Early voting and election day counts were enough to call winners in 12 of 16 congressional races, even as hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots have yet to be counted. The Republican contests in Districts 2, 3, 4 and 7 were still too close to call Wednesday.
All seven incumbents representing Maryland in Congress and U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen secured their parties’ nominations Tuesday. But come November, newly-drawn congressional district maps assigned this year by the Maryland General Assembly may set up some historically blue districts to trend purple, giving the winners of Tuesday’s Republican primaries a wedge into traditionally Democratic strongholds.
Redistricting may turn blue districts purple
U.S. Rep. David Trone walked away with 78% of the Democratic vote on Tuesday, winning the party nomination in the 6th Congressional District. He’ll face Republican state Del. Neil Parrott, who won about 64% of the votes in a pool of six candidates.
“With six people in the race, over 60% of the votes went to me. It shows a united front to beat David Trone this November,” Parrott said.
In March, a Maryland judge ruled congressional maps that the Maryland General Assembly had drawn were unconstitutional. Parrott was a plaintiff in the lawsuit.
“Now we plan to move forward to November making sure that we give voice back to the people of western and central Maryland who have had their voice stolen by the gerrymandered maps drawn by Gov. O’Malley and the General Assembly.”
Trone beat Parrott in 2020 when the district was more favorable to Democrats. The competitors will spar again, and Trone in a press release acknowledged a rough road ahead.
“I’ve beaten him before, and I know that I will do it again. But the truth is, it won’t be as easy this year — because national Republicans are backing him, and our district is more competitive this year,” Trone said.
Longtime Democratic congressmen, the 2nd District’s C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger and the 3rd District’s John Sarbanes may feel some heat in the fall. Both handily won their primaries with about 72% and 82%, respectively. But a POLITICO analysis of Maryland’s map movements revealed President Joe Biden’s margins would decrease in theirs and Trone’s districts if the 2020 election were held within the new lines.
Some of the Republican competitors who will test out the new maps still haven’t been selected, as races are too close to call.
Third Congressional District Republican candidate Yuripzy Morgan currently holds a lead in a race against Joe Kelley and Antonio Pitocco, who are trailing Morgan and within a few hundred votes of each other.
“We’re anxiously awaiting the final results but I’m excited to know there are so many people behind us,” she said. Looking ahead to November, she said, “We’re going to approach this from a people perspective, not party.”
The nominee will face Sarbanes, who has represented the 3rd Congressional District since 2007.
Republican Nicolee Ambrose leads the pack of Republicans vying to defeat the 10-term Ruppersberger in the 2nd Congressional District. Trailing about 11 percentage points behind Ambrose is Dave Wallace.
Ivey offers to help Democratic candidate for governor
Only the Democratic winner for the vacant 4th Congressional District seat is known, as the Republican race between Warner and McDermott has not been called.
With all precincts counted, former Prince George’s County’s top prosecutor Glenn Ivey won the Democratic party’s nomination, denying former congresswoman Donna Edwards a chance to reclaim her old seat.
Edwards, Maryland’s first Black congresswoman, represented the district from 2008-2017.
Ivey said he feels great about the campaign his team put together.
“I’m thankful to the voters of the 4th district for giving me a chance to represent them,” he said in an interview Wednesday.
He’s also looking forward to supporting the eventual gubernatorial candidate. “We’re going to start focusing on not only our activities for the fall, but the gubernatorial race,” he said, offering to pitch in and help whoever wins the Democratic nomination in the race still to be decided. “I think it’s going to be a heavy lift.”
U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown vacated the seat when he decided to run for state attorney general. Brown clinched the Democratic party’s nomination.
Democrats choose Mizeur
In the state’s one Republican stronghold, where Republicans outnumber Democrats 2-1, a Democratic win in a general election seems a statistical impossibility. But that’s not going to stop former state delegate and federal health care lobbyist Heather Mizeur from trying.
Mizeur bested career foreign service officer David Harden to win the Democratic nomination. She’ll face six-term Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, who ran unopposed, in November.
Harden conceded early Wednesday morning on Twitter.
She said primary voters put her about 38 percentage points above Harden because “we’ve been running an inspiring campaign that is meeting the moment.”
Mizeur called her win a “decisive victory” where 1st District Democrats chose the candidate they want to hold Harris accountable. Her campaign will stay the course through November, she said.
“Not a lot changes for us. We’ve been running a general election strategy from the beginning of this campaign,” she said in a Wednesday interview.
“Folks from the Eastern Shore, Harford and Baltimore counties deserve dignified leadership that turns down the partisan rhetoric and turns up the problem-solving, and with me, that’s what they’ll get,” Mizeur also said in a news release.
Mizeur has called Harris’ representation of the district “an embarrassment,” most recently calling out Harris’ participation in a December 2020 meeting with other members of Congress to discuss avenues for keeping former President Donald Trump in office.
In a statistical show of force, twice as many Republican primary voters checked the box for incumbent Andy Harris, about 76% of which were cast on Election Day.
In the 5th Congressional District U.S. Rep Steny Hoyer, a Democratic incumbent, handily secured the nomination. He’ll face Republican Chris Palombi, a former U.S. Capitol police officer, in the fall, who is running as a political outsider.
U.S. Rep. Kweisi Mfume amassed 84% of Baltimore City’s Democratic votes, tens of thousands ahead of his nearest competitors in the 7th Congressional District primary. Montgomery County Rep. Jamie Raskin won his primary in the 8th District with about 93% of the vote.
This story was updated to correct the date that Andy Harris participated in a post-election White House meeting. The meeting happened in December 2020.