Baltimore politics is dominated by the (D). You’ll see the capital letter inside the parentheses after every name of every elected official in the city. For even the most engaged political observers, this means the competitive races in Baltimore are summertime affairs: the primaries. 

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t turn out, or that there aren’t some key issues to settle on Election Day. From referendums to a governor’s race, November 8 is not an election to skip. So get out to the polls and vote. 

Wait the Baltimore Police Department is a state agency 

If you’re among the thousands of Baltimore City residents who registered for early voting and already have a ballot, you’ll see Question H, which would establish the Baltimore City Police Department as a city agency.

The Baltimore City Police Department, since 1860, has been and continues to be a state agency that is locally administered. The City Council and the mayor hire the police commissioner; the mayor and the council approve the department’s budget (all $570 million of it); and the police commissioner hires and fires the commanders and rank-and-file cops. Officer discipline and oversight lies largely outside the control of City Hall. 

There’s a whole history that got Baltimore to this place which includes divisive politics, the Civil War, and perhaps even the fact that the department was once headed by a former Confederate cavalry officer after he was done letting out rebel yells in the Lost Cause.      

But here we are, and Baltimore City residents have a choice. A “yes” vote returns the police department to the city. A “no” vote leaves it with the state. 

Inspection reports  

Baltimore’s Office of Inspector General is responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct, violations of city regulations, civil statues, or criminal acts by city employees and contractors. The office also looks for irregularities in city contracts and institutional weaknesses and problems. If you are involved in some shenanigans, the inspector general’s job is to sit back and watch you, collect information on the wrongdoing, and report those findings. 

Question I on the ballot asks voters whether the office should be overseen by an 11-member board comprised of seven City Council appointees, two local law school heads, a certified public accountant, and a fraud inspector, rather than the current five member board made up of exclusively of City Hall folks.

A “yes” vote broadens the replaces the current board with a larger oversight body.

A “no” vote keeps the current oversight board in place.   

Media bias 

Sinclair Broadcast Group wants in on the politics game. Sure, media outlets often call balls and strikes on politicians and the laws and policies they introduce, but a media outlet executive contributing $525,000 to a campaign is a different story. That’s what Sinclair Broadcast Group executive David Smith gave to the political action committee People for Elected Accountability and Civic Engagement. Those are the folks backing Question K, a move to place term limits on Baltimore City elected officials. 

As an independent nonprofit newspaper, the Baltimore Beat won’t take a position in the election and, by law, it can’t.

A “yes” vote on Question K places term limits on Baltimore City elected officials beginning in 2024. 

A “no” vote does not create limits on the number of terms a politician can run for and occupy an elected office. 


The legal sale of weed has been making white people money for years now. Meanwhile, Black and Brown folks still sit behind bars for selling, carrying, or sometimes even simply smelling like weed. Many states have already approved the use of weed for non-medical use, including New York, New Jersey, and Virginia. Right now, the only way Maryland residents can legally get their hands on weed is by purchasing it from a medical dispensary, and only with a medical card. A recent Washington Post/University of Maryland poll found that Marylanders mostly think cannabis should be legalized. The Washington Post reported that 77 percent of Black voters and 70 percent of white voters approve of the legislation. It would go into effect on or after July 1, 2023.

A “yes” vote means that Marylanders 21 years of age or older can legally possess up to 1.5 ounces of weed. 

A “no” vote means cannabis remains legal for medicinal use only in Maryland.

Remembering Tater 

It’s been almost two years since Dante “Tater” Barksdale was shot and killed. He was the face of Safe Streets, the violence mediation program in Baltimore, and he was close to many in City Hall. On the ballot this year is a measure to fund an apprenticeship program which will bear Barksdale’s name for Baltimore City high schools and community colleges. 

A “yes” vote gives the mayor’s office the power to create a non-lapsing fund for the program. 

A “no” vote does not allow the mayor’s office to have the authority to create a non-lapsing fund for the apprenticeship program. 

The following are the candidates for state and federal offices whose jurisdiction covers Baltimore City. Incumbents are marked with an asterisk (*). 

Maryland Governor


Democrat: Wes Moore; Lieutenant Governor, Aruna Miller 

Republican: Dan Cox; Lieutenant Governor, Gordana Schifanelli 

Green: Nancy Wallace; Lieutenant Governor, Patrick Elder  

Libertarian: David Lashar; Lieutenant Governor, Christiana Logansmith  

Working Class: David Harding; Lieutenant Governor Cathy White

Maryland Comptroller


Republican: Barry Glassman

Democrat: Brooke Elizabeth Lierman  

Maryland Attorney General


Democrat: Anthony G. Brown

Republican: Michael Anthony Peroutka 

United States Senate


Republican: Chris Chaffee Party

* Democrat: Chris Van Hollen

United States House of Representatives, District 2


Republican: Nicolee Ambrose 

* Democrat: C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger 

United States House of Representatives, District 7


* Democrat: Kweisi Mfume

Republican: Scott M. Collier 

Maryland State Senate, District 40


Republican: Christopher Anderson

* Democrat: Antonio Hayes 

Maryland State Senate, District 41

* Democrat: Jill P. Carter (running unopposed) 

Maryland State Senate, District 43


* Democrat: Mary Washington 

Libertarian: Bob Gemmill 

Maryland State Senate, District 45 

* Democrat: Cory V. McCray (running unopposed)

Maryland State Senate, District 46

Republican: Emmanuel Digman

* Democrat: Bill Ferguson

Maryland House of Delegates, District 40

Candidates (vote for up to three) 

* Democrat: Marlon D. Amprey 

* Democrat: Frank Conaway, Jr. 

* Democrat: Melissa Wells 

Republican: Zulieka A. Baysmore 

Maryland House of Delegates, District 41

Candidates (vote for up to three)

Republican: Scott Graham

* Democrat: Dalya Attar 

* Democrat: Tony Bridges

* Democrat: S. I. “Sandy” Rosenberg

Maryland House of Delegates, District 43A

Candidates (vote for up to two)

* Democrat: Regina T. Boyce

Republican: Gwendolyn O. Butler 

Green: Renaud Deaundre Brown 

Democrat: Elizabeth Embry 

Maryland House of Delegates, District 45

Candidates (Vote for up to three) 

Republican: Antonio Barboza 

Democrat: Jackie Addison 

* Democrat: Stephanie Smith

Democrat: Caylin Young 

Maryland House of Delegates, District 46

Candidates (vote for up to three)

* Democrat: Luke Clippinger 

Democrat: Mark Edelson

* Democrat: Robbyn Lewis

Republican: Peter Waters

Judge of the Circuit Court: Circuit 8

Candidates (nonpartisan election, vote for up to four)

Erik Atas

Charles Mario Blomquist  

Myshala E. Middleton 

Barry G. Williams 

Judge, Court of Special Appeals at Large

Candidates (nonpartisan election) 

Stuart R. Berger (A “yes” vote keeps this person on the bench, a “no” vote ends their term.)

Terrence M. R. Zic (A “yes” vote keeps this person on the bench, a “no” vote ends their term.)

Baltimore City State’s Attorney

Democrat: Ivan Bates (running unopposed)

Baltimore City Clerk of the Circuit Court

Democrat: Xavier A. Conaway (running unopposed) 

Baltimore City Register of Wills

Democrat: Belinda Conaway (running unopposed)

Baltimore Orphans Court

Candidates (vote for up to three) 

* Democrat: Charles “Chuck” Bernstein 

* Democrat: Lewyn Scott Garrett

* Democrat: Michele E. Loewenthal 

Baltimore City Board of Education, at-Large Member

Candidates (nonpartisan, vote for up to two)

April Christina Curley

Salimah Jasani

Ashley E. Esposito

Kwame Kenyatta-Bey  

* An earlier version of this post, incorrectly stated what was on the ballot for Question I, the charter amendment to change the composition of the committee which oversees the city’s Inspector General. The ballot question ask voters whether they want to expand the size and alter the composition of that oversight committee. The Baltimore Beat regrets the error.