Compared to other Baltimore City districts, redistricting left District 46 unscathed and it still encompasses the neighborhoods surrounding the harbor. Like all of Baltimore City, District 46 is Democratic turf. No Republican has bothered to file for the legislature, so the Democratic primary is the election.
Sen. Bill Ferguson demolished incumbent Sen. George Della with 59% of the vote in the 2010 Democratic primary. An impressive accomplishment, as Della had served since 1990 and is the son of a previous Senate President from the district with the same name. Coasting to his second term with only nominal opposition and $121K in his campaign account, Ferguson is just 30 years old. For these reasons alone, he has to be one to watch.
The two incumbent delegates seeking reelection, Del. Luke Clippinger ($52K) and Del. Peter Hammen ($121K), should also be safe. Hammen is the senior member of the delegation, having served since 1994. He is also the most powerful, as he holds the Chair of the Health and Government Operations Committee. Clippinger is an assistant state’s attorney in Anne Arundel and unsurprisingly serves on the Judiciary Committee. He was a real leader in the fight for marriage equality.
Attorney Brooke Lierman, who graduated from Walt Whitman HS in Montgomery County, is the favorite for the open seat for several reasons. First, she is the daughter of former Democratic Party Chair Terry Lierman (and sister of Kyle Lierman, who ran in D16 in 2010). Relatedly, she has $104K in her campaign account and the ability to raise more. My guess is also relatedly, Ferguson, Clippinger, and Hammen have formed a slate with her. Finally, it doesn’t hurt that she is reported to be very nice.
Lierman is not a total lock for the seat. Bill Romani ran for delegate in 2010 and came in a respectable fourth. Romani has good name recognition and will probably raise enough money to run a respectable campaign–he now has $33K in the bank. But all that respect probably won’t be enough to overcome Lierman’s money and the slate, though expect him to do his best to surprise.