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: Why Larry Hogan Is Like Bob Ehrlich – and Why He Isn’t

By: Josh Kurtz With Larry Hogan set to be sworn in as governor tomorrow, comparisons to the state’s last Republican chief executive, Bob Ehrlich, are inevitable. Hogan, after all, worked for Ehrlich, and his nascent administration is already being referred to as the second term Ehrlich never had. Certainly Hogan is recycling many officials from Ehrlich’s administration, including Craig Williams, Joe Getty, Van Mitchell, George Owings, Arlene Lee, Tim Hutchins, Al Redmer and Shareese DeLeaver, among others – not to mention Boyd Rutherford, who is about to become lieutenant governor.  And philosophically, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of distance between the two; both are pro-business, anti-tax Republicans who campaigned on a platform of change and of challenging the Democratic monopoly in Annapolis. Yet despite these similarities, there are some obvious differences between the two men. And there are things about Hogan that we just don’t know yet. Politically and... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: In Annapolis, the Future Is Now

As the Maryland General Assembly session gavels in today, look around the state Senate chamber, where there are 11 freshmen in a body of 47 members – and two more are on their way. Now look at all the senators who have been in Annapolis forever and are getting up there in years. Question: How many of those veteran lawmakers will be returning to the Senate for another term in 2019? Now walk across the marble floor of the State House lobby, over to the House of Delegates chamber, where there are 58 freshmen in a chamber with 141 members, and at least one more coming. Question: How many of those freshmen delegates will be crossing the lobby to become freshman senators four years from now? My hunch: A lot of them. Let’s look at the numbers – and the cast of characters. The list of potential Senate retirees in 2018... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: The Maryland Republican to Watch (Plus Tidbits)

By: Josh Kurtz Larry Hogan will become just Maryland’s second Republican governor since 1969 when he takes office in a couple of weeks. The state GOP has its most formidable bench in years with savvy new county executives like Allan Kittleman, Steve Schuh and Barry Glassman. Congressman Andy Harris (R) is gaining power and influence on Capitol Hill – and flexed his muscles like never before in local and legislative elections in 2014.But the Maryland Republican with the brightest political future may be Alex Mooney.Mooney, of course, no longer resides in our state. He migrated across the border a couple of years ago to Charles Town, W.Va., in search, he says, of political freedom – an act he compares to his mother’s family emigrating from Fidel Castro’s Cuba in the 1960’s.It sounds kitschy, but that hardly matters. Today Mooney will be sworn in as the new member of Congress representing West Virginia’s... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Season of Uncertainty

By: Josh Kurtz  Annapolis at Christmas-time is picture-postcard perfect. But the beauty and serenity of the town belies the jitteriness of Maryland’s political classes. From Democratic staffers worried about their jobs, to the slow roll-out of Gov.-elect Larry Hogan’s (R) cabinet appointments and policy initiatives, to lawmakers, lobbyists and advocates scrambling to adjust to the new reality – not to mention Democratic activists waiting for a party savior, or the Next Big Thing, or at the very least a coherent sense of direction – what should be a time of peace and reflection has instead become an unprecedented period of fear and loathing. Worsening fiscal conditions for the state and local governments sure don’t help matters, either. A few questions began to be answered last week, when the presiding officers of the legislature unveiled their full committee rosters and Hogan announced his first four cabinet nominees – though none was for... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Cold New Reality for Montgomery County

By: Josh Kurtz  That cold wind howling past the Montgomery County Conference Center early Friday morning served as a perfect metaphor for the chilly new reality the county is facing in Annapolis over the next few years. The annual breakfast of the group Committee for Montgomery – billed as the unofficial kickoff to the General Assembly session and traditionally a time for Montgomery County’s 1,000 most important people to celebrate themselves – was about to begin, and the ennobled masses shuffled into the conference center at the ungodly hour of 7 a.m. for a smorgasbord of schmooze and to get their first glimpses of the man most of them had voted against, Gov.-elect Larry Hogan (R). The takeaway, though largely unspoken: We’re screwed. It wasn’t just what Hogan said, though that was certainly part of it. It was the sense that Montgomery County is once again headed into a gun battle... Continue reading
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