 1992 and got his Law Degree at William and Mary in 1995.  He was admitted to the Maryland bar that year and after clerking for Judge David B. Mitchell on the Circuit Court of Baltimore City, he served as an assistant state’s attorney in Baltimore, where he worked in the Juvenile Crime Division and later, the Homicide Division.  He started his own law practice in 2006.

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Today, Midday goes Back to the Garden.  

It’s been a pretty unusual spring, with the Eastern United States recording one of the coldest Marches in nearly two decades and an April that was also colder and wetter than normal. 

But here we are in May, with the Memorial Day Weekend on the horizon.  If you’re staying in town, sunshine is predicted at least for Saturday, and lots of us are raring to go in our gardens. 

Joining us with some tips on how to make those gardens grow: 

Carrie Engel, the greenhouse manager at Valley View Farms, the popular family-owned nursery in Cockeysville, Maryland.  She’s been a plant specialist at Valley View for most of nearly five decades.  She takes care of the annuals, tropicals and vegetables...

...and Denzel Mitchell, Jr. the former owner of Five Seeds Farm. Last month, he signed on as the farm manager at Strength to Love 2 Farm, a 1-½ acre workforce training farm in Baltimore's Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood.  They work with returning ex-offenders and serve as a Baltimore food resource with produce outlets around the city.  The farm is run by the faith-inspired non-profit group called Intersection of Change.  It's also a member of the Farm Alliance of Baltimore, a network of producers that’s working to increase the viability of urban farming and to improve access to city-grown foods...

We invite you to join the conversation with questions about your garden.

This segment was streamed live on WYPR's Facebook page.  You can check out the video here.

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It's time again for our weekly visit from theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck, who joins Tom today with her review of the new production of The Book of Joseph, now on stage at Baltimore's Everyman Theatre.

The play is a stage adaptation by Seattle playwright Karen Hartman of a book by former Baltimore newpaper and TV journalist Richard Hollander.  After Hollander's parents were killed in a car accident in the mid-1980s, he discovered in their attic a briefcase filled with correspondence. The letters, all stamped with Third Reich swastikas, provided a unique record of the tragic fate of his Jewish relatives in German-occupied Poland during the Holocaust, and of his father's heroic efforts to save them.

The discovery of those letters led Hollander, eventually, to write a book, which he published in 2007, called “Every Day Lasts a Year: A Jewish Family’s Correspondence from Poland.”  The book inspired the play that world-premiered in Chicago in 2017, and has now come to the Everyman, with Noah Himmelstein directing the resident company cast.

The Book of Joseph continues at Baltimore's Everyman Theatre until Sunday, June 10. 

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates  who will be on the June 26th primary ballot here in Maryland.

Tom’s guest today is Valerie Ervin.  She is one of nine Democrats running for Governor this June.  The winner will go up against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election in November. 

Last week, the former Montgomery County Councilwoman announced that she would be taking the place of her former running mate, the late Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, as a Democratic candidate for Governor.  She is the second woman, and one of four African Americans running for Governor in the Democratic primary. 

Ervin’s career includes politics, education and labor advocacy.  She was the first African American woman to serve on the Montgomery County Council where she served two terms; she was only the 2nd African American woman to serve on the Montgomery County Board of Education. 

Her running mate is Marisol Johnson, former Baltimore County school board Vice Chair.  She is the first Latina to hold public office in Baltimore County. 

Valerie Ervin also took your questions, emails and tweets.  Like all of Midday’s Conversations with the Candidates, this program was streamed live on the WYPR FB page.  Check out the video here

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates, which includes those who already hold public office.

Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger is Tom's guest in Studio A, for the hour today.  He has represented Maryland’s 2nd congressional district since 2003.  That district includes parts of five jurisdictions: Baltimore City and Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Harford and Howard Counties.

Rep.  Ruppersberger serves on the House Appropriations Committee as well as the Subcommittee on Defense and the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations & Related Programs. He is a former ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. A number of institutions and organizations in his district are involved in cyber security issues.

Like all but one of the eight members of the Congressional delegation from Maryland, he is standing for re-election this year. He is being opposed in the primary by a political newcomer, Jake Pretot.

We livestreamed this conversation on WYPR's Facebook page.  If you missed it, check out the video here. 

Friends of Rushern Baker III

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates who will be on the June 26th primary ballot here in Maryland. 

Yesterday, former Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin entered the Democratic primary race for Maryland governor, following the sudden passing of Baltimore County Executive and gubernatorial candidate Kevin Kamenetz, with whom she'd been running as a candidate forLieutenant Governor. 

We begin the program with WYPR's Baltimore County politics reporter, John Leeand his analysis of the changing dynamics of the governor's race.  

Tom’s guest for the balance of the hour is Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III, also a Democratic candidate for Maryland governor. 

Rushern Baker is one of three candidates in the race who is not a political outsider, and now, the only one currently serving as a county executive.  Baker entered politics in 1994, serving in the Maryland House of Delegates until 2003.  He lost his first two elections for Prince George's county executive, but in 2010, he beat incumbent Jack Johnson.  Soon after that election, federal prosecutors arrested Johnson on corruption charges.  Mr. Baker has been widely credited with improving the county’s image and ending its “pay to play” legacy.

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