Tuesday, April 08, 2008

MD-4 Special Election update

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com

Looks like Donna Edwards may get to go to Denver after all:

Voters in Maryland’s 4th District will fill their soon-to-be-vacant U.S. House seat on an expedited basis, following the state legislature’s approval of a proposal to short-circuit the lengthier process prescribed by Maryland election law. But the legislation ... left some uncertainty about the exact timing of the special election to replace Democratic Rep. Albert R. Wynn,... who is leaving Congress on May 31.

Both chambers passed a pair of bills, one of which would require Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley to set the election on a Tuesday at least 36 days after his proclamation of an election, and another that would set the date for at least 36 days but no more than 60 days after the proclamation. By passing both bills, the legislature essentially punted the matter to O’Malley, who must decide which of the bills to sign and which to veto.
The bill would require O’Malley to announce the date of the special election within 10 days of when either the seat officially becomes vacant or the governor is notified in writing by Wynn of the date he will vacate the seat. Exactly when the election will be held after that proclamation will depend on which version of the legislation O’Malley signs.
In addition to the skipping of the primary, the other big change is that, under this new law, the 36 day clock can start when Wynn officially notifies O'Malley he is leaving Congress. If that happened tomorrow, the election could be held as early as May 20, and Edwards could be sworn into Congress the day Wynn leaves. But in any case, it looks good that Edwards will be attending the convention as a superdelegate, and Obama will have another name in his column.