Maryland primaries: The numbers are in

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.


(July 12, 2018—ANNAPOLIS, Md.) With the 2018 Maryland Primary election results expected to be certified by the Maryland State Board of Elections soon—hopefully this week—we wanted to share the results from the voting cycle with you.

In my last posting, I noted several races where the incumbent senator or delegate was in danger of not winning their re-election bid, and several other races that were close contests.  All indications are that five incumbent members of the Senate, and seven incumbent members of the House of Delegates were unsuccessful in their bids to return to their seats.

This will set the number of incumbents not returning to their seats in 2019, both voluntarily and involuntarily, at 16 in the Senate and 37 in the House.  Of those vacancies, the most glaring ones include roughly ¾ of the Senate leadership and one House committee chair.

On the Senate side, both the chair and vice-chair of the Budget and Taxation Committee will have new occupants come 2019 – current Chair Edward Kasemeyer (D-12, Baltimore and Howard Counties) chose not to seek re-election, and current Vice-Chair Richard Madaleno (D-18, Montgomery County) chose to enter the race for Governor—which was unsuccessful.  The long-tied chairs of the Finance Committee and the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee – Thomas “Mac” Middleton (D-28, Charles County) and Joan Carter Conway (D-43, Baltimore City), respectively, were defeated in the primary.  This leaves the Judicial Proceedings Committee Chair Bobby Zirkin (D-11, Baltimore County) as the only returning committee chair in the Senate.

While the House of Delegates did not have as many losses in its leadership, it did lose its longest-serving sitting chairman, Judiciary Committee Chair Joseph Vallario (D-23B, Prince George’s County) to a primary election defeat.

With the dust finally settling, here are some of the surprising results to date:


District 28 – In what could turn out to be an unsettling result for the business community, Democrat incumbent (and Chair of Senate Finance Committee) Mac Middleton appears to have lost in his bid for re-election to challenger Arthur Ellis by 646 votes.  A political newcomer, Ellis had strong backing from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in his campaign.

District 29 –The lone Republican incumbent to lose his re-election bid,  incumbent Steve Waugh, was defeated by Hogan-backed challenger Jack Bailey by a 752-vote margin.

District 32 – In a two-person race to challenge current Delegate Pam Beidle in the General Election for the seat being vacated by incumbent James “Ed” DeGrange (D), current Republican County Council Member John Grasso leads Maureen Bryant by 73 votes.

District 40 – Current Delegate Antonio Hayes (D) defeated incumbent Senator Barbara Robinson by 3,735 votes.

District 43 – Current Delegate Mary Washington (D) appears to have defeated Democratic incumbent Joan Carter Conway, Chair of Senate Education, Health and Environmental Matters Committee (EHE), by just under 500 votes.

District 45 – In one of the larger voter rejections of an incumbent by the constituency, incumbent Senator and Senator Pro Tem Nathaniel McFadden, lost his Democratic primary race to first-term Delegate Cory McCray (D) by over 2,200 votes.


District 11 – Former Delegate Jon Cardin (D) captured the third slot in the Democratic primary.

District 16 – A very tight race between Samir Paul and Sara Love for the third slot in the Democratic primary ended a see-saw battle with Love holding an 11-vote lead over Paul.

District 19 – Incumbent and one-term Delegate Marice Morales (D) lost in her re-election bid, falling to challenger Vaughn Stewart by 445 votes.

District 21 – In the battle for the third slot in the Democratic primary between newcomers Mary Lehman and Matt Dernoga, Lehman holds a 222-vote lead.

District 23A – Incumbent Geraldine Valentino-Smith (D) maintains a 42-vote lead over challenger Shabnam Ahmed in this single-seat sub-district.

District 23B – Democrat incumbent and Chair of House Judiciary Committee Joe Vallario was defeated in his bid for a twelfth consecutive four-year term, sitting third in two-seat district race behind incumbent Marvin Holmes by 1,768 votes.

District 34B – Incumbent Susan McComas (R) held off a close challenge by insurance broker Water “Butch” Tilley in this single-seat sub-district by 55 votes.

District 39 – Democrat incumbent Kirill Resnik has placed third in this three-seat race; fellow incumbent Shane Robinson placed fourth, 145 votes behind Resnik.

District 41 – Democrat incumbents Bilal Ali and Angela Gibson will not be returning to their seats in the House come January.  Long-time Democratic incumbent Sandy Rosenberg and newcomers Dalya Attar and Tony Bridges will be the three delegates representing the 41st District; to date, there have been no challengers, either by the Republican Party or a third party.

District 47A – Incumbent Jimmy Tarlau (D) fell to newcomer Julian Ivey by 400 votes for the second slot in this two-seat sub-district.

District 47B – Incumbent Carlo Sanchez (D) lost to challenger Wanika Fisher in this single-seat sub-district by 394 votes.

Even though the primaries are over, there are still some races that are too close for comfort. A few campaigns are already seeking a recount, with the closest race within a nine vote margin. One thing for sure is there will be a shakeup in the General Assembly with a lot of newcomers defeating incumbents.

The primary victors will be busy campaigning in preparation for the November 4th General Elections. Be sure to educate yourselves on the important issues facing the State of Maryland so you’re ready to cast your ballot come fall.

In the meantime – if you are interested in reviewing the current results of any state race, you can do so by going to the Maryland State Board of Elections (BOE) website here:

If you are interested in local, county preliminary primary results, you can find them here:






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