Midterm Roundup: Wet Hot Maryland Summer

Primary elections return after a month-long break with Maryland’s contests on Tuesday.

State of Play – July 16

Is Maryland Democrats’ Best Chance to Win a Governorship?

Maryland Governor (G.O.P. primary): Former President Donald Trump and Maryland’s popular G.O.P. Governor Larry Hogan have taken opposite sides in the open primary to succeed him. Hogan, the second Republican to ever win reelection for Maryland governor, backed his Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz.

Her top rival, delegate Daniel Cox, is backed by Trump and $1 million worth of Democratic “attack” ads designed to elevate Cox. Democrats believe Cox is the far weaker candidate and would likely lose the general election.

Maryland Governor (Democratic primary): A sprawling field of candidates are competing to flip Maryland blue after 8 years of Republican rule. The few public polls show three candidates – Comptroller Peter Franchot, author and nonprofit founder Wes Moore, and Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez – have separated themselves from the rest of the field. Former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler and Obama Education Secretary John King are also running.

The Prosecutor Primaries

Maryland Attorney General (Democratic primary): Two high-profile Democrats are competing for this office last held by Republicans in 1954. Former Baltimore judge and Maryland First Lady Katie O’Malley is looking to continue the political dynasties of her husband, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and her father, former Maryland Atty. General Joe Curran.

Her top competition is Rep. Anthony Brown. Brown was former Gov. O’Malley’s Lieutenant Governor before losing to Hogan in a shocking upset in 2014. He won a House seat in 2016 and is looking for a statewide comeback.

Baltimore State’s Attorney: Local prosecutor races rarely make national news, but the race to be Baltimore’s top prosecutor is an exception. Progressive prosecutor Marilyn Mosby won her first election in 2014 backed by heavy spending from Democratic megadonor George Soros.

Mosby earned national attention for bringing charges against the six officers accused in the Freddie Gray case that sparked days of riots in Baltimore in 2015. However, she failed to win any convictions and her decision to prosecute is blamed for the Baltimore police pullback that’s helped fuel a crime resurgence in one of America’s most violent cities.

Earlier this year, Mosby was indicted for perjury for making false loan applications. The scandal-plagued Mosby has been vastly outraised by her two 2018 primary opponents, federal prosecutor Thiru Vignarajah and attorney Ivan Bates. Any of the three could emerge victorious on Tuesday.

Battle for the House

Maryland’s 4th District (Democratic Primary): Rep. Donna Edwards gave up this seat in 2016 to mount a losing bid for U.S. Senate. Now that her successor, Anthony Brown, is running for Attorney General, Edwards is back to retake her old seat.

Her top competition is former Prince George’s County state’s attorney Glenn Ivey, considered the more moderate choice. Edwards is backed by Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton, while Ivey is backed up by millions in spending from pro-Israel groups.

Maryland’s 6th District (G.O.P. Primary): Millionaire wine magnate David Trone won this seat in 2018, but has been dogged by media reports of COVID hypocrisy and poor constituent services. Veteran G.O.P. Delegate Neil Parrott challenged Trone in 2020 and is back for a rematch. His leading primary competition appears to be 25-year-old reporter Matthew Foldi, who’s earned the backing of establishment G.O.P. figures like Kevin McCarthy and Gov. Hogan.


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© Dominic Moore, 2022