Pre-2014 Election County Executives and Councils
Maryland has fewer subdivisions than almost any other state with just 23 counties and one independent city. Except Baltimore City, all elect their legislatures–Councils or Commission–at the same time as the gubernatorial election. Starting in 2016, Baltimore’s City will be in sync with the presidential election cycle.
Besides legislatures, eight counties with home rule charters directly elect a county executive, functionally equivalent to that of mayor–the title given to Baltimore City’s executive. Frederick County’s voters approved its charter in 2012 and will elect its first county executive this year.
The above table shows the pre-2014 election partisan breakdown of county executives and legislatures for all counties and Baltimore City, highlighting one party counties based on the party of the legislature with red indicating Republican and blue Democratic counties .
Nine have only Republican legislatures (and executives): Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, Garrett, Queen Anne’s, and Washington. Four are solidly Democratic: Baltimore City, Charles, Montgomery, and Prince George’s.
Most Republican counties are small, though Calvert, Carroll, Frederick, and Queen Anne’s are fast-growing exurbs. Calvert, Carroll and Queen Anne’s are all solidly Republican, though more overwhelmingly in Carroll than Calvert or Queen Anne’s. Frederick leans Republican but has been moving towards the Democrats. Whether the trend will continue strongly enough to push the County away from the GOP remains to be seen.
Three counties and Baltimore City sit in the Democratic camp. All are overwhelmingly Democratic with Republicans having next to no chance. In Prince George’s, only one Republican has so far filed for a Council seat. Democrats would still hold a bare majority on the Montgomery Council even if every Republican candidate won. Republicans have filed for only two seats on the Charles Commission.
The remaining eleven counties have split councils or commissions, though many lean heavily to either the Democrats or the Republicans. Harford, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester list towards the Republicans, while Baltimore County and Howard favor the Democrats. Anne Arundel leans GOP but seems increasingly marginal for a place expected once to be a Republican bastion.
Due to the plentiful rural Republican counties, there are 75 Republican legislators compared to 65 Democrats in very blue Maryland. Must make politics for officer elections at the Maryland Association of Counties (MACO) interesting.