WHO OWNS THE MARYLAND GOP NOW? Maryland Republicans’ choice of candidates in Tuesday’s primary election was also a choice about the direction of the party: Was it still the party of outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan’s pragmatic conservatism, or had the cultural clashes and demagoguery that has swept other states taken control here? The nomination of an election conspiracy theorist for governor – Dan Cox – and a one-time Southern secessionist for attorney general – Michael Peroutka — delivered a clear answer. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.
- “Trump was the deciding factor” in Cox’s decisive win over Kelly Schulz in the primary, said Mileah Kromer, an associate professor of political science and the director of the Sarah T. Hughes Center for Politics at Goucher College. Schulz was state commerce secretary under Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and was the governor’s choice to succeed him. Jeff Barker and Jean Marbella/The Baltimore Sun.
DEMS RUSH TO DEFINE COX AS EXTREMIST: One day after Del. Dan Cox declared victory over former state Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz in the Republican gubernatorial primary, Democrats and their allies rushed to define the GOP nominee as an ideological extremist in the mold of Donald Trump. Or, as Gov. Larry Hogan Jr. (R) famously put it, a “QAnon whack job.” At the same time, a high-profile Republican seeking statewide office signaled that he intends to keep his distance from his party’s nominee. Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.
WHERE DOES HOGAN GO FROM HERE? Maryland’s contest may have broader implications for 2024 presidential politics. Larry Hogan has sought to present himself as a potential alternative to Donald Trump, who has been considering an early 2024 announcement, but the governor’s failure to help his handpicked successor win the nomination in his home state will raise questions about his political clout. Reid Epstein/The New York Times.
- If Gov. Larry Hogan couldn’t convince primary voters who know him and like him to embrace his vision of appealing to moderates and independents to grow the Republican Party, strategists asked, how could he sell that nationwide to GOP primary voters who have never met him? Both political strategist Bill Kristol and state House minority whip Haven Shoemaker think his options are shrinking. Erin Cox/The Washington Post.
MOORE CONTINUES TO LEAD PEREZ: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore leads Tom Perez in early voting and election day results, and on Wednesday one big question remained: Is it possible for anyone to catch Moore? Emily Sullivan/The Baltimore Banner.
OTHER GOV CANDIDATES BEGIN TO CONCEDE: With votes in the Democratic primary race for governor still being tallied, candidates outside the top group of vote-getters are starting to concede. Ashwani Jain, a former Obama White House official, made the call Wednesday morning. Meredith Cohn/The Baltimore Sun.
OPINION: MARYLAND REPUBLICANS BLOW UP THE PARTY: The apparent victory in Maryland’s Republican gubernatorial primary of a little-known state lawmaker who ran as Donald Trump’s acolyte is a triumph for the former president’s cult of personality and, in all likelihood, a stunning act of political self-immolation for the GOP in the Free State. Del. Dan Cox, the Trump-endorsed right-winger now at the top of the Republican Party ticket on November’s ballot, is, in the view of most political analysts, a dead man walking toward a landslide defeat in November. Editorial Board/The Washington Post.
OPINION: AND I WANT NO PART OF THE FIREWORKS: Republican voters decided to throw that legacy of success away on Tuesday. They decided to piss on the successful legacy of the Republicans who came before them and nominated candidates for governor and attorney general who are wholly unqualified for office and completely incapable of winning. It is the ultimate act of self-immolation from members of a party where that just eight years ago was starting a renaissance. With that, I will be disaffiliating with the Republican Party on Aug. 1 when Maryland reopens their voter registration period. I will become an unaffiliated voter, for the time being. Brian Griffiths/The Duckpin.
A HISTORY LESSON: QUICK ELECTION RESULTS A MODERN OCCURENCE: Maryland residents voted in statewide primary elections Tuesday, but it could take days — or even weeks — to get final results in all the races. Maryland is the only state that doesn’t allow mail-in ballots to be counted until two days after an election, and the volume of these ballots — expected to be close to half a million — could mean lengthy waits in close contests. In this modern era of technological expediency and instant gratification, Americans generally expect to know election results within a matter of hours. But it wasn’t always that way. David Kindy/The Washington Post.
MAIL-IN BALLOT COUNTING BEGINS: Election officials will count the first batch of mail-in ballots Thursday at the Board of Elections Office in Glen Burnie. About 13,000 ballots will be counted, according to Richard Siejack, deputy board of elections director of Anne Arundel County. Dana Munro/The Capital Gazette.
ADAMS CONCEDES TO LIERMAN IN COMPTROLLER’s RACE: In the race for comptroller, Bowie Mayor Timothy Adams called for unity in his concession to Brooke Lierman on Wednesday morning. “Although this is not the result we hoped for, I want to congratulate Del. Brooke Lierman on a well-fought campaign and victory. Hannah Gaskill and Caitlyn Freeman /The Baltimore Sun.
BROWN TAKES ON PEROUTKA FOR ATTY GEN: Anthony G. Brown (D), a three-term congressman and two-term lieutenant governor under Martin O’Malley, defeated former judge Katy Curran O’Malley in Maryland’s Democratic primary election for attorney general. He will now take on Michael Peroutka who defeated Jim Shalleck in the Republican primary, according to projections by the Associated Press. Joe Heim/The Washington Post.
REDISTRICTING COULD PUSH BLUE CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS PURPLE: 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. Sen. Chris Van Hollen secured their parties’ nominations. But come November, newly drawn congressional district maps assigned this year by the 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. Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner.
SEN. ECKARDT AMONG 6 INCUMBENTS HEADING FOR A LOSS: State Sen. Adelaide Eckardt (R-Middle Shore), a 28-year veteran of the General Assembly, was trounced in her re-election bid Tuesday, losing the GOP primary in the 37th District to Del. Johnny Mautz by a 3-1 margin. Eckardt was one of six General Assembly incumbents who appear to have lost on Tuesday — and the only senator — though the fate of several others could be determined over the next few days by the pending count of more than 213,000 mail-in ballots. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.
SEN. WALDSTREICHER OVERCOMES CHALLENGER: Sen. Jeff Waldstreicher of Kensington has apparently beaten back a left-wing challenge from community organizer Max Socol of Silver Spring in what became Montgomery County’s highest-profile – and perhaps nastiest — state legislative primary this year. Louis Peck/Bethesda Beat.
MO CO EXEC RACE AGAIN A SQUEAKER FOR ELRICH, BLAIR: As a blistering rematch for Montgomery County executive between incumbent Marc Elrich and Potomac businessman David Blair winds down this week, the Democratic primary candidates are again stuck where they were four years ago: watching and waiting. Karina Elwood/The Washington Post.
- With the early vote and 246 of 258 election day precincts reported early Wednesday, the pair were separated by just 1,062 votes in the hard-fought race for Montgomery County executive. Josh Kurtz, Danielle E. Gaines and Bruce DePuyt/Maryland Matters.
- As of Wednesday afternoon, Blair, a businessman who lost to Elrich by 77 votes in the 2018 primary, led all candidates with 28,961 votes (39.6%), according to the latest results released by the State Board of Elections. Elrich, the incumbent, was in second with 27,770 votes (38%). Riemer was in third with 14,911 votes (20.4%). Steve Bohnel/Bethesda Beat.
SHELLENBERGER LAGS LEONARD IN BA CO STATE’S ATTY RACE: With Tuesday’s returns counted, Democratic State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger was narrowly behind progressive challenger Robbie Leonard in his first primary competition since Shellenberger was elected the county’s top prosecutor in 2006. Alison Knezevich/The Baltimore Sun.
SHOEMAKER DECLARES VICTORY IN CARROLL STATE’S ATTY RACE: Republican Haven Shoemaker declared victory Wednesday morning in the race for Carroll County state’s attorney: “It’s over,” Shoemaker said. With early voting returns counted and all 50 county precincts reporting unofficial Election Day results, Shoemaker held a large lead over Republican opponent David Ellin. Sherry Greenfield/The Carroll County Times.