- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The final results of Maryland’s primary elections are marked by the end of a polarizing duel, the return of a political leader and a potential lack of female representation in the next Congress.

In addition, all incumbent candidates easily won their primary contests, and their seats are considered safe in November’s elections.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen defeated Rep. Donna F. Edwards in the Democratic primary to succeed Barbara A. Mikulski in the U.S. Senate. Race and gender often came into play during the campaign as Ms. Edwards tried to become the first black woman elected to the Senate since Carol Moseley Braun in 1992.

Mr. Van Hollen, who has been a House leader for several years, campaigned on his experience and his record, as well as his support for Obama administration initiatives. He won 53.3 percent of the vote to Ms. Edwards’ 38.9 percent in the Democratic primary, in which 10 candidates vied for the Senate nomination.

As the Democratic nominee, Mr. Van Hollen is expected to win the general election. Registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans 2-to-1 in Maryland.

In the 14-candidate Senate contest among Republicans, state House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga received 36 percent of the vote to secure the nomination. Her closest rival, Calvert County businessman Chris Chaffee, received 13.7 percent of the vote.

Maryland lost its only two female representatives in the Democratic primary: Ms. Mikulski is retiring after serving 30 years in the Senate, and Ms. Edwards vacated her House seat for the opportunity to try to succeed the longtime senator.

“I’m comfortable not only handing over the reins but riding on the buckboard to help [Mr. Van Hollen] get elected,” said Ms. Mikulski, who remained neutral in the primary, according to The Baltimore Sun.

In the race to replace Ms. Edwards in the House, former Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown executed a surprise political comeback by besting former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey in the Democratic primary for the 8th Congressional District.

“#MD04 Thank you for placing your trust in me as your Democratic nominee,” Mr. Brown said on Twitter.

Mr. Brown was an underdog in the congressional contest after losing his 2014 bid to succeed Gov. Martin O’Malley to Larry Hogan, a Republican. Most political watchers said Mr. Ivey had more name recognition in Prince George’s County and a broad base of support from his time as state’s attorney.

In his concession speech, Mr. Ivey threw his full support behind the former lieutenant governor. “This time, Brown will win” he said.

Among the four Republicans competing for the House nomination, construction company owner George E. McDermott won the primary with 46.2 percent of the vote.

Meanwhile, the Democratic race for the 8th Congressional District, which Mr. Van Hollen is vacating, drew the largest outlay of cash for a single House campaign in U.S. history. Wine superstore owner David Trone spent nearly $13 million of his own money in the race and finished second to state Sen. Jamie Raskin. Mr. Trone outspent Mr. Raskin by a margin of 6-to-1.

“#TeamRaskin carries the day in historic victory! We are grateful beyond words to tens of thousands of supporters,” tweeted Mr. Raskin, an author and law professor who has been a driving force for legislation in the state Senate.

In a field of nine Democratic candidates, Mr. Raskin won the House nomination with 33.7 percent of the vote. Political newcomer Mr. Trone received 27.3 percent, and former WJLA-TV reporter Kathleen Matthews, who is married to MSNBC’s “Hardball” host Chris Matthews, garnered 23.8 percent of the vote.

Montgomery County attorney Dan Cox won the Republican primary for the House seat, collecting 44.8 percent of the vote.

In other House races:

Rep. Andy Harris won the Republican primary for the 1st Congressional District with 78.4 percent of the vote. In November, he will face Democrat Joe Werner, who won his primary with 51.8 percent of the vote.

Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger ran unopposed in the Democratic primary for the 2nd District. He will square off against state Sen. Pat McDonough, who dominated the Republican primary with 71.7 percent of the vote.

Rep. John Sarbanes won 87.2 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary for the 3rd District, and physician/publisher Mark Plaster got 63.4 percent of Republican primary votes.

In the 5th District, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer received 76.1 percent of the votes in his Democratic primary victory, and physician Mark Arness won 53.1 percent in the Republican race.

Rep. John Delaney won 85.4 percent of votes in the Democratic contest in the 6th District, and security consultant Amie Hoeber garnered 29.3 percent of the vote in a crowded Republican primary.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings won 92 percent of Democratic votes in the 7th District, and Republican William T. Newton eked out a narrow victory with 41.6 percent of the vote.

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