Ben Jealous will be the Democrat to challenge Republican Maryland governor Larry Hogan in November. He beat Rushern Baker, the successful two-term county executive of Prince George's County, by about 10 percentage points in Tuesday's primary with 83% of precincts reporting.
Jealous had the support of the Bernie Sanders-birthed Our Revolution and a number of other progressive Democratic politicians around the country, while Baker had the support of the Maryland political establishment and Greater Greater Washington.
It was a good night for the democratic socialist wing of the Democratic party and a bad one for establishment politicians in general, especially in Queens and the Bronx, where 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unseated ten-term Rep. Joe Crowley in New York's 14th congressional district.
Not all choices of party leaders struggled. Angela Alsobrooks, the current Prince George’s state’s attorney and our endorsee, cruised to victory in the primary for county executive 62% of the vote against 24% for Donna Edwards and 10% for state senator C. Anthony Muse.
It’s far from clear who the county executive will be in Montgomery County, however. As of 12:45 am, with 99% of the regular vote counted, Marc Elrich led David Blair by only 452 votes out of over 116,000 cast. That doesn't count about 15,000 absentee ballots and thousands of provisional ballots.
Right before the election, it was discovered that the Motor Vehicles Administration (MVA) had messed up the registration of approximately 80,000 voters, including some in Montgomery County, who would have to cast provisional ballots. That means this one will likely be decided July 5 at the earliest, when provisional ballots are counted.
Blair had the backing of the Washington Post and business groups while Elrich swept the endorsements of unions, including the coveted teacher’s union (Apple Ballot), and progressive groups. GGWash battled with Elrich in recent weeks after he incorrectly claimed we misquoted him.
Our endorsee, George Leventhal, struggled at the back of the pack; it’s likely many voters saw it as a Blair-Elrich race and made their choice accordingly. (We’ll be talking and posting more about this in the coming days or weeks.)
As Dan Greenspahn noted on Twitter, if there were ever a good argument for ranked choice voting / instant runoff voting (or the California top-two primary system), this is it!
Those were just a few of the many, many elections happening in Maryland Tuesday. Here’s a summary of the rest in our region.
Wine business owner David Trone won the nomination for the Maryland 6th Congressional district. He previously tried to get to Congress in the 8th district in 2016. Trone took 40% of the vote to 31% for Aruna Miller and 10% for our pick, Roger Manno. Neither Miller nor third place finisher Nadia Hashimi returned our questionnaire.
Senator Ben Cardin cruised to re-nomination with 80% of the vote, fending off a challenge by whistleblower Chelsea Manning and perennial candidate Jewish Voices for Peace founder Jerry Segal, among others.
Jamie Raskin, the sitting member of Congress from the 8th district who has become a resistance bulldog under the current president, garnered over 90% of the vote in his race. Reps. John Sarbanes, Anthony Brown, and Steny Hoyer likewise had no difficulty winning re-nomination.
Montgomery County council at-large
The Democratic ballot for at-large council had a daunting 33 names. With 97% of the vote counted, the four who apparently will win the nomination (and almost surely the general election) look to be (in order from most votes to fewest) incumbent Hans Riemer, Will Jawando, Evan Glass, and Gabe Albornoz.
We endorsed Riemer and Jawando, and Glass was one of our two finalists tied for our fourth endorsement. We highlighted Albornoz in our finalists post for his attention to bicycle and pedestrian issues as Recreation Director; his strong interview could easily have garnered an endorsement in a narrower field.
Our third endorsee, Danielle Meitiv, placed approximately 12th, while our other possible fourth place recommendation, Jill Ortman-Fouse, came in 11th out of the 33.
All four at-large councilmembers will be men, joining what looks to be four of five men in the district seats to just one woman, Nancy Navarro. Today's at-large officeholders include one woman, Nancy Floreen. Candidates Marilyn Balcombe and Brandy Brooks were the fifth and sixth finishers in the primary with 97% of the vote tallied, with Chris Wilhelm close behind.
Montgomery County council districts
In District 1, we feared a strong run by anti-development favorite Meredith Wellington, but the urbanist champions cited in our endorsement post — Andrew Friedson, Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez and Reggie Oldak (who we endorsed) — ended up in the top three spots! Friedson garnered the Post endorsement and emerged victorious. While his all-of-the-above approach to highways and transit gave our committee pause, his infectious enthusiasm for a more urban Montgomery County will be a valuable voice on the Council.
The incumbents were all renominated in the other four districts: Craig Rice in District 2, Sidney Katz in District 3, Nancy Navarro in 4, and Tom Hucker in 5.
We did not endorse in District 2 and supported Navarro and Hucker in 4 and 5. In 3, it was disappointing to see Ben Shnider, an amazing urbanist who also got significant labor and progressive support, come up just short, with 47.5% to 52.5% for Katz.
Bus Rapid Transit opponent Kevin Harris garnered 22% of the vote against Hucker (68%). Navarro, meanwhile, got 91% of the vote in her district.
State legislature in Montgomery County
District 14: The three incumbents, Anne Kaiser, Eric Luedke, and Pamela Queen (all of whom we endorsed) were renominated.
District 15: Senator Brian Feldman, who championed this year’s Metro funding agreement and earned our endorsement, fended off a challenger. For delegate, voters chose our two endorsees, incumbent Kathleen Dumais and newcomer Lily Qi, as well as incumbent David Fraser-Hidalgo who did not return our questionnaire, but has been seen as a champion on the Environment and Transportation Committee.
District 16: Incumbent and major Metro advocate Marc Korman has won renomination with 24% of the vote. Our other picks, Ariana Kelly (21.64%) and Samir Paul (20.54%) cling to slim leads over Sara Love (20.28%) with a few regular votes and a lot of absentee and provisional ones to be counted.
District 17: Our recommended candidates Kumar Barve and Julie Palakovich Carr took the top two, while the third slot went to Jim Gilchrist over our choice Julian Haffner. Gilchrist didn’t return our questionnaire, but is a regular transit rider who earned our endorsement in 2010.
District 18:In the competitive Senate race, where we did not endorse, current delegate Jeff Waldstreicher defeated Dana Beyer. For delegate, our endorsed candidates Emily Shetty and Jared Solomon secured the two open seats alongside incumbent delegate Al Carr.
District 19: Our endorsee, former Action Committee for Transit board member Vaughn Stewart, beat out incumbent Maricé Morales, who didn’t respond to our questionnaire. Incumbent Bonnie Cullison and Charlotte Crutchfield, claimed the other two spots, ahead of our other endorsee, Marlin Jenkins.
District 20: David Moon, Jheanelle Wilkins, and Lorig Charkoudian look to be the winners; we endorsed Moon and Charkoudian, making favorable comments about Wilkins as well.
District 39: Lesley Lopez, Gabriel Acevero (our endorsee) and Kirill Reznik seem to have come out on top, though Shane Robinson is very close.
Prince George’s County council at-large
Mel Franklin and Calvin Hawkins look to be the nominees for the newly-created two at-large seats on the Prince George's county council. Both had generally good responses to our questionnaire, but we decided not to make any endorsements because of non-policy-related events involving the candidates (a DUI and a sexual harassment claim, respectively) that gave us pause.
Prince George’s County council districts
In District 1, Tom Dernoga has edged out Craig Moe, 48-52%; we did not make an endorsement. Deni Taveras beat back a challenge from Candace Hollingsworth, 53-47%. We gave Taveras the nod but also really like Hollingsworth and hope she’ll run for this seat (or something else) in four years when Taveras will be term-limited.
Dannielle Glaros and Todd Turner were unopposed in Districts 3 and 4, respectively. In District 5, delegate Jolene Ivey (who we endorsed) crushed the rest of the five-candidate field with 74% of the votes cast, while District 6 incumbent Derrick Leon Davis got 77% of the vote for renomination.
Two races are too close to call. In District 7, we supported Krystal Oriadha. With all precincts reporting, she leads Rodney Colvin Streeter by a mere nine votes. (Streeter did not fill out our questionnaire.)
The District 8 seat will go to Monique Anderson-Walker; we made no endorsement. District 9 is also quite close, though not quite as close as 7: Tamara Davis Brown (our choice) trails Sydney Harrison by 47 votes.
State legislature in Prince George’s County
For the races where we made endorsements, here are the results.
District 21: Two seats will go to incumbents Joseline Peña-Melnyk and Ben Barnes. (We recommended Peña-Melnyk). As we noted since the first post about the Maryland election, both former District 1 councilmember Mary Lehman and her former aide Matt Dernoga (son of Tom Dernoga, the nominee to succeed Lehman in District 1) were jockeying for this seat. We endorsed both, and Lehman seems to have edged Dernoga by 223 votes.
District 22: The three incumbents, Alonzo Washington, Anne Healey, and Tawanna Gaines, prevailed in the election over our suggestions Nicole Williams and Ashanti Martinez.
District 24: The nominations go to Erek Barron and Jazz Lewis, the two incumbents both of whom we endorsed, and Andrea Fletcher Harrison.
District 26: This one’s a decisive win for incumbent Jay Walker as well as Veronica Turner and Kris Valderrama. Our suggestion, Sade Oshinubi, finished fifth in this eight-way race.
District 47: We recommended WMATA board alternate Malcolm Augustine in the open seat state senate primary, and he won with 84% of the vote.
District 47A: Incumbent Diana Fennell won renomination, but Julian Ivey looks to have beaten out the other incumbent, Jimmy Tarlau, for the second seat in this two-delegate sub-district. We endorsed Fennell and Tarlau.
District 47B: Wanika Fisher won this seat with 59% of the vote, besting our pick, Carlo Sanchez, who got 39%.
You can see all election results here.