Maryland primaries: an update

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 03, 2018—ANNAPOLIS, Md.) The 2018 Maryland Primary Elections are one week behind us, so we wanted to bring you up to speed on the primary races for the statewide offices of governor, attorney general, and comptroller, as well as the district races for the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates.

With the first round of absentee ballots completed, several upsets are well on their way to finalization, and several other potential upsets are possible.

One of the biggest surprises was the result coming out of the 28th District (Calvert County) Senate Democratic Primary, where five-term veteran of the Senate and current Chair of the Senate Finance Committee Thomas “Mac” Middleton, is sitting nearly 600 votes behind a challenger strongly pushed by union-backed groups (particularly SEIU).

He is not the only Senate chair that is in strong danger of not returning. In the 43rd District representing parts of Baltimore City, four-term veteran Democrat Joan Carter Conway (current chair of the Senate’s Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee), is trailing her challenger, 43rd  District Delegate and fellow Democrat Mary Washington, by 469 votes.

Other members of Senate President Mike Miller’s leadership group are also struggling– Senate Pro Tem Nathaniel McFadden (D- 45), of Baltimore City, is nearly 2200 votes behind his challenger—fellow democrat and current first-term Delegate Cory McCray.

The potential upsets of incumbents in the Senate are not limited to the democrats. In District 29 (southern Maryland), first term Republican Senator Steve Waugh is trailing his challenger, Governor Hogan-endorsed candidate Jack Bailey, by 768 votes.

In House District 23B (Prince George’s County), 44-year veteran and 24-year Chair of the House Judiciary Committee Joseph Vallario, trails fellow democrat incumbent Marvin Holmes by 1,734 votes for the final seat in that two-seat district.

In the House, a number of races are also still too close to call, including the following:

District 16 (Montgomery County) where Samir Paul (D) leads fellow democrat Sara Love by 39 votes for the seat currently held by Delegate William Frick (Frick ran for county executive)

District 19 (Montgomery County) where incumbent Marice Morales (D) trails challenger Vaughn Stewart by 437 votes

District 21 (Prince Georges County), where democrat newcomers Mary Lehman and Matt Dernoga are separated by 213 votes in the race to fill the seat being vacated by the retiring Barbara Frush

District 23A (Prince George’s County) where democrat incumbent Geraldine Valentino-Smith holds a 64-vote lead over challenger Shabnam Ahmed

District 34B (Harford County), where incumbent republican Susan McComas holds a 62-vote lead over challenger Walter “Butch” Tilley

District 39 (Montgomery County) where two democrat incumbent delegates – Kirill Resnick and Shane Robinson – are battling for the third and final seat; Resnick is 33 votes behind the second-place finisher, while Robinson is 145 votes behind Resnick

District 41 (Baltimore City) also has two incumbent democrats in a battle for the last seat – Angela Gibson currently sits fourth in a three-seat race, 215 votes back; incumbent Bilal Ali is fifth, 74 votes behind Gibson

District 47A (Prince George’s County) has one-term incumbent democrat Jimmy Tarlau 383 votes behind challenger Julian Ivey for the second seat in this 2-seat sub-district

District 47B (Prince George’s County) has democrat incumbent Carlo Sanchez 388 votes behind vote-leader Wanika Fisher.

It will be a another week before these races will be finalized. Per schedule, the counties will start counting provisional ballots on July 5, then any absentee ballots received after the first absentee ballot are counted. All counties are required to verify the vote counts by Friday, July 6, with the State Board of Elections certifying the final results by Monday, July 9.

As soon as we know officially who will be facing whom in the November 4 General Elections, we will let you know!

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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