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Maryland deciding state government, US House races

Voter turnout was slow on the morning of primary election day at Jacksonville Elementary School.  (The Daily Record / Maximilian Franz)

Voter turnout was slow on the morning of primary election day in 2018 at Jacksonville Elementary School. (The Daily Record / Maximilian Franz)

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland voters are deciding who will be the state’s governor, as well as who will be in the 188 seats of the Maryland General Assembly and the state’s eight-member U.S. House delegation.

Popular Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has held big leads against Democrat Ben Jealous in recent polls in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1. That has the potential to transmit energy down the ticket to Republicans who are running for seats in the state legislature, which is controlled by Democrats. Republicans are focusing on breaking a supermajority of Democrats in the state Senate.

Jealous and other Maryland Democrats are hoping a “blue wave” of heavy Democratic turnout will enable them to regain the governor’s office and maintain their supermajorities in the House and Senate. Democrats are also looking to at least keep their 7-1 advantage in the state’s U.S. House delegation by winning an open seat in western Maryland.

Here is a look at the key Maryland races in Tuesday’s election:


Hogan said a second term would look a lot like his first, and his priorities are the same: aiming to make improvements in education, job creation and transportation infrastructure. He said he also wants to continue working for tax relief. A moderate Republican who has emphasized bipartisanship, he hopes to become the first Republican governor to win re-election in Maryland since 1954.

Jealous is a former national president of the NAACP who would be Maryland’s first black governor, if he prevails. He has won support from leading liberals on the national stage, including Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. He has proposed a progressive agenda that includes tuition-free college and expanding Medicare to all. He supports funding full-day, universal pre-kindergarten with tax revenue from his proposal to legalize marijuana for recreational use.


Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat, is running for a third Senate term. He is running against Republican Tony Campbell, a Towson University politics lecturer and former U.S. Army chaplain. Neal Simon, a business executive from Potomac, Maryland, also is running as an unaffiliated candidate.


David Trone, a Democrat and co-owner of a national wine store chain, is running for Maryland’s only open House seat. He is running against Amie Hoeber, a Republican and national security consultant.


Voters will decide who will serve in all 47 Senate seats. The Senate now has 33 Democrats and 14 Republicans. The GOP is aiming to gain five seats in what they’re calling “The Drive for Five.” That’s because it would deprive Democrats of the 29 votes they need to override a veto from the governor, if Hogan wins re-election.


All 141 seats in the Maryland House of Delegates are being decided by voters. The chamber has 91 Democrats and 50 Republicans. Democrats need to keep 85 seats to have the three-fifths vote needed to override a veto from the governor.


Republican Craig Wolf is challenging Democrat Brian Frosh for attorney general.


Republican Anjali Phukan is taking on Democrat Peter Franchot for comptroller.


A constitutional amendment that would require casino revenue set aside for schools to be used to enhance education spending above state funding formulas is on the ballot. Voters also will be deciding a constitutional amendment to allow residents to register and vote at their polling places on Election Day.