Maryland Primary Results: Gov Race Shifts Further Toward Democrats

by Jacob Rubashkin July 22, 2022 · 2:59 PM EDT

Maryland Governor
In the Democratic primary for governor, author and former nonprofit CEO Wes Moore currently leads a crowded field with 35 percent of the vote. Former Secretary of Labor/former DNC chairman Tom Perez (28 percent) and state comptroller Peter Franchot (21 percent) are currently second and third. There’s still a substantial amount of the vote left to count, because Maryland didn’t start counting mail-in ballots until Thursday. But Moore’s lead, bolstered by strong performances in the city of Baltimore as well as Prince George’s and Baltimore counties, will be hard for Perez to surmount. Persistent stories calling into question aspects of Moore’s biography didn’t seem to have dragged the former Army captain down, and he benefited from being the only Black candidate in the top tier following the exit of former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker from the race. If elected, Moore would be Maryland’s first Black governor, and only the fifth Black governor in American history.

On the GOP side, state Del. Dan Cox outpaced former state Secretary of Commerce Kelly Schulz, 56-40 percent. Cox was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, promotes the unfounded claim that the 2020 election was stolen, organized buses to the Jan. 6 rally that precipitated the insurrection, and spoke at a conspiracy theory conference. Schulz was endorsed by popular outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan.

While Republicans have had success this century winning Maryland gubernatorial races, they’ve done so with moderate, low-key candidates in Hogan and Bob Ehrlich. Cox is not cut from the same cloth, and won’t be able to appeal to the Democratic voters who crossed the aisle to vote for Hogan and Ehrlich in 2002, 2014, and 2018. 

The last time Republicans won an open seat, in 2014, Hogan outhustled then-Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who was weighed down by the rocky rollout of the state’s health care exchange. But in 2022, whichever candidate who emerges from the Democratic primary (CNN and NBC News have projected Moore as the winner, while DecisionDeskHQ and the AP have not yet made a call) will be the clear favorite against Cox. Move from Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic.

1st District
Former state Del. Heather Mizeur won the Democratic primary over former diplomat David Harden. But after a court tossed out the Democratic-drawn map that made the 1st District highly competitive, and instead approved a map that kept it heavily Republican, Mizuer is a serious candidate but sizable underdog against Rep. Andy Harris in November. Trump would have carried the new 1st by 14 points, 56-42 percent. Solid Republican.

4th District
Former Prince George’s County state’s attorney Glenn Ivey won the Democratic primary for this seat over former Rep. Donna Edwards, who represented the district from 2008 to 2017. Ivey, who previously ran here in 2016 but lost to outgoing Rep. Anthony Brown, led Edwards by 16 points, 51-35 percent, with about 70 percent of the vote counted. The race saw significant outside spending from AIPAC: $5 million to support Ivey and oppose Edwards. A more progressive pro-Israel group, J Street, tried to make up the difference with a six-figure buy but it wasn’t enough.

Brown handily won the Democratic primary for state Attorney General. The 4th District race is Solid Democratic. 

6th District
Matthew Foldi, a 25-year-old reporter for the conservative Washington Free Beacon and a former staffer for GOP Super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund, captured a raft of high-profile endorsements from the likes of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik, Gov. Larry Hogan, and Donald Trump, Jr. But the Montgomery County native was never a good fit for the more rural, Western Maryland district.

State Del. Neil Parrott, the GOP’s 2020 nominee here, won handily — 64-14 percent — in a result that aligned with private polling from earlier in the race. Parrott will face Democratic Rep. David Trone once again, though this time the district is less favorable to Democrats. Under the old lines, Biden carried the 6th by 23 points, but under the new lines he would have won it by just 10 points. The personally wealthy Trone just cut himself a check for $10 million in preparation for the general election. Likely Democratic.