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: Cummings’ Poll Shows Him Topping Edwards, Van Hollen

By Josh KurtzRep. Elijah Cummings (D) leads a hypothetical three-way Democratic Senate primary over fellow Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D) and Donna Edwards (D), according to a survey conducted last month by Cummings’ pollster. The poll of 700 likely Democratic primary voters, taken March 19-22 by the Mellman Group, Inc., showed Cummings with 29 percent in the initial matchup, Edwards with 23 percent, and Van Hollen with 22 percent. The poll had a 3.7-point margin of error. The poll is quietly being circulated this week by Cummings’ allies while the congressman continues to ponder whether to enter the race to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D). Cummings has publicly touted the poll results in recent days without mentioning the particulars. Both Edwards and Van Hollen are running aggressively; Edwards yesterday rolled out endorsements from seven of the nine members of the Prince George’s County Council, while Van Hollen’s camp boasted that... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Cummings’ Poll Shows Him Topping Edwards, Van Hollen

By Josh KurtzRep. Elijah Cummings (D) leads a hypothetical three-way Democratic Senate primary over fellow Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D) and Donna Edwards (D), according to a survey conducted last month by Cummings’ pollster. The poll of 700 likely Democratic primary voters, taken March 19-22 by the Mellman Group, Inc., showed Cummings with 29 percent in the initial matchup, Edwards with 23 percent, and Van Hollen with 22 percent. The poll had a 3.7-point margin of error. The poll is quietly being circulated this week by Cummings’ allies while the congressman continues to ponder whether to enter the race to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D). Cummings has publicly touted the poll results in recent days without mentioning the particulars. Both Edwards and Van Hollen are running aggressively; Edwards yesterday rolled out endorsements from seven of the nine members of the Prince George’s County Council, while Van Hollen’s camp boasted that... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: A Tale of Two Hogans

By Josh Kurtz If we’ve learned one thing about Gov. Larry Hogan (R) during his first 83 days in office, it’s that he’s a man of contradictions. At one moment, he’s the great conciliator, nodding to the realities of divided government – reaching out to Democratic leaders, preaching bipartisanship, and expressing satisfaction with the gradual progress he’s made in achieving his goals. At the next moment, he’s the impatient partisan, boasting again (and again) about his mandate to change Annapolis, and attempting to bully Democrats in the General Assembly to get his way. Will the real Larry Hogan please stand up? Probably, they both have. It’s worth noting that the apparent divisions within the man himself are reflected by the advisers he’s chosen to surround himself with, and in the outside forces egging him on. In one corner are the pragmatists and Annapolis veterans, the Republicans and conservative Democrats who are... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Maryland: Laboratory of Democracy?

By Josh KurtzIt’s hardly a secret that today’s national political discourse is dominated by polar extremes, by organizations and advocacy groups that are funded by big-moneyed interests, and by media outlets that exploit voters' fears and fuel their contempt for government. Small wonder average voters, who are often closer to the ideological center, usually feel left out of the political process. Imagine what our democracy would look like if voters had more of a say -- and if politicians didn't have to pander to the basest elements (as opposed to the bases) of their parties. A senior research scholar at the University of Maryland and a seasoned Maryland political operative are trying to do something about this sorry state of affairs. They have launched an organization designed to restore citizens’ voices to the political process – and lower the partisan temperature on Capitol Hill in the bargain. "This is an idea... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Rumor Mill Churning Fast

By: Josh Kurtz After a couple of weeks of relative quiet, with Maryland politicos focused on the General Assembly session and other mundane aspects of governing, the political rumor mill is starting to churn quickly again. Democratic leaders are talking about the future direction of the state party in a serious way, and it looks as if a third major contender may enter the Senate race this week. Here is a look at developments on both those fronts: Into the Poole As Democratic legislators gird for their final two weeks of battle with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, their presiding officers – along with other top elected Democrats – appear to have settled on a former lawmaker to take over as state party chairman and lead the long-term fight against Hogan: Bruce Poole. Democratic elders have been quietly searching for a new party chairman for the past few months, though Yvette Lewis,... Continue reading
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