Afternoon Read: Allen Submits Signatures for Senate Race, But Will He Be First On The Ballot? - NBC4 Washington
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Afternoon Read: Allen Submits Signatures for Senate Race, But Will He Be First On The Ballot?



    Virginia U.S. Senate candidate George Allen submitted nearly 27,000 signatures to state election officials Monday to secure his spot on the June primary ballot.

    But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be the top name featured on the ballot.

    Tea Party candidate Jamie Radtke also submitted his signatures and under state law, the first candidate to submit the required 10,000 valid signatures gets top billing on the primary ballot.

    The Richmond Dispatch
    reported Radtke and Allen’s representatives were both waiting at the door of the State Board of Elections when the filing period opened at noon.

    That means that the top candidate will be picked out of a hat once the filing period comes to a close.

    Allen, a Republican and former state governor, is expected to win the nomination but will likely face a tough battle for the seat against Democrat Tim Kaine, who is also a former governor of the state.

    Allen’s 27,000 signatures far surpass the 10,000-signature requirement. Virginia requires each collect 10,000 signatures with at least 400 coming from each of the state’s 11 congressional districts.

    Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich did not meet these stringent requirements and were not on the GOP presidential primary ballot in Virginia.

    Allen wrote in a statement:

    “Susan and I are thankful for all the hard work of the more than 550 volunteers who collected petition signatures at grocery stores, neighborhoods, and campaign events and who spent time talking with family, friends and neighbors all throughout Virginia about our positive campaign to restore the promise of the American Dream and bring your voices to Washington.”

    * Realizing that shifting some of Maryland’s teacher pension costs from the state level to counties is inevitable, a number of state legislators are now trying to soften the blow.

    The Washington Post reported that Montgomery County leaders sent a letter to their county delegates softening their firm stance against the pension shift, requesting that if the shift were to occur, the county and the school board share the costs.

    “As you know we do not think the shift is justified on any policy basis,” Leggett and Berliner wrote. “Nonetheless, if you conclude that there are not acceptable alternatives to the shift, we urge you to keep the cost impact on our community to a minimum.”

    * President Barack Obama will be in Largo, Md., Thursday to give a speech on American energy.

    Details of when and where he will speak are not yet available.

    * The Baltimore Sun editorial board wrote a piece Monday weighing in on a Senate committee’s budget plan to more broadly raise Maryland’s income in exchange for using that money to cushion the blow of deficit-reduction on local systems.

    The Editorial Board said that it was an elegant solution to the “teacher pension and education conundrum” but questioned where it raised income taxes too much.

    This week, the focus in Annapolis will be on the state's 2013 budget and the compromise struck by the Senate's Budget and Taxation Committee over education spending. Teachers, school boards, county executives and other local government leaders would be wise to rally behind the plan that takes many of the sharp edges off what Gov. Martin O'Malley had initially proposed.

    But here's the rub: Much of the compromise is made possible because senators were willing to raise Maryland's income tax rates much more broadly than the governor sought and to use that money to cushion the blow of deficit-reduction on local school systems. While Mr. O'Malley wanted to lower income tax exemptions in a manner that would raise taxes for only the top 20 percent of earners, the Senate would reach into more pockets in order to raise more revenue — in the neighborhood of $300 million annually…