Okay...on to some of the most exciting races in the Senate first......including one candidate who had to beat his opponent twice in the same election cycle, after the opponent changed political parties. For those outside Maryland note that Dems already hold a veto proof majority. Ehrlich had been attempting to whittle away enough seats to make his vetos stand.
Democrat Jim Rosapepe defeated Incumbent John Giannetti AGAIN, with 67% of the vote. In spite of Giannetti's jump to the GOP, he still could not defeat former Delegate and former Ambassador to Romania, Jim Rosapepe. This seat remains in the D column. The primary race between the two candidates made headlines early this year when Giannetti saved Rosapepe's life by performing the heimlich maneuver on him as he was choking. Giannetti did not know at the time he had saved his opponent's life. This district covers areas in Prince George's and Anne Arundel County.
District 30 State Senate and House of Delegates
Republican Delegate Herbert McMillan left his safe seat in the House to challenge State Senator John Astle at Bob Ehrlich's bidding. With only 2 precincts not reporting, it appears the incumbent Dem will hold his seat with almost 54% of the vote.
This challenge by McMillan left an open seat in the House that Democrats hoped to take and with again 2 precincts not reporting, it appears that Democrat Barbara Samorajczyk may win the seat. The House race has not be called yet, but Samorajczyk is up by almost 500 votes. Ron George is the Republican with the closest vote total. If Samorajczyk hangs on to win, this is a seat pickup for the Dems in Anne Arundel County. She would join House Speaker Michael Busch and Del. Virginia Claggett in the House. The GOP had fielded a number of candidates in this race, with three emerging from the primary race, to attempt to defeat Busch. However, Busch received the most votes of all 6 candidates.
District 31 State Senate and House of Delegates
The Senate seat is an open seat that was created when Democrat Phil Jimeno retired this year. This seat may be one of the most hotly contested open seats in Maryland this year. With 6 precincts left to report, the race is a dead heat between Democrat Walter Shandrowsky and Republican Bryan Simonaire. This one is going to be a nailbiter.
And the delegates race is no different. Currently 2 Republicans and one Democrat appear to be leading the vote totals, but it's too close to call. If this trend stands, the Republicans may maintain their two seats in this district, with two newcomers Kipke and Schuh. Currently incumbent Del. Joan Cadden (D) is the top vote getter while ironically incumbent Republican Delegate Dwyer is trailing the other two Republican candidates. This race may take counting the absentee ballots to call. And again, this is a Anne Arundel County district.
District 13 State Senate
Repbulican State Senator Sandra Shrader lost her re-elction bid to Democrat and former Howard County Executive James Robey. Howard County has been trending more blue as it has become a suburban home to families whose members work in in DC and/or Baltimore. Schrader was considered to be a moderate Republican, but Robey's popularity and the general mood of the electorate dictated her dismissal. Robey won with nearly 57% of the vote.
District 8 House of Delegates
This one is not called yet but it looks like the Democrats might have taken all three delegates seats, where they previously only held one seat. This is a Baltimore County district. It appears that Incumbent Del. Eric Bromwell (D) will easily win and Dem challengers Baisden and Shuler may defeat the other incumbent Repblican Delegates Cluster and Boteler along with the third Republican candidate Mullahey
I'm not sure if this race was on anyone's radar, as I hadn't heard anything about it until today. This one looks like it may take days to call and the absentee ballots will need to be counted. Cross your fingers for a two seat Dem pickup.
District 15 House of Delegates
One of only two Republican office holders left in Montgomery County has lost her delegates race. (Howie Denis, long time County Councilmember is the other, and it looks like he has lost his re-election bid as well.)
Jean Cryor, who has held her seat since the mid 1990s narrowly lost her seat (<700 votes) to newcomer Democrat Craig Rice. While Cryor was a progressive Republican (a dying breed, unfortunately), it appears in this polarized election year she fell victim to the strong sentiment against all Republicans this election cycle and could not pull her usual cross-over voters.
Craig Rice brings more diversity and youth to the District 15 team, as a 34 year old African American father of two who works for Marriott International. (The rest of Team 15 are all lawyers, LOL.) His election also balances the power in this large district that runs from North Bethesda along the Potomac to Poolesville, Germantown and Clarksburg. Now the district will be represented by two delegates from Potomac (Feldman and Dumais) and a delegate and State Senator (Garagiola) from Germantown. Jean Cryor was also from Potomac.
This is another seat pickup for the Dems in the House.
District 27B House of Delegates
Progressive Democrat Sue Kullen succeeded in her bid to return to the House of Delegates in a red district covering Calvert County. Sue Kullen had been appointed to that seat when the current popular Democratic Delegate was appointed to a government post by Bob Ehrlich in 2004 in an attempt to have the GOP win that seat in 2006. She won with 57% of the vote. Take that Bobby Haircut and the GOP.
District 28 House of Delegates
Dems pick up a seat in southern Maryland in Charles County. The two Democratic incumbents (Jameson and Levy) plus a Democratic challenger Murphy knockout Republican incumbent Mayer.
District 32 House of Delegates
This Anne Arundel district gives Dems another seat pickup, as both incumbents and Dem challenger Beidle defeat incumbent Repblican delegate Terry R. Gilleland, Jr.
District 34A House of Delegates
Dems pick up a seat in red Harford County/Cecil County of all places! I need to conatct my pal in Harford to get the skinny, but Democrat challenger Riley defeated incumbent Republican Delegate Sheryl Davis Kohl, giving Dems both seats in this district. That's another seat pickup.
District 42 House of Delegates --ADDED
In a very close race, it looks like Democratic candidates Tracy Miller and Steve Lafferty may have grabbed two of three Republican held seats (one open seat) in District 42 in Baltimore County.
Tracy Miller lost her son in Fallujiah and is a Gold Star Mom. She ran specifically as a mother of a fallen soldier. Steve Lafferty is the Deputy Director of Planning and Zoning in Howard County. If they are declared winners, they will have defeated incumbent William J. Frank. Susan L. M. Aumann, the other incumbent Republican Delegate appears to be able to hold onto her seat. This will be a two seat pickup.
District 3A House of Delegates --ADDED
Not sure how I missed this race, but up in Frederick County, Democrat Sue Hecht will be joining Del Galen Clagett in Annapolis representing District 3A. Hecht defeated incumbent delegate Patrick N. Hogan (R). The 27-year-old Hogan (not to be confused with MoCo State Senator Patrick J. Hogan) won his seat in 2002. Sue Hecht has been a community advocate and activist for 20 years, particularly involved in helping those who are victims of domestic abuse and child abuse. That's another one in the D column.
Democrats are only in real danger of losing 2 seats in District 31, one in the Senate and one in the House. Meanwhile they picked up 6 seats for certain with a couple more possible. And they retained a number of others that the GOP targetted. The GOP had set its sights on winning five Senate and 14 House seats.
Even if Ehrlich had won re-election, the Democrats managed to extend their control in the House and maintain their control in the Senate, ensuring their veto override power. And now it appears O'Malley will be Governor, along with Franchot as Comptroller and Gansler as Attorney General.
Maryland remains at it's core a blue state, with red exurbs. It's now up to O'Malley and the rest of the team to work towards cultivating a more purple balance in those less populous counties while maintining the base in the DC and Baltimore suburbs and in Baltimore. And part of maintaining the base will require reaching out to the African American community to let them know their issues are important and that their votes are not taken for granted. If O'Malley is truly presidential material, he should be able to accomplish that and particularly, to make it a point to accomplish that. :)