It's 2014, which means that elections in D.C. and Maryland are only months away.
With the holidays past and a New Year upon us, candidates for elected office in D.C. and Maryland are ramping up for an election year that will see pitched battles for the top leadership slots in both places.
In D.C., candidates for the April 1 primary — when everything from the mayor's office to various seats on the D.C. Council will be up for grabs — have until tomorrow to turn in required nominating petitions to appear on the ballot. For citywide candidates that's 2,000 signatures from registered voters, while ward-based contenders have to turn in fewer.
Mayor Vincent Gray's campaign turned in over 7,700 signatures yesterday, and promised to have over 8,000 by Jan. 2. Challengers Muriel Bowser, Tommy Wells, Andy Shallal, and Vincent Orange have also turned in nominating petitions, while Jack Evans, Reta Jo Lewis and various other contenders haven't.
Paul Zukerberg has submitted petitions for his attorney general run — he's the only contender — but it remains to be seen whether the office will even end up on the ballot. In October the D.C. Council moved to delay the election to 2018, but Zukerberg filed suit and will have to make his case to a D.C. court in January.
Republicans, Libertarians and Statehood Greens will also be on the ballot for various offices.
In Maryland, two heavyweights — Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Attorney General Doug Gansler — will be fighting for the governor's office, and the campaign has already produced negative ads and political gaffes. Montgomery County Del. Heather Mizeur is also in the race. The Democratic primary is set for June 24.
Virginia got its statewide elections done in 2013, but congressional candidates will be ramping up for the November elections that could help determine who controls the House and Senate. One seat that will be hotly contested is the one held by retiring Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), who represents a swath of Northern Virginia running from Winchester to McLean.
Another big Virginia race to watch will be the special election to fill the seat of Mark Herring, the Loudoun County Democrat who was elected attorney general. The fate of that race will help determine which party controls the State Senate.