2018 election results: Is it a win for business?

Blog post by Larry Richardson

Larry Richardson is the vice president of government affairs at the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. He is an attorney who brings over 25 years of lobbying experience to the Chamber where he advocates on behalf of the Maryland business community to grow jobs and reduce regulations.


The 2018 Maryland Elections are over…almost. With the close of the polls late Tuesday night, the voters of Maryland set the course for the governance of the state for the next four years. While the final results for several seats in the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates will not be settled until the count of absentee and provisional ballots (and perhaps a full recount in one or two districts), the incoming makeup for the 2019 Maryland General Assembly appears to be lighter on the Republican side, and a bit more progressive on the Democratic side.

The good news for the business community is that Governor Larry Hogan became the first re-elected Republican governor in Maryland history, since the Mad Men era, easily defeating Democratic challenger Ben Jealous by an almost 14-point margin.

In regard to the other statewide races, incumbent Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) and incumbent Attorney General Brian Frosh (D) also easily return to office with nearly 40 percent and 30 percent margins of victory, respectively.

The Maryland Senate and House of Delegates races, unfortunately, produced preliminary outcomes that raise a bit of concern for the futures of job growth and an overall business climate that is conducive to business growth and expansion.

In the Senate races, preliminary results indicate a net Republican gain of one seat. Of the 17 new Senators set to take office January 2019, 13 are Democrat and four are Republican. As of this morning, it looks like incumbent Senator Jim Mathias (D-38, Lower Eastern Shore) will be replaced by Republican challenger and current District 38 Delegate Mary Beth Carozza, who is holding a 2,810-vote lead.

A much closer race, that is indicating the same result, is in Howard County’s District 9, where incumbent Republican Senator Gail Bates is 154 votes behind Democratic challenger Katie Fry Hester.

On the House side, the Democrats appear to be in a position to pick up several seats. Of the 41 new faces that will make up the 2019 House body, 34 will be Democrat and seven will be Republican. This marks a seven seat swing to the Democratic side of the aisle. Five of those seven seats come as the result of a Republican loss in the general to a Democratic challenger.

As the results currently stand:

Additionally, the seat currently occupied by retiring Republican Herb McMillian (District 30A) appears to have been captured by Democrat Alice Cain, who holds a comfortable lead over the two Republican candidates.

On a federal level, incumbent Senator Ben Cardin, and all incumbent members of Maryland’s Congressional Delegation, will be returning to their seats in Washington. In the only race that did not feature an incumbent, Democrat David Trone easily defeated Republican Amie Hoeber.  Trone will now occupy the seat currently held by incumbent John Delaney, who did not seek re-election.

Finally, we wanted to let you know some very good news resulting from the close of the 2018 elections – all the political ads and robo-calls will stop!

We wanted to get this information out to you early; more detailed information will be forthcoming shortly. Follow along with our hashtag: #MDCCB2G & #VoteForJobs

Concerns about this year’s session? Sign up for our Meet the State event on January 23rd and make your voice heard!

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