- Associated Press - Monday, September 1, 2014

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Here are five things to know about what Maryland voters will be deciding on Election Day:

1. NEW GOVERNOR: Maryland voters will be choosing a new governor to replace term-limited Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown is the Democratic candidate. Larry Hogan, an Anne Arundel County real estate broker, is the Republican candidate. The governor is elected to a four-year term. Maryland’s constitution provides the office with unusually strong budget powers for a governor, as the Legislature can only cut from the budget submitted by the chief executive each January. The governor also is one of three members of the Board of Public Works, which approves state contracts.


2. GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Voters also will be deciding all 188 seats in the Maryland General Assembly, including 141 House seats and 47 Senate seats. Maryland’s Legislature is heavily Democratic now, with 98 House Democrats and 35 Senate Democrats, compared with 43 Republican House members and 12 Republican Senate members. While significant changes in membership are bound to happen in the House, where many members ran for other offices, Democrats are expected to maintain control of both chambers in a state where registered Democratic voters outnumber Republicans by a 2-to-1 margin.


3. ATTORNEY GENERAL: A new attorney general will be elected. State Sen. Brian Frosh, who has been a state lawmaker from Montgomery County for nearly 28 years, is the Democratic candidate. Jeffrey Pritzker, a Baltimore County corporate lawyer, is the Republican candidate. The office is open because incumbent Attorney General Doug Gansler ran for governor. The attorney general is the state’s chief lawyer.


4. COMPTROLLER: Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democrat, is running for re-election. William Campbell is the Republican candidate. Franchot is a former Montgomery County delegate who is running for his third term as comptroller. Campbell, who is the vice chairman of NASA’s Audit, Finance and Analysis Committee, is challenging Franchot for the second time in a row. Franchot won the race in 2010 with 61 percent of the vote to 39 percent. The comptroller’s main job is to collect the state’s taxes. The comptroller also is one of three members of the Board of Public Works.


5. EARLY VOTING: Early voting, which began in Maryland in 2010, starts this year on Thursday, Oct. 23. It continues through Thursday, Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 4. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Early voting turnout was at a record high in the June primary, with 141,590 people casting ballots, even though overall turnout ended up being very low. The primary early voting period was two days longer than in previous election years, and the early voting period will be two days longer in the general election. There will be 1,605 polls open around the state.

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