Republican Gov. Larry Hogan coasted to a convincing victory Tuesday night and vowed to “work for all Marylanders,” saying he survived an expected “blue wave” of Democratic anger focused on President Donald Trump.
“It turns out I can surf and we had a purple surfboard,” Hogan told a crowd of supporters gathered at the Westin Hotel in Annapolis.
Hogan becomes the second Republican governor re-elected since Theodore McKeldin. With almost all polling places reporting, Hogan amassed 56.2 percent of the vote to Democrat Ben Jealous’ 42.7 percent
“They said it was impossible,” said Hogan. “They said it couldn’t be done, but thanks to all of you, we went out and did it.”
Hogan praised Jealous, saying his opponent ran a spirited campaign and had the incumbent’s respect.
Hogan said his victory is representative of the state’s “middle temperament” politically and runs counter to the national ire driven by national politics.
Hogan said his victory sends a “message to Washington that they will hear all across the country.”
Jealous conceded to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan at the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore.
As some in the crowd chanted, “Count the votes, count the votes,” Jealous said it was time to end his campaign.
“Over half the votes have been counted,” Jealous said. “We looked at those numbers and its right for us to concede.”
Jealous, the former national president of the NAACP, ran as a progressive Democrat championing universal health care, tuition-free college, a $15 minimum wage and universal pre-K paid for with the legalization of recreational marijuana.
But the Democratic nominee found himself outgunned by Hogan’s massive campaign war chest and $4 million in television spending from the Republican Governors Association.
Polls leading up to the election showed Hogan leading Jealous by 18-20 points.
Jealous and his campaign rejected those numbers, pinning hopes on a blue wave and driving voters, especially those who skipped the election in 2014, to the polls. Jealous predicted Hogan would need 1 million votes to win — a number not reached by a statewide Republican candidate in Maryland. The Democratic nominee predicted that Hogan’s total of 884,000 votes in 2014 was the ceiling for the incumbent Republican.
Hogan, with 1,881 of 1,991 precincts reporting from around the state, has collected more than 1.1 million votes and leads Jealous by 14 points.
Hogan defeated Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in 2014 by slightly less than 5 points.
Meanwhile, in Baltimore County, Al Redmer, the Maryland Insurance Commissioner and Republican nominee for county executive, conceded his race to John Olszewski Jr, the Democratic Party nominee.
Redmer trailed Olszewski by 44,000 votes with 235 of 259 precincts reporting.
Baltimore County was a key district for Hogan.
The governor leads Jealous by more than 73,000 votes in a district he won by more than 55,000 votes four years ago.
The Republican Governor’s Association issued a statement Tuesday night congratulating Gov. Larry Hogan on his victory over Democratic Party nominee Ben Jealous.
“Governor Larry Hogan’s victory tonight is a historic testament to his strong leadership,” said RGA Chairman Governor Bill Haslam. “Hogan is now the first Republican governor of Maryland to be re-elected in over 60 years, and it’s an affirmation of his impressive leadership and devotion to the people of Maryland. Hogan kept his promises to grow jobs, improve education, and be a governor for all Marylanders, and voters rightly rewarded him with a second term. The RGA is proud to congratulate Governor Larry Hogan on winning re-election.”
The Republican Governors Association was expected to spend about $4 million in Maryland in independent ads, most of which ran over the summer and sought to define Jealous as a tax-and-spend liberal who would raise state taxes.
Shortly after the Associated Press called the race for Hogan, Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, tweeted about Ben Jealous’ loss to Hogan.
I’m proud of @BenJealous for the incredible race he ran — one focused on issues, progress, and the people of Maryland. Though he came up short, I’m grateful for his commitment to putting our fellow Marylanders first.
— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) November 7, 2018
Other statewide races
Hogan isn’t the only statewide official re-elected in Maryland.
Comptroller Peter Franchot and Attorney General Brian Frosh also have handily defeated their Republican opponents.
Franchot has built a brand in Annapolis as a populist who supports craft beer and post-Labor Day School starts along with a bipartisan bromance relationship with Hogan, the Republican.
Despite being an occasional irritation to his fellow Democrats, Franchot defeated Republican challenger Anjali Reed Phukan by nearly 884,000 votes.
Franchot’s more than 1.4 million votes made him the top statewide Democratic candidate and gives him an opportunity to brag in front of Hogan at the next Board of Public Works. Hogan captured more than 1.1 million votes, a historic figure for a statewide Republican candidate in Maryland.
Frosh, first elected in 2014, defeated Republican Craig Wolf by nearly 575,000 votes. Frosh captured more than 1.3 million votes.
Gambling proceeds in Maryland will go into a lockbox and Maryland residents will have the ability to participate in same-day voter registration on Election Day.
Maryland voters overwhelmingly approved two ballot questions on the 2018 ballot.
More than 1.7 million voters approved Question 1, which creates a lockbox for more the state’s cut from legalized casino gaming. The change now means that the state will have to fund the base K-12 education spending formula through the General Fund budget. The roughly $500 million or so from gaming will be phased-in over the next four years as additional spending for school districts around the state.
The change means Hogan and the General Assembly will have to find about $125 million in each of the next four years to back-fill the hole in the budget created by the change.
More than 1.3 million voters approved Question 2 which will allow Maryland residents to register to vote on Election Day.
Key Senate races
Hogan and the Republican party were hoping to pick up five seats to break a Democratic super majority and allow Hogan to prevent veto overrides in his second term. Here’s a look at a few of the races:
- In District 3 in Frederick County, incumbent Democratic Sen. Ron Young holds a roughly 4,000-vote lead with 26 of 43 precincts reporting.
- In District 8 in Baltimore County, incumbent Democratic Sen. Kathy Klausmeier holds a slim 554-vote lead over Republican challenger Del. Christian Miele.
- In District 42 in Baltimore County, Republican Del. Chris West holds a 2,900-vote lead over Democratic challenger Robbie Leonard with 235 of 250 precincts reporting.
- In District 30, Democrat Sarah Elfreth holds a 4,600-vote lead over Republican former Del. Ron Young with 12 of 45 precincts reporting.
- In District 38 on the Eastern Shore, Republican Del. Mary Beth Carozza holds a 2,300-vote lead over incumbent Democratic Sen. Jim Mathias with 62 of 68 precincts reporting.
Earlier in the night
Despite the fact that several news organizations have called the race for Maryland governor, there were no official numbers posted on the Maryland Board of Elections website at 9 p.m..
Shortly before 9:30 p.m., the board through it’s Twitter account said results were delayed because of ongoing voting in a number of jurisdictions including Prince George’s County.
Update: Voters in a few polling places are still in the process of voting. We will release the unofficial results once they have all finished voting. #MDvotes
— Maryland Elections (@md_sbe) November 7, 2018
Polls closed in Maryland at 8 p.m. but anyone in line at that time will be allowed to vote.
The Maryland Democratic Party noted what it called “unprecedented turnout” in Prince George’s County.
“Due to unprecedented turnout in Prince George’s County, several polling locations have run low on ballots,” said Joe Sandler, an attorney for the state party. “All voters should be aware that the Prince George’s County Board of Elections is required, by law, to keep all affected polling locations open as long as required for all voters in line at 8:00 p.m. to cast their ballot.”
A source close to the Hogan campaign said the governor has not come down to claim victory because Jealous “refuses to call the governor and concede.”