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2012 elections preview: Before facing a tough re-election challenge in November, Bartlett must survive primary

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April 2, 2012

By Jennifer Springer

US House elections, 2012

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland: Tomorrow voters in Maryland head to the polls to cast their ballot for congressional candidates in eight U.S. House districts. There are no state legislative primaries tomorrow, as members of the state legislature were elected to four-year terms in 2010.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Ballotpedia will carry results as they become available.

The congressional district that has attracted the most national attention is in the 6th Congressional District, currently served by Roscoe Bartlett.

Due to redistricting Bartlett's once "safe Republican" 6th District may be up for grabs after being targeted in the redistricting process by Democrats.[1] Bartlett faces quite a few challengers on the Republican ticket. David Brinkley, Robert Coblentz, Robin Ficker, Joseph Krysztoforski, Brandon Rippeon, Kathy Afzali, and Peter James are all challenging Bartlett in the primary.

On the Democratic ticket, candidates Robert Garagiola, Milad Pooran, John Delaney, Charles Bailey, and Ron Little are battling for the nomination. Delaney has received endorsements from former President Bill Clinton, The Washington Post, and representative from the 4th District Donna Edwards.[2] Garagiola was endorsed by the SEIU on December 21, 2011.[3] The organizations Greater Greater Washington,[4] The League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, MoveOn.org and numerous labor unions have also endorsed Garagiola in the Democratic primary.[5] Pooran was endorsed by former Vermont Governor Howard Dean.[6]

Meanwhile, Maryland is one of 33 states where an incumbent |U.S. Senator will be up for re-election.

Two-time incumbent Ben Cardin faces several opponents in the Democratic primary. They include Raymond Blagmon, J.P. Cusick, Christopher Garner, Ralph Jaffe, Blaine Taylor, Ed Tinus, Lih Young, and state senator C. Anthony Muse.

In the Republican primary, candidates Dan Bongino, William Capps, Joseph Alexander, Robert Broadus, Richard Douglas, David Jones, John Kimble, Brian Vaeth, and Corrogan Vaughn will compete for the nomination.

Incumbent U.S. Senator Ben Cardin will face eight opponents in the April 3 primary.

The greatest competition for Cardin in the Democratic primary seems to be state senator C. Anthony Muse.[7] Cardin was endorsed by the organization Progressive Maryland in the race for the incumbent's Senate seat.[8]

Republican candidate Dan Bongino was endorsed by U.S. Senator from Utah, Mike Lee (Utah),[9] representative from Illinois' 8th Congressional District Joe Walsh,[10] Harford County Executive David R. Craig,[11] and Blaine Young, President of the Frederick County Commissioners.[12] Candidate Richard Douglas has obtained support from former Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.[13] and John Bolton, former ambassador to the United Nations.[14]

Here's a breakdown of the other U.S. House districts holding primaries tomorrow:

District 1

See also: Maryland's 1st Congressional District elections, 2012

Freshman incumbent Andy Harris is running unopposed in the [[Maryland's 1st Congressional District elections, 2012|Republican primary. Harris is expected to have little difficulty winning in the general election, partly as a result of the redistricting process, which left the 1st District, which includes the eastern shore and suburban Baltimore, more solidly Republican than any other in the state.[15]

Candidates Wendy Rosen, John LaFerla, and Kim Letke are facing off in the Democratic primary to determine who will face Harris in the general election.

District 2

See also: Maryland's 2nd Congressional District elections, 2012

Incumbent Dutch Ruppersberger, who was first elected in 2002, is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. Ruppersberger, who won with a 30 point margin in 2010,[15] is expected to have little problem winning again in the general election.[15]

Leading candidates in the Republican primary include state senator Nancy Jacobs, former aide to Andy Harris Larry Smith, and House of Delegates member Rick Impallaria. Others candidates include Ray Bly, Vladmir Degen, and Howard Orton.

District 3

See also: Maryland's 3rd Congressional District elections, 2012

Three time incumbent John Sarbanes is being challenged in the Democratic primary by candidate David Lockwood.

In the Republican primary candidates Eric Delano Knowles, Thomas Harris, Draper Phelps, and Armand Girard are battling for the Republican nomination.

According to the Baltimore Sun, "Despite its meandering boundaries, the district appears to be solidly within the hands of incumbent John Sarbanes."[15]

District 4

"See also: Maryland's 4th Congressional District elections, 2012"

Two time incumbent Donna Edwards was thought to have the most opposition from candidate Glenn Ivey, who announced he was planning to run only to withdraw from the race at the end of 2011, stating that he had not raised enough money to be competitive.[15][16] Edwards now faces competition from candidates Ian Garner and George McDermott in the Democratic primary.

On the Republican ticket, Charles Shepher, Randy Gearhart, Greg Holmes, and Faith Loudon are running for the nomination. Loudon has gained the backing of many of Maryland's Republican leaders, including 1st District incumbent Andy Harris and former Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.[15]

District 5

"See also: Maryland's 5th Congressional District elections, 2012"

Veteran incumbent and minority whip in the House Steny Hoyer faces opposition from challenger Cathy Johnson Pendleton in the [[Maryland's 5th Congressional District elections, 2012|Democratic primary. Hoyer won re-election in 2010 by 30 percentage points,[17] with the district itself expected to become more Democratic leaning with time,[17] making it more of a challenge for the winner of the Republican primary in the general election in November.

On the Republican ticket, candidates David Hill, Glenn Troy Morton and Anthony O'Donnell, the current minority leader of the Maryland House of Delegates, will face off in the primary for the nomination to advance to the general election.

District 7

See also: Maryland's 7th Congressional District elections, 2012
Incumbent state representative Elijah Cummings will face two opponents in the April 3 primary.

Nine term incumbent Elijah Cummings faces opposition in the Democratic primary from candidates Ty Busch and Charles Smith.

On the Republican ticket candidates Frank Mirabile, Jr. and M. Justin Kinsey will face off for the nomination in the primary.

According to the Baltimore Sun (dead link) Cumming's opponents in the Democratic primary "lack financial resources and political organization"[18] and predict that "with nearly 8 in 10 voters in the new district having backed Barack Obama for president in 2008, the winner of the Democratic primary will have a significant upper hand heading into November's general election."[18]

Kinsey won less than 5 percent of the vote as a Libertarian candidate for the House of Delegates in 2010.[18] Mirabile challenged Cummings in 2010 and received only 23 percent of the vote.[18]

District 8

See also: Maryland's 8th Congressional District elections, 2012

Incumbent Chris Van Hollen, first elected in 2002, faces opposition from a candidate George English who has run several unsuccessful campaigns in the past.[19]

On the Republican ticket candidates Dave Wallace, Shelly Skolnick, Gus Alzona, and Ken Timmerman will face off for the nomination in the primary.

Ken Timmerman was endorsed by Representative Roscoe Bartlett from Maryland's 6th District.[19]

Members of the U.S. House from Maryland -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 6 7
     Republican Party 2 1
Total 8 8

See also


  1. Roll Call, "Mid-Atlantic Region Roundup" accessed March 23, 2012
  2. Baltimore Sun, "6th Congressional District election guide 2012" accessed March 25, 2012
  3. Maryland Juice, "PHOTO: SEIU Endorses State Senator Rob Garagiola in MD 6th Congressional District" accessed March 12, 2012
  4. Greater Greater Washington, "For Maryland 6th Congressional district: Rob Garagiola" accessed March 23, 2012
  5. Rob Garagiola for Congress, "Endorsements," accessed March 23, 2012
  6. Baltimore Sun, "6th Congressional District election guide 2012" accessed March 25, 2012
  7. Baltimore Sun, "Maryland Senate election guide 2012" accessed March 26, 2012
  8. Hometown Annapolis, "Maryland gets C on Transparency" accessed March 25, 2012 (dead link)
  9. Dan Bongino for Senate, "U.S. Senator Mike Lee Endorses Daniel Bongino" accessed March 23, 2012
  10. Dan Bongino for Senate, "Congressman Joe Walsh Endorses Dan Bongino" accessed March 23, 2012
  11. Dan Bongino for Senate, "Harford County Executive David R. Craig Endorses U.S. Senate Candidate Dan Bongino" accessed March 23, 2012 (dead link)
  12. Dan Bongino for Senate, "President of the Frederick County Board of Commissioners, Blaine Young, Endorses Dan Bongino" accessed March 23, 2012
  13. Baltimore Sun, "Maryland Senate election guide 2012" accessed March 26, 2012
  14. Baltimore Sun, "John Bolton says Md. is 'winnable' for GOP" accessed March 26, 2012
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 Baltimore Sun, "Maryland 1st Congressional District Election Guide 2012" accessed March 25, 2012
  16. Baltimore Sun, "Ivey withdraws from 4th Congressional District primary race" accessed January 19, 2012
  17. 17.0 17.1 Baltimore Sun, "5th Congressional District election guide 2012" accessed March 25, 2012
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Baltimore Sun, "7th congressional district elections guide 2012" accessed March 25, 2012 (dead link)
  19. 19.0 19.1 Baltimore Sun, "8th Congressional District election guide 2012" accessed March 25, 2012