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: Marriott and Maryland’s Sleepless Nights

By: Josh Kurtz Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) made her retirement announcement three weeks ago, and Maryland’s political community has been in a self-absorbed state of high anticipation ever since.But a potentially bigger political bombshell was delivered on the very same day: when Marriott International’s CEO Arne Sorenson told The Washington Post that the hotel giant is seeking to move its corporate headquarters from Bethesda sometime before its lease expires in 2022.Marriott’s desire to move will inevitably set off an incentive shakedown, with Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia competing for the prize of housing one of the world’s premiere hospitality companies. It will mark an early test of new Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) declaration that Maryland is “open for business.” And it will be yet another challenge for Montgomery County officials in their constant battle to prove they aren’t hostile to economic development.The goal, Sorenson indicated, is to relocate the... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: The Road Not Taken

By: Josh Kurtz  All the dignitaries came out for the Calvert County Democrats' annual Louis Goldstein dinner the other day, and Mike Miller, playing emcee, made note of them all. After he had gotten through the obvious -- Ben Cardin and Steny Hoyer and John Delaney and Donna Edwards and Parris Glendening and Brian Frosh and Rushern Baker and Heather Mizeur and Tom Perez, among many, many others -- Miller called out former Del. John Bohanan (D). Now, Bohanan is still a big man in Southern Maryland. He's a top aide to Hoyer and a player in the civic discourse of the tri-county region. But with his defeat last November at the hands of Republican Deb Rey, not only has Bohanan lost his official title, but he has also lost a more important, unofficial one: Next Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates. Bohanan wasn't guaranteed to succeed Speaker Mike Busch... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Mikulski’s Jobs Program

By: Josh Kurtz Throughout her long and legendary political career, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) has made providing jobs to Marylanders a top priority. So you might say that her March 2 announcement that she plans to retire next year – and the developments it is setting off – could be called “The Political Operative Full Employment Act of 2015.”  There’s nothing like a rare Senate vacancy to cheer dispirited Maryland Democrats, who are still in a funk after now-Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) upset victory last November over then-Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D). Suddenly, several Democrats are imagining themselves as the state’s next U.S. senator, and dozens more are plotting to run for congressional seats as House members queue up to replace Mikulski. Not only is this an opportunity to break the stasis at the top echelons of Maryland politics – and lord knows, that’s a blessing – but it provides a... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Checking in With Mike Busch and Mike Miller

By: Josh Kurtz With 72 years of legislative experience between them, with 40 years’ collective experience as the presiding officers of the Maryland General Assembly, Senate President Mike Miller (D) and House Speaker Mike Busch (D) know how to take the long view. And in separate interviews last week, both Busch and Miller seemed relatively sanguine about the political developments of the past few months, even if they are hardly what the two lawmakers bargained for. “I’m not worried,” Miller said. “The electoral process is playing itself out. It’s democracy. It’s not always pretty.”But like everyone who follows the State House closely, Miller and Busch are wondering how the second half of this year’s legislative session is going to pan out – and what kind of progress might be made over a four-year term of divided government in Annapolis.In some ways, the presence of a rookie Republican governor doing battle with... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Earthquake, Yes – But How Big?

By: Josh Kurtz First off – OMG! Maybe it was every up-and-coming Maryland politician’s fantasy, but did anyone actually expect Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) to retire in 2016? OMG!!!OK, now a more sober look.When Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D) revealed exactly a decade ago that he wouldn’t seek a sixth term in 2006, five of Maryland’s six Democratic congressmen almost immediately announced that they’d take a look at the race to succeed him. The lone exception was Rep. Steny Hoyer, then – as now – the No. 2 Democrat in the House caucus.But one by one, and in fairly short order, the House members decided to stay put, leaving the field pretty much to then-Rep. Ben Cardin (D). So in 2006, that oh-so-rare Senate vacancy created exactly one open House seat. Cardin, with 40 straight years in elective office and near-unanimous support from the state Democratic establishment, won the primary by less... Continue reading
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