Josh Kurtz

Josh Kurtz

Josh Kurtz has been writing about Maryland politics since late 1995. Louie Goldstein, William Donald Schaefer and Pete Rawlings were alive, but the Intercounty Connector, as far as anyone could tell, was dead.

But some things never change: Mike Miller is still in charge of the Senate. Gerry Evans and Bruce Bereano are among the top-earning lobbyists in Annapolis. Steny Hoyer is still waiting for Nancy Pelosi to disappear. And Maryland Republicans are still struggling to be relevant.

The media landscape in Maryland has changed a lot, and Kurtz is happy to write weekly for Center Maryland. He's been writing a column for the website since it launched in January 2010.

In his "real" job, Kurtz is editor of Environment & Energy Daily down on Capitol Hill. But he'll always find Maryland politics more fascinating.

Kurtz grew up in New York City and attended public schools there. He has a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin and an MS in Journalism from Columbia University. He's married with two daughters and lives in Takoma Park, Md. He hopes you'll drop him a line, or maybe go out for a meal with him, because he's always hungry -- for political gossip.

Josh Kurtz: Anthony Brown and the Black Vote

By: Josh Kurtz  For several years, leading African-American Democrats in Maryland – sometimes publicly, and more often privately – have bitterly complained that the party takes black voters for granted. Equally raw is their assertion that Democratic bosses haven’t done enough through the years to encourage and promote African-American candidates, particularly for statewide office. They have not been wrong. But here we are, two weeks before Election Day and two days before early voting begins, and the African-American Democratic nominee for governor, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, anointed by party leaders and poised to make history, is struggling to gin up the black vote. What’s going on here? The answer – and specifically, Brown’s ability to build a sizeable black turnout – could hold the key to this election. The Brown campaign, no doubt, would like to think of Sunday’s rally with President Obama at a Prince George’s County high school as... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: A Few Good Men

By: Josh Kurtz  Downtown Ellicott City at dusk looks like a movie set, too beautiful to be true. With its narrow sloping streets and historic buildings, art galleries and drinking and dining, small wonder it’s such a desirable community. But Ellicott City is not without real needs – it’s choked with traffic, its streets flood, its business owners need help, and like everywhere else in the state, its schools could use more money. Those needs are part of Tom Coale’s pitch as he addresses a fundraiser on the back porch of Portalli’s restaurant in downtown Ellicott City last week. “We call this campaign an opportunity for Ellicott City,” said Coale, the Democratic nominee for House of Delegates in District 9B. It’s no secret that political gerrymandering is a real problem in Maryland, making November irrelevant in most legislative districts, because so many races for the state House and Senate are decided... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Democratic Self-Interest

By: Josh Kurtz  Two debates down, one to go. Whatever you may think of these candidates for governor, it’s probably safe to say that the debates haven’t changed very many people’s minds, if anyone is paying attention. Whether they are or not, what we’re looking at here is a tight election. Republican Larry Hogan seems to have the issues on his side – or, to put it more succinctly, the issue. Voters are most concerned about taxes and spending. Small wonder Democrat Anthony Brown is telling voters, in so many words, to read his lips. There will be no new taxes, he asserts – a promise he may find very difficult to deliver. Brown felt he had to say this – so be it. But it’s hard to see how a no new taxes pledge is going to help him achieve his short-term goal, which is not to blunt Hogan’s carping... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz on Monday's Gubernatorial Debate

Center Maryland columnist Josh Kurtz will join WTOP live to provide commentary and analysis as Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Larry Hogan debate beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 13. WTOP anchor Shawn Anderson and Washington Post reporter Jenna Johnson will join Bruce DePuyt as moderators during a special edition of "NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt" on NewsChannel 8.Click here for more information.... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Turning Point?

By: Josh Kurtz  If Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) is elected governor, this week may go down as the turning point for his much-criticized campaign. You could almost hear the cheering coming from Brown’s Upper Marlboro headquarters over the weekend when the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun published hits on Brown’s Republican opponent, businessman Larry Hogan. None of the topics were a particularly fatal blow – first, both papers concluded that Hogan’s campaign had badly miscalculated some figures on cutting government spending, and the Post then followed up with a report that gun rights advocates are favorably inclined toward the Republican, even as he tries to take the issue off the table for this election. Last night, the Sun reported that Hogan’s campaign claim about Fortune 500 company losses under Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) was false. But taken together, they provide the Brown campaign, in the bold black and white of... Continue reading
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