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MD’s Primary Election Is Tuesday, O’Malley Speaks In Iowa, and Harris Seeks New Leadership Role

Gage Skidmore via flickr

Maryland voters head to the polls Tuesday for the primary election; the polls will be open tomorrow from 7am to 8pm. We look at turnout during early voting. Plus: O’Malley speaks in Iowa, Harris seeks a new leadership role, the chikungunya virus surfaces in Maryland, news on the Baltimore County library system, and more.Primary Election Day Is Tomorrow: Maryland’s Primary Election is tomorrow. The polls will be open from 7am to 8pm. The races for governor and state attorney general are receiving the bulk of the attention but there are a number of other boxes to check – including congressional races and the races that will decide who’ll hold all the seats in Maryland’s General Assembly for the next four years.

Early Voting Turnout Breaks Record (But That's Not Saying Much): More than 140-thousand Marylanders have already cast their primary ballots, during early voting – marking nearly twice the early voting turnout of the 2012 and 2010 primaries. But WYPR's Karen Hostler tells Christopher Connelly the numbers are still low, on this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics.

O’Malley Speaks In Iowa: Maryland’s outgoing Governor –Martin O’Malley – continues to lay the groundwork for a possible presidential campaign. He was in Iowa over the weekend… to speak at a Friday dinner for retiring Senator Tom Harkin. And then to address delegates at the Iowa Democratic Party’s convention on Saturday. Iowa holds the first of the nation presidential caucuses. O’Malley appeared earlier this month in New Hampshire, which holds the first presidential primary in the nation. The outgoing Governor has not officially stated that he will run for the presidency; if he does, he’s likely to face former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary; Clinton says she’s not likely to announce whether she’ll run herself until next year. The Washington Post has more.

Harris Seeks New Leadership Role: Maryland’s only Republican in Congress – First District Representative Andy Harris – says he’s looking to be the next chairman of the Republican Study Committee. The influential conservative caucus in the House of Representatives represents more than two thirds of Republicans in that chamber. Its chairmanship has become vacant, after the GOP leadership changes that followed the ouster of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who lost his primary election earlier this month. Congressman Harris tells the Baltimore Sunthat he’s assembling the team he’s going to need to mount a bid for the chairmanship. The election for the post will be held in the next few weeks.

Talk Of Staff Moves Too Quiet, Even For Librarians: When the Baltimore County Council approved the budget for the coming fiscal year, it also approved the transfer of more than two dozen information technology positions from the county libraries to the county government. It’s a cost savings move as technology services from individual county agencies are consolidated into one single department. WYPR’s Kenneth Burns reports that the move is raising concerns among library officials and causing the county IT director to do more explaining.

Cardin, Mikulski, And Other Officials At Baltimore VA Center Today: Both of Maryland's US senators will be stopping by the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center this morning.Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin will be joined by Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes and Maryland VA Secretary Edward Chow for a tour of the facility and a briefing on how the Baltimore VA is responding to the findings of the recent audit of the VA health care system.

Chikungunya Surfaces In Maryland: Maryland health officials are giving you another reason to load up on bug repellent this season. They say the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus has been found in the state. The disease is more common in the Caribbean; it’s been identified in the U.S. for the first time this summer. Officials say chikungunya is not fatal, but it can make you very sick – symptoms include fever and joint pain. Officials recommend keeping your yard free from any standing water and debris, in order to prevent mosquitoes from breeding – and being able to spread the disease.

More Smartphone Charging Stations AT BWI: BWI is trying to get with the times, converting three former pay phone banks into charging stations for electronic devices Airport officials say nearly 200 outlets and USB ports have been added to concourse D. A similar effort was completed last year and more places to "plug-in" will be added later this year. The Baltimore Sun has more.

Annapolis Seeks Help To Pay For Independence Day Fireworks: As Independence Day approaches, Annapolis is still looking for help to pay for its annual Fourth of July fireworks display. The Capital Gazette reportsthat the fireworks show is largely funded by donations from businesses and citizens; such donations are tax deductible. Annapolis’s fireworks will go off at around 9:15pm on the evening of the fourth; they’ll be launched from a barge at the mouth of Spa Creek near the Severn River.

Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles beat the New York Yankees yesterday. The score: 8 to 0. The O’s are back in Baltimore tonight for a game against the Chicago White Sox; first pitch at Camden Yards is set for 7:05pm.

Washington Baseball: the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves yesterday; the score there: 4 to 1.

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.