Van Hollen fends off the main challenger while Maryland counts the ballots

Polling stations were closed at 8 p.m. ET and county officials were not allowed to process the record-breaking number of mail-in ballots for a primary until after in-person voting was complete.

The marquee contest in Tuesday’s Maryland primary election was the governor’s race. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who is among the most moderate figures in his party and has frequently criticized former President Donald Trump, is prevented by term limits from seeking re-election.

His departure turned the primary for governor – a development in a state where Democratic voters outnumber Republicans by about two to one but where the GOP has held the office of governor for 12 of the last 20 years – into a window in the larger battles being played out in both parties on the national stage.

Republican voters had four candidates up for gubernatorial election — but the race was primarily a clash between Hogan’s moderate wing and those loyal to Trump and his brand of politics.

Hogan-backed Kelly Schulz, Maryland’s former Secretary of Commerce, faced Dan Cox, a far-right lawmaker who sued for blocking Hogan’s mandates related to the coronavirus pandemic and sought to impeach the GOP governor for those public safety measures.

Democrats, meanwhile, endured an open 10-candidate showdown — a field that included former Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez, Oprah Winfrey-backed author Wes Moore, state auditor Peter Franchot, former US Secretary of Education John King and Doug Gansler belonged. the former Maryland Attorney General and failed gubernatorial candidate of 2014.

The gubernatorial primary is the most closely watched contest on Tuesday in Maryland, where the election was delayed by three weeks due to legal disputes over the state’s legislative maps.

It can take days or even weeks to get election results. According to the Maryland Board of Elections, more than 508,000 people applied for absentee ballots — breaking previous primary election records. Counties can’t start counting those ballots until Thursday, and election officials say some counties may still be counting absentee ballots in the first week of August.

gubernatorial primaries

Multiple gubernatorial candidates would make history in a state that has so far only elected white men as its chief executive.

Perez, the former DNC chairman, emphasized his national experience as well as his local roots. He is a former Montgomery County councilman and was Secretary of Labor for Maryland before joining former President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and later becoming Obama’s Secretary of Labor.

A Perez ad used Obama’s previous comments about Perez, with the former president calling Perez “tireless” and “wickedly clever.”

Moore, meanwhile, aired an ad, voiced by Winfrey, in which the TV star calls Moore a friend and goes over his resume. Winfrey calls Moore “the kind of transformational leader these times call for.”

Schultz is a rare Republican who could capitalize on Hogan’s unusual popularity in Maryland — a reality that could appeal to GOP voters focused on eligibility but alienating those who have pissed off Hogan after years of criticizing Trump.

The Democratic Governors Association pumped more than $1 million into TV ads to bolster Cox, whom Democrats see as the weaker candidate in November’s general election.

These ads highlight Cox’s positions that might be popular in a Republican primary but politically problematic in a blue state general election, including his opposition to gun restrictions and abortion rights and his support for Trump. One spot calls Cox “too close to Trump, too conservative for Maryland.”

Schultz said in a news conference with Hogan last month that Democrats are trying to “spend $1 million now and save $5 million by not having to face me in the general election.”

Cox, meanwhile, has fueled fears of voter fraud. He said on Facebook in December 2020 that Trump should confiscate voting machines. He has chartered three buses to Trump’s January 6, 2021 rally in Washington. And he tweeted amid the riot, “Pence is a traitor.”

He has that too threatened a postal ballot lawsuit.

On a hot election day in Maryland, voters crowded into their polling stations. Portia Thompson, who said she has been voting since 1974, voted for Perez at the Colmar Manor Community Center and Town Hall.

“I think he would represent everyone. African American, Latino, everyone. He also worked in President Obama’s administration, so I thought he had the experience,” Thompson said of Perez.

Down the ballot

The down-ballot races to be decided Tuesday include a house contest and a primary for attorney general — one that is effectively the general election in a state that hasn’t elected a Republican to office in more than 100 years . (One Republican, Edward Rollins, was appointed to the post in 1952.)

Van Hollen, who suffered a minor stroke in May, defeated a key challenge posed by Michelle Smith, a Freedom of Information Act policy analyst at the US Agency for International Development. Ten Republicans are vying to take on the winner of this primary, but Van Hollen is heavily favored to win a second term.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the Maryland Democrat who is the second-rate member of the House, also won his primary, CNN predicted.

One of Maryland’s eight congressional seats is open this fall: the heavily Democratic seat in the 4th District, currently held by Democratic Rep. Anthony Brown, features former Rep. Donna Edwards running in the Democratic primary against the Prince’s former attorney George’s County, Glenn Ivey.

Edwards has high-profile supporters including Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Ivey is bolstered by ads attacking Edwards of the Super-PAC, who is on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Thompson said she chose to vote for Glenn Ivey in the 4th Circuit race because she believes he is a “great gentleman.”

“I don’t really have a negative opinion of Donna Edwards, but I like Glenn Ivey and his family. i like his wife She’s coming over and she’ll sit on your porch and talk to you,” she said.

Sharda Ramdat, a 46-year-old mother, said gun violence and abortion rights are her top priorities.

“I worry about my kids every day, and I feel like there’s nowhere you can have a moment of your own space. That’s a big deal. I really want change, especially on gun laws,” she said.

Ramdat said she was smitten with Moore and believed he would be the best fit for him because he “had a tough life growing up” and would “understand where the middle class and poor people come from.”

The Democratic primary for the Maryland Attorney General was another important contest on Tuesday. Brown, the former lieutenant governor under Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley who is leaving his seat in the House of Representatives after three terms, faces O’Malley’s wife, Katie Curran O’Malley, a former Baltimore City District Court judge.

In an ad, O’Malley said Brown was “a good congressman, but he’s never tried a criminal case in Maryland and he doesn’t have the right experience for the job.”

Brown, a Harvard-trained former military attorney, is supported by VoteVets, which supports Democratic candidates with military experience. In an ad criticizing O’Malley, VoteVets slammed O’Malley’s ad as “a disgrace” and says it “simply dismisses the experience of one of the most qualified individuals to ever run for attorney general.”

Both would be historic candidates—Brown as the first black person to serve as Maryland’s Attorney General, and O’Malley as the first woman to hold the office.

Marcela Orellano, 38, was at the East County Community Recreation Center in Silver Spring at 9:30 a.m. because she is “scared about the presidential election.” Though she said there isn’t one particular candidate she’s excited about in elementary school in Maryland, she wants to see change and is concerned about gun laws, women’s rights and immigration policies.

“I want to make sure I make a difference at least at the state level. I’m looking for Democrats who will fight for the things I care about,” Orellano said.

Robin Jones, 68, said affordable housing is one of her top priorities and she is most focused on local issues affecting her community.

“I went to work for the phone company when I was 17 and was able to afford an apartment making $125 a week. Now an apartment is the same amount as a mortgage and there just isn’t room for people to live in,” Jones said.

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