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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's lone Muslim state lawmaker has resigned from his Democratic leadership position, calling the presidential election a wake-up call for the party.

Media outlets report that Del. Sam Rasoul of Roanoke stepped down Friday from his post as secretary of the House of Delegates Democratic Caucus, calling for a "massive overhaul" to reconnect with working-class voters after Donald Trump's presidential victory.

In the post Rasoul held since last December, he was responsible for administrative tasks such as keeping records of meeting minutes.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine says he'll seek re-election in 2018 but is ruling out a presidential bid in 2020.

The former Democratic vice presidential nominee said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday that his decision is final.

"Period. Full stop," Kaine said.

The 58-year-old said he wants to serve in the upper chamber for as long as he's healthy and the voters of Virginia, and his wife, allow him.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley says he won't seek to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

O'Malley released a statement Wednesday saying he's grateful to friends who urged him to consider running, but he won't seek the chairmanship. He says the committee needs a chairman "who can do the job fully and with total impartiality."

The announcement comes days after O'Malley said he was "taking a hard look" at the position after being approached by "many Democrats who believe our party needs new leadership."

Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - State election data shows that the number of Maryland voters who wrote in their own candidate for president this year increased substantially compared to 2012.

The Baltimore Sun reports that about 32,000 Maryland voters wrote in a candidate for president this year. That's up from 10,309 voters in 2012 when President Barack Obama defeated Republican Mitt Romney.

Pre-election polls showed that both Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton had low approval ratings among voters.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Voter turnout in Maryland ended up lower than state elections officials thought it would be.

Linda Lamone, the state's elections administrator, said Thursday that voter turnout was about 66 percent for both Election Day and early voting.

With some long lines at polls on Election Day, Lamone initially projected hours before polls closed that overall turnout could reach 80 percent or higher.

In the end, about 2.5 million Maryland residents voted early and on Election Day. The state has about 3.9 million eligible voters.

Don Rush

GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - The political campaigns and election are over, and now it's time for Delaware Democrats and Republicans to bury the hatchet.

Politicians of all stripes are gathering in Georgetown on Thursday for the time-honored tradition of Return Day, where they will settle their partisan differences, if only for the moment.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Sen.-elect Chris Van Hollen says President-elect Donald Trump has "a great burden" to reach out to Democrats after running an "incredibly divisive campaign."

Van Hollen spoke Wednesday with Maryland Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin in Baltimore. Van Hollen won the seat that is opening with Mikulski's retirement after 30 years in the office.

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It’s now President-elect Donald Trump who swept to victory with 289 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 218.

But, the states of Maryland, Virginia and Delaware did go blue giving the Democrat their electoral votes.

Voters React

Maryland Eastern Shore voters told Delmarva Public Radio’s Savanah Hatch there were mixed feeling:

On the Eastern Shore Trump overwhelmingly carried the three Lower Shore Counties of Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset.

Trump campaigned in Worcester County in April of this year.

It's Election Day

Nov 8, 2016
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Maryland residents are flocking to the polls today.

And along with the presidential race voters also will pick the replacement for one of the state's most popular politicians: Senator Barbara Mikulski.

She who is retiring this year after 30 years on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen is aiming to succeed his Democratic colleague holding a commanding lead in the public opinion polls over Republican Delegate Kathy Szeliga with 58% to 29%.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Regardless of the winners, Tuesday's election promises to significantly alter Delaware's political landscape.

Voters will elect a new congressional representative, a new governor, and new leaders of the state's two largest local governments.

Balloting in House and Senate races also will define the balance of power in the General Assembly, where Republicans are hoping to end years of Democratic rule and regain control of the Senate.

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With the closing days of the presidential election coming next week, little has been said by the Democratic or Republican candidates about the health of the Chesapeake Bay. And climate change has barely come to the surface. John Lee prepared this report for Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative.

Don Rush

Voters on the Eastern Shore flocked to the polls during the early voting period that ended yesterday.

Anthony Gutierrez, Election Director for Wicomico County, told WBOC that the goal had been to hit at least 10-thousand.

In Worcester County just over 63-hundred had gone to the polls while in Dorchester County the number was just over 32-hundred.

In Somerset County it was just over 23-hundred.

WBOC reports that election officials say early voting was up 18 percent from four years ago.

msa.maryland.gov

With the retirement of Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski this year another woman is vying for her seat. Republican Delegate Kathy Szeliga is seeking to succeed the longest serving woman on Capitol Hill. But, she is up against Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen who has been a rising star in the House leadership. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush takes a look at her candidacy. 

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This year Senator Barbara Mikulski is retiring after nearly 40 years in congress and becoming the longest serving woman on Capitol Hill. Democrats are eager to continue their control of the seat and have put up Rep. Chris Van Hollen who is running against Republican Delegate Kathy Szeliga this year. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush recently spoke with the Democrat about the race and the issue.

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If Democrats take control of the U.S. as a result of this year’s election it could boost the clout of the Delaware delegation.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Senator Tom Carper could wind up chairing either the Homeland Security Committee or the Environment and Public Works Committee.

Currently, he is the senior Democrat on those panels.

Meanwhile, Senator Chris Coons could be in line to head up the Select Committee on Ethics.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's elections administrator says the first day of early voting is going smoothly so far.

Linda Lamone says all 69 early voting centers opened on time Thursday, and there have been no reports of problems. People were lined up at some voting centers before they opened at 8 a.m.

More than 96,000 people had voted as of 5 p.m. Of them, about 64,300 were Democrats and 21,600 were Republicans. That compares to 10,235 voters registered with other parties.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Early voting is beginning in Maryland.

Voters will be able to start casting ballots on Thursday.

Early voting polls will be open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Nov. 3.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Department of Elections says nearly 28,000 people registered to vote during a brief extension of the state's voter-registration deadline.

A federal judge granted the deadline's extension Thursday after heavy demand prevented some voters from registering online. U.S. Senior Judge Claude Hilton had ordered officials to reopen voter registration in the commonwealth and keep it open until 11:59 p.m. Friday.

msa.maryland.gov

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's Republican candidate for U.S. Senate said she will respect the decision of the state's voters on Election Day.

Del. Kathy Szeliga was asked Thursday about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's comments during the third presidential debate that he might not accept election results. Trump had said in the days leading up to Wednesday night's debate that the election would be "rigged."

Szeliga says voter fraud exists, but she said "preemptively assuming the election is fixed only further erodes people's trust in our democracy."

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The two candidates for governor in Delaware clashed last night during a debate.

Republican state senator Colin Bonini said that he represented the change that was needed to deal with the state’s challenges – especially when it comes to budgetary issues.

“And the issue here is giving the political freedom to accomplish things. And it means picking fights with people you don’t want to pick fights with. And I think we need a sort of street fighter governor.”

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe was among those being considered by Hillary Clinton to be her running mate.

McAuliffe was among nearly 40 elected officials, military leaders and corporate CEOs considered in the spring for the vice presidential nominee by the Clinton campaign. The list was included among hacked emails from Clinton's campaign chairman disclosed by WikiLeaks.

McAuliffe is a friend of Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Clinton ultimately chose Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, who was also on the list.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Republican state delegate wants Virginia's head elections official replaced ahead of Election Day.

Del. Tim Hugo said at a Capitol hearing Thursday that Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner Edgardo Cortes isn't up for the job and his department is letting down the state's local officials who run elections.

Hugo's comments came after several county election registrars complained about the state's shoddy I.T. infrastructure and officials in Cortes' office being unresponsive to their requests for help.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The nasty campaign for the White House is playing out in the race to replace retiring five-term Sen. Barbara Mikulski in Maryland. The two leading candidates are trying to inject their opponent with the "poisonous" air at the top of the ticket.

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan is starting a three-day swing through western Maryland a few weeks before Election Day.

His schedule includes breakfast Thursday in Hagerstown with Republican congressional candidate Amie (AH'-mee) Hoeber, followed by a cabinet meeting at the downtown Maryland Theatre.

Hoeber's bid to unseat Rep. John Delaney is considered the most competitive House race among Maryland's eight congressional districts.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump's presidential campaign has fired its Virginia chairman after he led a protest at GOP headquarters complaining that the party establishment was undercutting its nominee.

At a protest Monday outside Republican National Committee headquarters, Corey Stewart referred to the Republican establishment as "pukes" who were thwarting Trump by reallocating campaign funds to congressional races instead of the presidential campaign.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan is scheduled to endorse Dr. Mark Plaster, who is running for Congress in the 3rd Congressional District.

The two Republicans plan to take a tour of downtown Annapolis on Tuesday morning.

They plan to visit businesses on Main Street and near the City Dock.

Plaster is a physician, lawyer and small-business owner. He started a modest publishing company with his wife about 30 years ago. His campaign says it's become an international medical publishing company.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon, whose attempt at a comeback fell short when she lost the primary to regain her old job, is expected to run as a write-in candidate for the post.

Dixon, a Democrat who resigned as mayor in 2010 after an embezzlement conviction, said on her Facebook page Monday that she would have a live announcement Tuesday morning. She added the hashtags (hash)DixonForMayor2016 and (hash)WriteHerIn.

Dixon tells WJZ-TV that she wants to do what's best for Baltimore.

berlinmd.gov

Gee Williams has won an overwhelming landslide in his reelection bid for another term as Mayor of Berlin.

Williams racked up 588 votes compared to his rival Lisa Hall’s 137.

WBOC reports that Williams began his involvement with town government with a seat on the city council in 2003.

He ascended to the Mayor’s office in 2008 with the death of then-Mayor Tom Cardinale.

Hall who decided not to seek another term on the city council has been succeeded by Zachery Tyndall who beat his rival Jack Orris 185 votes to 116 in District 2.

Don Rush

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials project the cost of handling elections this year will reach $3 million.
    
Media outlets report that much of that money is spent on personnel and transporting voting machines.
    
Officials say the job is never easy or cheap despite the fact that Delaware has only three counties.
    
Besides the general election in November, Delaware held its presidential primary in April. A statewide primary is scheduled for Sept. 13. There are other local contests as well.
    

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is set to help raise money for Virginia GOP gubernatorial hopeful Ed Gillespie.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports  that Walker, who briefly ran for president, will attend a fundraiser for Gillespie next month at a private home in Northern Virginia.

Donations are expected to be as high as $25,000.

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