Absentee ballots key for House GOP race
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) sailed to an easy win, again, in the Democratic primary Tuesday night in his bid to retain his congressional seat another two years — although there remains a possibility his winning Republican challenger could change.
“I am proud to represent Maryland’s Fifth District in Congress and I thank voters for supporting me in the primary election today. I have a proven record as an effective leader who addresses the priorities
of families throughout the Fifth District,” shared the 35-year incumbent via a press statement.
Hoyer garnered 79 percent of the votes at the district level for a total of 79,453 votes. His performance was similar at the county level where he grabbed 74 percent of 21,247 votes, for a total of 15,714 county votes earned. Debbie F. Wilson was in a very distant second with only 2,803 votes in Charles County.
While Hoyer’s win on election night was decisive, the District 5 Republican nomination still hangs in the balance.
The final result of the race between Port Republic’s Mark Arness (R) and Sam Faddis (R) of Anne Arundel County possibly hinges upon the processing of absentee and provisional ballots.
Arness snapped up 4,517 votes in Charles, beating Faddis out by nearly 500 votes. Arness captured 21,449 votes to Faddis’ 18,969, edging him out 53 percent to 46.9 percent of the district. While the 6 percent margin is not wide enough to definitively call a winner, it is cause for a celebration for Arness.
“I was more surprised than anyone. … I expected to wake up to remove my signs from the highway,” chuckled Arness.
Arness, who has a small informal campaign staff, said he was unable to watch much of the election coverage because he spent most of night removing his signs from polling precincts across the district.
“I expected Mr. Faddis to garner the nomination because he had spent a tremendous amount of money campaigning, over $200,000. … I did not have those resources.”
Arness said he spent slightly less than $30,000 on his campaign and attributes his success to the personal touch of grassroots campaigning.
“I reached out personally to over 3,000 voters by knocking on doors and making calls — talking to people and visiting people,” he said. “I met many people. Persons of both parties and unaffiliated persons.”
As for next steps, Arness is proceeding with caution.
“We’ll have to wait for the official certification of the election from the Board of Elections on May 6,” shared Arness. “Once the election is certified, we’ll move forward to continue the grassroots campaign.”
According to records on the State Board of Elections site, in the 5th congressional district of Maryland, 8,434 absentee ballots were requested by the April 22 deadline. Registered Republicans account for 2,532 of the absentee ballot requests. To date, 4,599 of the absentee ballots have been processed, of which 1,431 are Republican.
In the interim, Arness is grateful for the vote of confidence, especially after allegations about his military history surfaced near the election’s end.
“I want to extend my heartfelt thanks for all the support. … Thank you, voters, for turning out and for casting ballots for me and the tremendous outpouring of support in the last weeks,” Arness said.
Faddis did not respond to a request for comment.