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State’s congressional incumbents cruise to victories

Maryland’s eight members of Congress were nominated to serve new terms after facing mostly little-known and poorly funded challengers in Tuesday’s primary.

Seven of the state’s representatives and both of its U.S. senators are Democrats, who outnumber Republicans 2-to-1 in Maryland. Five of the state’s House Democrats and its lone Republican faced primary challengers. Neither Senate seat is up for election this year.

Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards, who was nominated to serve a fourth term representing the 4th District in suburban Washington, told The Associated Press outside a polling place in Laurel that the delegation was unlikely to be roiled by infighting of the sort that toppled House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia.

“I think as Democrats, one of the things that unites us is that we share the same values,” said Edwards, who knocked off a Democratic incumbent in a 2008 primary. “The voters in Maryland appreciate and understand that. You have across-the-board support for our congressional delegation. It speaks well about us as Marylanders.”

Republicans are targeting only one incumbent in November’s general election, Rep. John Delaney of the 6th District. Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent who ran unsuccessfully against Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin in 2012, won the district’s GOP primary. Bongino had raised more than $530,000 for his campaign as of early June, although he had only $72,000 in cash on hand.

Delaney easily defeated longtime Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in 2012 after the western Maryland district was redrawn to include portions of heavily Democratic Montgomery County in the Washington suburbs. Bob Fenity, executive director of the Maryland Democratic Party, said Delaney’s seat should be safe as long as he runs a strong campaign and communicates his record.

In other results Tuesday:

— Rep. Andy Harris, the state’s lone Republican congressman and a tea party stalwart, defeated first-time candidate Jonathan Goff Jr. in Tuesday’s primary. Harris represents the 1st District, which includes the Eastern Shore.

— House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer was unopposed in the primary for the 5th District, which includes southern Maryland. Hoyer, 75, has represented the district since 1981.

— Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, was nominated to serve a 10th term representing the Baltimore-area 7th District.

— Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, was nominated to seek a seventh term in the Baltimore-area 2nd District.

— Rep. Chris Van Hollen won the Democratic primary and will seek an eighth term representing the 8th District in suburban Washington.

— Rep. John Sarbanes was nominated for a fifth term representing the sprawling 3rd District in central Maryland.