All posts by David Lublin

National Insider Ben Jealous on the Outside in Maryland

Ben Jealous is the latest in a long line of national political figures with little to no experience running for office who try to parachute into Maryland politics and find the landing rocky.

Republicans often tried this strategy in the past due to the dearth of local talent. Barbara Mikulski easily dispatched Linda Chavez to win her Senate seat in 1986. Paul Sarbanes defeated Alan Keyes with little trouble in 1988 and Mikulski trounced him in 1992.

More recently, Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend lost to Bob Ehrlich. While Townsend had developed Maryland roots, her strong links to the Kennedys undermined perception of her as a local. Moreover, her only successful previous run for office was as lieutenant governor on Parris Glendenning’s ticket.

Though many Marylanders hail from elsewhere, especially in the DC area, Maryland identity remains strong. Candidates perceived as having stronger national than local ties don’t do well.

The relatively unknown Jealous smartly likes to tout his Maryland roots. His bio page on the campaign web page states he “has lived in Maryland throughout his career as a civil rights leader and businessman.”

Unfortunately, it’s a four Pinocchio. Jealous only began voting here in 2012. He was touted as a candidate for mayor of Oakland (California not Maryland) in 2008, and voted in California in 2006 and 2008. Even when Jealous headed the Baltimore-based NAACP, he lived in DC, where he voted from 2000 to 2004, and in 2010 to 2011.

His running mate, Susie Turnbull, has been active in Maryland much longer, including as head of the Maryland Democratic Party. Like Jealous, she has not run previously for local office. Instead, she was Vice Chair of the DNC and worked for Members of Congress.

It didn’t help when Jealous began his campaign by talking about removing Larry Hogan from “the White House” and Turnbull spoke about when she moved to “Washington” and meant Maryland.

Jealous’s primary campaign had far more backing from national than local Democratic officials. He touted endorsements from Sens. Bernie Sanders, Corey Booker and Kamala Harris, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, and New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio.

Meanwhile, he did not tout a single endorsement by a local official during the primary on the endorsement page on his web site. Jealous’s primary campaign benefited heavily from an independent expenditure campaign by one-percenter Californians.

As the Democratic nominee, Jealous now has the backing of most elected Democrats, though many expect him to lose and are not heavily invested in his campaign. Jealous’s tendency during the primary campaign to make Sanders-like attacks on the Annapolis Democratic establishment yet simultaneously take credit for so much of their work, understandably grated and hasn’t been forgotten. Comptroller Peter Franchot and Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett have not endorsed him.

Jealous has felt lots of love from the national political establishment and from ultra-progressives. Not so much from Maryland officials or Maryland general elections voters.


MoCo Waits: How Many Ballots Remain?

Here is an unofficial report on how many ballots remain as of 10am this morning.

Provisional Ballots

There are 3,621 provisional ballots. 2,456 were were Democratic ballots. So far, 1,872 have been accepted by staff with 424 more accepted in part (i.e. for some offices), and 210 rejected. There are about 2,245 potential votes for county executive here.

Five voters who cast both absentee and provisional ballots have had their votes annulled. (Question: Does the law speak to a provisional ballot superseding a previously sent absentee ballot?)

Absentee Ballots

Voters requested 10,900 absentee ballots. 6,300 have already been tabulated and counted. That leaves 4,600 potentially left to count depending upon how many are returned. So far, there are 1,400 left with ballots that arrive this week also counted if there were postmarked by 5pm on June 26th.

How Will This Impact the Race for County Executive?

Based on the current number of absentee ballots, Blair would fall short of catching up to Elrich by fewer than 100 votes if he keeps gaining votes at the same rate. Of course, we do not know if late absentee voters followed the same pattern as early absentee votes.

The big question is the provisional ballots. Will Blair also gain votes there? Or will they follow the pattern from election day or even maybe favor Elrich? If they follow the same pattern as the absentee ballots, Blair could eke out a narrow victory but we’ll have to wait and see how it plays out.


Heavens to Nancy. We Might Have Competition in a MoCo General Election!

You can read some of my thoughts on Nancy Floreen’s mulling over entering the county executive race in an interview with WAMU.

In essence, I consider it virtually impossible that Councilmember Floreen plunges into the race if David Blair ends up winning the tightly contested Democratic primary. Floreen’s bid is being talked up by the more or less the same developer folks who back Empower Montgomery and vehemently oppose Elrich.

David Blair has a different background from Nancy Floreen. He’s a former business exec, while she has earned her political stripes serving as Mayor of Garrett Park, on the Planning Board, and on the county council. But their issue positions aren’t radically different. Essentially, a bid by Floreen would be a mulligan for the business community if Blair loses.

Even more important, Floreen would lack the essential money from the business community required for a serious campaign. Getting on the ballot is tough enough in such a short period and would be hard to do without financial support. Of course, that leaves aside the money needed for a campaign or fighting a lawsuit challenging her eligibility to be on the ballot because she filed to run as an unaffiliated voter while still registered as a Democrat.

Some argue that Floreen’s gambit is an effort to try to get a women into power after the county executive and council primary results resulted in the nomination of one woman. At the end of the day, I tend to regard that as nice verbiage that will disappear if David Blair wins the nomination. Besides, Nancy Floreen has a lot more to offer beyond “girl power” as a candidate.

Earlier today, Del. Kirill Reznik made the case that the Democratic candidates are all good, reasonable people. Boiled down, it articulated the wisdom of the old, typing practice phrase “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party.” It’s time for Democrats to rally around the winner.

Except it’s hard for me to get that exercised about the idea of Nancy Floreen running as an independent. If an independent like Bernie Sanders can take lots of Democratic Party money for his Senate bids and even run for the Democratic presidential nomination, why can’t a Democrat like Nancy Floreen run as an independent?

The Republican label is now so toxic that it’s virtually unthinkable of a Republican winning an election in Montgomery. Having Robin Ficker as your champion doesn’t help. That has forced all contests into the Democratic party, and only a select share of the electorate participates in the Democratic primary. Many voters end up frustrated as it renders the general election meaningless.

Parties are valuable because they provide useful cues to voters as a starting point (often an ending point) in evaluating candidates. There are divisions but no truly organized factions within the Democratic Party to structure politics for voters. Moreover, as V.O. Key noted long ago. one-partyism facilitates rapid ideological movement within a party of the sort we’ve seen in Peter Franchot’s evolution from progressive tribune to Hogan buddy.

The increasing leftward trend of the Democrats and extreme right-wing nature of the vast majority of today’s Republicans leaves a lot of unoccupied space in the center. Unsurprisingly, some pols may begin to take advantage of it and a lot of voters might well respond.

I should make clear that, while I respect Nancy Floreen, that these points are general rather than specific. She’s right that the county could sorely use more competition in the general. At the state level, the Democrats would also benefit as it would help motivate Democratic voters to turn out in the general election.

More specifically, I do not share the fears held by some in the business community regarding Marc Elrich as county executive. It’s important to look at specifics beyond ideological type. Elrich is far from someone who simply mouths progressive slogans and will mindlessly attempt to implement them.

If you listen to him speak in detail about issues, it’s clear that he’s highly knowledgeable and has many concrete, practical ideas that are far from whackadoodle to address problems that all Democrats claim they want to address. Elrich will also have to deal with a county council with a range of views. Assuming he wins the Democratic primary, I think he deserves his shot and will have my vote. I can say the same regarding David Blair.

Though I end up with the same vote as Kirill Reznik here, I applaud people looking beyond party (at least when the candidates merit it). Small-d democratic competition is healthy. Let’s embrace it.

P.S. Having assumed life would be dull after the primary, I’m stepping away from the keyboard for a few weeks. I trust Adam Pagnucco will continue to make healthy mischief in my absence.


Franchot Tacitly Supports Hogan

While Democratic Comptroller Peter Franchot says he wants to remain “neutral” in the gubernatorial race, it’s a big win for Hogan that the statewide official won’t endorse the Democratic nominee. Moreover, as reported in the Baltimore Sun, Franchot’s comments make his true feelings clear regardless of his nominal neutrality:

Franchot said he considers Hogan a friend.

Jealous and Franchot represent different ideological wings of the Democratic party, even though both claim the anti-establishment mantle and share many views on social issues. Jealous, who won the Democratic primary last week, is a strong progressive on economic issues, while the comptroller has positioned himself as a fiscal conservative.

Without directly referring to Jealous, Franchot said voters want Democrats to offer them something other than the type of expansive social programs Jealous is proposing.

“The don’t want higher taxes, they don’t want higher fees, they don’t want pie-in-the-sky programs that sound great” but are too expensive, Franchot said.

It’s fascinating that Franchot is now seen as a fiscal conservative, as he not too long ago cast himself as a leading progressive. In any case, Franchot is coasting to reelection and just did his buddy on the Board of Public Works a solid.


The Democrats Gamble on Jealous

The Democratic have placed a bet with the nomination of Ben Jealous that a more left-wing progressive candidate will energize voters, especially the growing share of minority voters, and beat Gov. Larry Hogan. As Barry Goldwater once said, Jealous “will offer a choice, not an echo.”

Will it work? It’s an interesting test for the progressive wing’s thesis that the Democrats need to run more vocal, left-wing candidates. If it doesn’t work in blue Maryland in what is shaping up to be a very good Democratic year, where and when can it work?

This strategy runs counter to the 2014 gubernatorial post-mortem. Many argued that then-Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s 2014 campaign needed to deliver a message more clearly. But few thought his defeat resulted from an insufficiently left-wing platform. After all, the O’Malley-Brown administration had raised taxes to protect against the decimation of state services during the recession and to fund transportation infrastructure. O’Malley led the successful referenda fights on the Maryland DREAM Act and marriage equality.

The Jealous Agenda

Nevertheless, Jealous will run on the most left-wing platform in living memory. Jealous wants to enact single-payer health care, raise teacher pay by 29%, fund full-day pre-K education, make college free, staff schools with mental health professionals, spend significant dollars fighting the opioid epidemic, provide summer youth employment, expand public transit substantially, and offer public sector jobs when no private sector work is available.

Jealous has also attacked incrementalism or half measures, telling voters how his grandmother said that if you solve half of a problem, you still have a problem. As a result, it’s now hard for Jealous to backpedal and talk gradualism. It runs counter to his whole message.

How Hogan Will Attack Jealous

In a previous post, I looked at Jealous’s advantages heading into the general election. But what vulnerabilities will Hogan exploit?

Jealous’s agenda is expensive. Very expensive. Gov. Larry Hogan’s campaign will go after Jealous, as they would any Democratic opponent, as wanting to raise taxes. Jealous says it will only be on the top 1% of taxpayers and on legalized marijuana. Combined with savings from criminal justice reform and building fewer roads, that will pay for everything.

The list of extremely expensive services Jealous wants to add to the state budget may render voters doubtful of these claims. Many voters will also be concerned about the impact of another tax hike and an indexed $15 minimum wage on the economy. Unlike in a Democratic primary, attacking Hogan (and thus voters on the fence) as needing a stronger commitment to social justice if they have qualms will alienate rather than impress.

Hogan will undoubtedly try to use fear of major tax hikes to divide the Democratic coalition, and to pick off economically successful voters, disproportionately white and Asian, who may be more liberal on social than economic issues. Jealous will attempt to frame the debate as the 1% versus the rest of us. Hogan will alternatively style himself as a protector of taxpayers.

Jealous’s embrace of altering school funding formulas to take more money from wealthier counties to give more to needier counties will aid Hogan’s efforts. In Montgomery, for example, Hogan can position himself as a protector of the county’s prized school system, against Jealous’s efforts to send yet more MoCo money elsewhere.

It’s hard to imagine an issue more likely to pry Democratic voters away here. In Maryland’s secular heartland, lots of people have an ambivalent relationship with organized religion but everyone believes in education with fervor.

Jealous’s characterization of the violence in the wake of Freddie Grey’s death due to injuries inflicted during his arrest as an “uprising” rather than “riots” will also to raise eyebrows. Few would dispute that the Baltimore City police is in dire need of radical reform. But Hogan may well ask Jealous how senseless destruction advanced the causes of police reform and racial justice?

One building that burned down was a nearly finished project to provide affordable housing for seniors and a community center with job training and HIV counseling among other services. (Rev. Donte Hickman’s tireless efforts resulted in the project’s completion despite these daunting setbacks.) Again, attacking Hogan or voters for being insufficiently woke or committed to racial justice seems an unlikely vote-winning strategy.

Will Linking Hogan to Trump Work?

Beyond his own message, Jealous will relentlessly link Hogan to Trump and the need to send a message to the Republicans. However, Hogan hasn’t touched the hot-button social issues and hasn’t stopped gun control legislation. Despite his loud grumbling about taxes, Maryland has not undergone anything like the disastrous state downsizing in the name of tax cuts that has failed so miserably in Kansas and Louisiana.

Even O’Malley’s gas tax remains in effect with Hogan happy to travel around the state announcing new roads. Jealous promises to refocus the money, which also seems likely to displease the many voters who favor the new road projects. Hogan’s pie-in-the-sky plan to widen I-495 and I-270 gains fans from people who like that he is at least thinking about addressing to their traffic woes and don’t think transit will get them there.


Jealous has an exciting vision to sell. It also provides a buffet of avenues for a Republican to attack. By running as a left-wing progressive, Jealous has also left open centrist turf that Hogan will be eager to occupy as a mainstream problem solver. It will be up to Jealous to prove skeptical political observers, who rate the race as Likely Republican, wrong.


Baltimore County Exec Race Even Closer

If you thought the Montgomery County executive race was tight with Marc Elrich leading David Blair by 269 votes and lots of ballots yet to be counted, just take a look at Baltimore County.

After counting the first set of absentee ballots, former Del. Johnny Oleszewski, Jr. leads Sen. Jim Brochin by 42 votes! The current totals are 27,270 for Oleszewski, 27,228 for Brochin with Councilmember Vicki Almond close behind with 26,211.

As in Montgomery, we’ll have to wait until after Independence Day when the rest of the absentee ballots and the numerous provisional ballots are counted. I don’t know how many of each are outstanding but it’s surely enough to leave the winner up in the air.


County Exec Race Going to Be Extremely Tight

Yesterday, Adam Pagnucco explained that David Blair needs to win the outstanding ballots by 6.2% in order to pass Marc Elrich in the final vote tally. The absentee ballots counted yesterday suggest that this is entirely possible.

Yesterday, 3793 absentee ballots were counted. Among those voters, 3292 participated in the Democratic primary. Fewer voters tend to cast votes as one goes down the ballot, a phenomenon known as roll-off. In the Democratic primary for county executive, 3140 cast valid votes.

Blair lead Elrich by 7.1% among the absentees counted, which allowed him to pick up a net 223 votes and close the gap with Elrich to 269 votes. Substantial numbers of absentee and provisional ballots have yet to be counted.

Why the difference between election day and absentee voters? It could be a number of factors. One reason might be if Blair had a better absentee voter program than Elrich. Once an absentee ballot is requested, it’s vital for campaigns to contact a voter in order to try to obtain their vote. Another explanation might be that voters who made decisions prior to election day tended to vote differently than those who cast ballots on the day itself.

In any case, it now looks like the final count may be exceedingly close. We’ll almost certainly have to wait for provisional ballots to be counted, after Independence Day. Provisional ballots may show a different pattern than for absentee ballots, but that is a wild card and we don’t know how voters affected by the MVA screw-up tended to vote compared to the whole electorate. (It turns out the number of registered voters affected has crept up again and now reached 90,000.)

Even when the count is finalized, I could well imagine the losing campaign requesting a recount.


House of Delegates Wrap Up: Districts 39-47

Top Line

Three incumbents go down in Democratic primaries: Bilal Ali, Jimmy Tarlau and Carlos Sanchez.

By the District

Remember that the returns are incomplete as we are still waiting on absentee and provisional ballots.

District 39 (Montgomery) was full of surprises this year. Incumbent Dels. Shane Robinson and Kirill Reznik decided early on to run with Lesley Lopez. Lopez topped the ballot but Robinson fell into fourth and Reznik struggled to stay ahead of Robinson in third. Gabriel Acevero won the second slot.

Just before the election, Acevero’s employer, MCGEO, summarily decided to cease efforts on his behalf because the African-American Democratic Club of which Acevero is president did not endorse candidates to MCGEO’s liking. Acevero will be the first openly gay African American elected to the General Assembly.

Incumbents Frank Conaway and Nick Mosby won renomination in District 40 (Baltimore City) but Conaway fell into third behind newcomer Melissa Wells. He nonetheless finished comfortably, albeit not light years, ahead of an array of other challengers.

Newcomer Dalya Attar stormed on to the District 41 (Baltimore City) scene and took first place, narrowly ahead of incumbent Del. Sandy Rosenberg. Incumbent Tony Bridges struggled to stay in third. Bridges currently leads Angela Gibson by 237 votes. Meanwhile, incumbent Bilal Ali is now in fourth, as he trails Gibson by 9 votes.

Incumbent Democratic Del. Stephen Lafferty faced no opposition for renomination in District 42A (Baltimore). He will face Republican Stephen McIntire in the general election. No incumbents are seeking reelection in Republican-leaning 42B (Baltimore). The GOP primary was easily won by Nino Mangione and Tim Robinson. Mangione is a former talk radio host.

In District 43 (Baltimore City), incumbent Del. Maggie McIntosh led the field. Dueling for second place are incumbent Del. Curt Anderson, who faces sexual misconduct allegations, and Regina Boyce, who ran on a ticket with Sen. Joan Carter Conway and McIntosh. Nilesh Kalyanaraman trailed Anderson by 0.9%, or 369 votes, in preliminary returns.

Incumbent Del. Keith Haynes faced no opposition in District 44A (Baltimore City). Incumbent Dels. Charles Sydnor and Pat Young won renomination in 44B (Baltimore) against healthy opposition from Aisha Khan and Aaron Barnett.

In District 45 (Baltimore City), incumbents Talmadge Branch and Cheryl Glenn won easily and will be joined by Stephanie Smith, who beat out Caylin Young and an array of other candidates. Young now trails Smith by 1.6%, or 498 votes. Incumbent Democrats easily won renomination in District 46 (Baltimore City).

Incumbent Del. Jimmy Tarlau fell to Julian Ivey, son of former State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey and now County Councilmember-Elect Jolene Ivey, in District 47A. Tarlau trailed Ivey by 386 votes in the preliminary results. Incumbent Del. Diana Fennell led the field and easily won renomination. In 47B, incumbent Del. Carlos Sanchez also lost reelection. Sanchez received just 39% as opposed to 59% for Wanika Fisher, a former assistant state’s attorney as well as staffer for the county council and former Sen. Victor Ramirez. She now works in Ramirez’s law firm.


House of Delegates Primary Roundup: Districts 24-38

Remember that all vote totals are incomplete as absentee and provisional ballots have yet to be counted.

In District 24 (Prince George’s), Prince George’s Councilmember Andrea Harrison snagged the open slot, coming well ahead (1352 votes in the election night returns) of the fourth-place candidate, LaTasha Ward, in a crowded field. She’ll join incumbent Dels. Erek Barron and Jazz Lewis.

In District 25 (Prince George’s), incumbent Dels. Darryl Barnes and Dereck Davis cruised to reelection with Barnes besting Economic Matters Chair Davis by 878 votes in election night returns. They will be joined in the House by Nick Charles who easily captured the third seat, beating fourth-place finisher Wala Blegay by 2022 votes.

Incumbent Dels. Jay Walker, Kris Valderrama and former Del. Veronica Turner cruised to the Democratic nomination in District 26 (Prince George’s). Turner returns to the House after losing a primary bid against Sen. Anthony Muse by 51% to 33% in 2014.

Del. Susie Proctor, appointed to the House for District 27A (Prince George’s & Charles) after the death of her husband, won the nomination in her own right with 55% of the vote. Her nearest challenger, Lynn Jackson, won 19%. The incumbents in 27B (Calvert & Prince George’s) and 27C (Calvert) faced no primary opponents.

In District 28 (Charles), incumbent Dels. Edith Patterson and C.T. Wilson easily won renomination. They will be joined by County Commissioner Debra Davis, who won the open seat by a very comfortable margin. Charles now has an entirely African-American state legislative delegation, and one wonders if one of the three delegate nominees, all experienced elected officials, wishes they had run against Mac Middleton, who lost renomination to a first-time candidate.

The three incumbent Republican delegates in 29A (St. Mary’s), 29B (St. Mary’s), and 29C (St. Mary’s and Calvert) faced no opposition for renomination.

District 30A (Anne Arundel) has seen strong competition in general elections. Speaker Mike Busch topped the Democratic ticket and will be joined on the ballot by Alice Cain. Though well behind Busch, Cain easily won the second slot. On the Republican side, there are no incumbents and newcomers Bob O’Shea and Chelsea Gill won the nominations. Shea, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for Annapolis mayor in 2013, was well out in front, while Gill beat third-place finisher B. Darren Burns by 183 votes in preliminary returns. Incumbent Del. Seth Howard (R) won renomination in District 30B (Anne Arundel) by a 3-1 margin.

Incumbent Del. Ned Carey (D) faced no primary opposition in District 31A (Anne Arundel). Incumbent Del. Nick Kipke (R) will be joined on the ballot by Brian Chisholm, who easily outdistanced the competition for the second slot in 31B (Anne Arundel). Chisholm came in fourth in the 2014 primary.

Incumbent Del. Mark Chang led the Democratic field in District 32 (Anne Arundel). He’ll be joined on the ballot by J. Sandy Bartlett and Mike Rogers, who won comfortably over the fourth-place candidate. Bartlett is a member of the Anne Arundel DCC, while Rogers is a retired army colonel. Both are African American. The three Democrats will face Republicans who had no primary competition.

The three incumbent Republicans in District 33 (Anne Arundel) won renomination, though Tony McConkey struggled hard for a long-time incumbent. Running well behind the other two incumbents, he beat Stacie MacDonald by just 288 votes in preliminary returns. In the past, McConkey has lost his law and real estate licenses, and was reprimanded by the House for trying to get a bill passed to make it easier for him to get the latter back.

In District 34A (Harford), incumbent Del. Mary Ann Lisanti cruised to renomination but the battle for the second Republican slot was very tight with Steve Johnson edging out Sarahia Benn but less than 1% or 66 votes. The Republicans had a four-way fight in 34B (Harford). In a very weak showing for an incumbent, Susan McComas won renomination with just 31.5% of the vote, or 34 votes more than Walter “Butch” Tilley, who has given over 100K in campaign donations to members of both political parties.. Assuming her lead holds up, McComas will face Democrat Jeff Dinger in the general election.

The Republican incumbents faced no opposition in Districts 35A (Cecil) or 35B (Cecil and Harford). The three Republicans incumbents also cruised to renomination in District 36 (Caroline, Cecil, Kent & Queen Anne’s Counties). Michael Smigiel, Jr., whose father of the same name was formerly a delegate, trailed badly in fourth, but carried his home Cecil County.

Incumbents faced weak opposition in District 37 with Democratic Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes winning by more than 3-1 in 37A and Republican Dels. Christopher Adams and Johnny Mautz far ahead of the competition with Mautz well out in first.

In Districts 38A (Somerset and Worcester) and 38B (Wicomico), the Republican incumbents cruised to renomination. In 38C (Wicomico & Worcester), Ocean City Councilman Wayne Hartman won the nomination with 49%. Joe Schanno trailed with 39%. Hartman faces no general election opponent.


Not the Year of the Woman in MoCo

Top Line

Despite much talk about the need to vote for women this year, it wasn’t an unusually good year for women running for office. No women will sit in Maryland’s congressional delegation. Only one woman will be on the county council. Women netted two new delegates but no new senators in General Assembly contests.

Looking at the Results

At the federal level, Maryland’s delegation will remain all male as Del. Aruna Miller lost to David Trone for the Democratic nomination in the Sixth Congressional District.

In the county executive race, Rose Krasnow came in third with 15% of the vote but badly trails the two leaders, Marc Elrich and David Blair, who are neck-and-neck at 29%. The four other countywide offices were all won by incumbents.

The county council will have one woman on it: incumbent Nancy Navarro (D-4) who faced only token opposition as she breezed through to nomination for a final term.  The previous council had two women but Nancy Floreen (D-At Large) could not seek reelection and retired from public office.

All four of the county council at-large seats were won by men, incumbent Hans Riemer and newcomers Gabe Albornoz, Will Jawando, and Evan Glass. Marilyn Balcombe came in fifth place but currently trails Albornoz for the fourth seat by 4689 votes.

The district races were no better for women. District 1 had three solid female candidates who came in second, third and fourth. Ana Sol Gutierrez fell 2059 votes behind winner Andrew Friedson. Female challengers to incumbents in Districts 2 and 5 fell far behind the incumbent winners. No woman sought the Democratic nomination in District 3, where incumbent Sidney Katz edged out a male challenger, Ben Shnider.

The state legislative races were a brighter spot for gender parity but nevertheless showed only small gains for women: a net increase of two delegates. However, the latter is significant as it brings women to parity with 12 of the 24 delegate seats The share of women in the MoCo Senate delegation remains unchanged at 3 of 8.

In District 14, two of the delegates – Anne Kaiser and Pam Queen – are women. Lily Qi will replace Del. Aruna Miller in District 15, and will join incumbent Del. Kathleen Dumais.

Sen. Susan Lee was renominated in District 16, as was Del. Ariana Kelly. Right now, Samir Paul is edging out Sara Love for the seat currently held by Bill Frick, so looks like no change there either. Sen. Cheryl Kagan was renominated in District 17. Julie Palakovich Carr won the seat vacated by Andrew Platt, so D17 will gain one female delegate.

In District 18, Emily Shetty won a delegate nomination and looks set to replace Ana Sol Gutierrez as the only woman in the delegation. Three other female candidates ran behind incumbent Del. Al Carr and newcomer Jared Solomon. District 19 also saw turnover but no gender balance change. Charlotte Crutchfield will join sitting Del. Bonnie Cullison in Annapolis, as incumbent Del. Maricé Morales fell just a little short in her reelection effort.

District 20 will have continue to have two female delegates, as Del. Jhenelle Wilkins won renomination. She’ll be joined by Lorig Charkoudian, who will take the seat held by Del. Sheila Hixson. Finally, Sen. Nancy King won renomination in District 39. Lesley Lopez surprised by topping the delegate ballot, so D39 will now have one female delegate – a jump from zero.