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Annapolis Mayoral Race Still Undecided, O’Malley Calls For Higher Minimum Wage, and BGF Indictments

Karen Hosler

Vote counting in Annapolis will resume at noon Friday; the city’s mayoral race is still undecided. Governor O’Malley calls for a higher minimum wage, but doesn’t specify what it should be. Plus: BGF indictments, Ruppersberger on the governor’s race, Cardin calls on the House to approve ENDA, and more.

Annapolis Mayoral Race Still Undecided: We still don’t know who won Annapolis’s mayoral election. The city’s board of elections began its official vote canvas yesterday, and ballot counting continued into the wee hours of the morning – ending around 4:30am. When the polls closed in Annapolis on Tuesday, the outcome the race was too close to call, with fewer than 100 votes separating Democratic incumbent Josh Cohen and Republican challenger Mike Pantelides – who led by 84 votes in the unofficial tally. After more than 17 hours of examining ballots that started yesterday morning at 9, Pantelides is still in the lead, although that lead has narrowed to 50 votes. The vote count is set to get back underway at noon today; the Capital Gazette reports that more than 100 provisional ballots cast on Election Day need to be tallied. There’s more here from the Baltimore Sun.

O’Malley Calls For Higher Minimum Wage: Governor Martin O'Malley says that Maryland’s minimum wage should go up. As the Washington Post reports, O’Malley has launched an online petition drive calling for an increase in to the current $7.25 per hour rate. O’Malley isn’t saying what he wants the new minimum wage to be. An effort to raise the rate to about $10 an hour failed in the General Assembly last year, and similar legislation will likely be a focus of next year’s session. The Baltimore Sun notes that the three Democrats running to be Maryland’s next governor – Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown, state Attorney General Doug Gansler, and Montgomery County Delegate Heather Mizeur – all say that they want the minimum wage to go up.

Ruppersberger Says He’d “Kick Butt,” But Leans Against Gubernatorial Bid: 2nd District Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger is also considering a bid to be Maryland’s next governor, and he tells the Capital Gazette that he thinks he’d “kick butt” if he were elected in 2014. But Representative Ruppersberger says that, despite calls from his constituents to get in the race, he is currently leaning against mounting a bid for the state’s highest office. Ruppersberger says he hasn’t made a final decision yet, and says that he’s in a good position if he does choose to run – citing a recent Goucher College poll showing that his name recognition is higher than most of the candidates already in the race. The democrat hasn’t set a timeline for when he’ll make a decision.

Cardin Calls On House To Pass ENDA: Senator Ben Cardin is urging the House of Representatives to pass a gay rights bill. The Maryland Democrat is one of the co-sponsors of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, which won bipartisan approval in the Senate yesterday. Cardin notes that Maryland is one of fewer than two dozen states that prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. There’s more on ENDA here from the Baltimore Sun.

Indictments Announced For BGF Members and Associates: Police are rounding up more than a dozen members or associates of a part of the Black Guerilla Family gang that has been terrorizing a section of East Baltimore. Officials say it’s part of their strategy to reduce violence in the city. WYPR’s Kenneth Burns has more here. There’s more here from the Baltimore Sun.

Why Maryland GOP Should Focus On Local Races: WYPR's Fraser Smith and Richard Cross III, blogger and former GOP staffer, talk about why the conditions do not seem to be right for a Republican victory in the governor's race next year. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics.

AG Candidates’ Forum: The four democrats vying to be Maryland’s next Attorney General spoke to potential voters at a candidates’ forum in Baltimore last night. Those candidates are State Senator Brian Frosh and Delegates Aisha Braveboy, Jon Cardin, and Bill Frick. The Washington Post reports that they spoke about environmental laws, consumer protections, and efforts to ensure that poor people are defended by lawyers in the state’s court system… and the Baltimore Sun notes that the four had similar views on all those topics.  Indeed, Senator Frosh said “there isn’t much difference among us on the issues.” He added that voters will likely make their decisions based on who they think is best qualified and prepared to take the job. No Republicans have entered the Attorney General’s race yet, and it’s unclear if any will… democrats have held the post for more than half a century.

Baltimore Football: The Ravens are hosting the first-place Cincinnati Bengals this weekend. The Ravens come in having lost three straight for the first time since the middle of last season. Kickoff at M&T Bank Stadium is set for Sunday afternoon at 1. Tickets for Ravens games are getting cheaper; the Baltimore Business Journal reports that the average price has dropped nearly 28 percent since the season began. The decline’s likely tied to the Raven’s disappointing 3 and 5 record this season.

WYPR's Morning Edition news anchor Ashley Sterner serves up the latest Maryland news and weather every weekday morning, delightfully interspersed with the occasional snarky comment.