Alexander & Cleaver followed Maryland's primary election yesterday closely. Some of us worked the polls, and attended election night parties -- congratulations to all who worked hard and took part. With competitive, high-profile races all over the State of Maryland, the 2018 Primary Election created significant changes in the landscape. At the top of the ballot, former NAACP President Ben Jealous prevailed in a crowded field of Democratic candidates for Governor, as he’ll challenge Governor Larry Hogan in November. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker finished 2nd. Despite Governor Hogan’s sky-high approval ratings, November will shape up to be a tough test for both candidates.
The roster of General Assembly Committee chairs will look quite different come January. Senate Finance Chair Mac Middleton, Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Chair Joan Carter Conway, and House Judiciary Chair Joe Vallario, all long-time incumbents, lost their primary races. Senator Conway was defeated by Delegate Mary Washington in one of the closest races of the evening.
Additionally, Delegate Cory McCray will be the next Senator from the 45th District in Baltimore City, defeating 6-term incumbent Nathaniel McFadden. On the Republican side of the Senate, Senator Steve Waugh was defeated by Hogan-endorsed Jack Bailey in the 29th District (St. Mary’s).
On the House side, several other incumbents are in jeopardy of losing their primaries as well. However, with absentee and provisional ballots still outstanding and to be counted later this week, and final counts being determined on July 5th, these races are still up in the air.
In most of the 47 legislative districts, the primary is, for all intents and purposes, the election. However, there are a handful of competitive general election races in certain areas including Baltimore County, the lower Eastern Shore, and Anne Arundel County. The outcome of these races, particularly on the Senate side, could have a significant impact on the Democrats’ hold on their veto-proof majorities. If Governor Hogan is re-elected, that veto-proof majority is going to be even more important for Democratic priorities.
County Executive Races
The only jurisdiction in the state with a competitive primary for on both sides of the aisle, which sets up a competitive general election for County Executive is Baltimore County. Al Redmer, former 3-term Delegate, and endorsed by Governor Hogan, defeated Delegate Pat McDonough to claim the Republican nomination. On the Democratic side, 3 leading candidates are vying for the nomination. County Councilwoman Vicki Almond, Senator Jim Brochin, and former Delegate Johnny Olszewski are all separated by under 700 votes at the end of Election Night, with Olszewski leading Brochin by roughly 350 votes. A winner will not be declared until absentee and provisional ballots are counted.
In Montgomery County, County Councilman Marc Elrich has a slight edge over businessman David Blair to replace Ike Leggett as County Executive. Again, this race will be determined after absentee and provisional ballots are counted. Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks handily defeated former Congresswoman Donna Edwards and will be the next Prince George’s County Executive.
Finally, David Trone, Co-Founder of Total Wine & More, won the Democratic nomination for the 6th Congressional district, following incumbent Congressman John Delaney’s decision to run for president in 2020. Though this district is widely seen as a safe seat for the Democrats, he will be challenged by Amie Hoeber, the Hogan-backed Republican nominee.
Contact any of the Alexander & Cleaver Government Relations Consultants (410-974-9000) for what these elections results may mean for your business.