Hoyer, Cardin, other Democrats keep seats
Although re-elected, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) once again came in behind his Republican challenger in his home county, St. Mary’s, and in Calvert.
Hoyer won the highest percentage — 70 percent — of votes across his district, which includes all of Southern Maryland and a portion of Prince George’s County, allowing him to once again hang on to his seat.
In St. Mary’s, however, Republican William A. Devine III had more votes, topping Hoyer by about 50.5
percent to 46 percent.
In Calvert, the longtime incumbent came in slightly behind Devine, collecting just 47.8 percent of votes cast. Hoyer easily won over Charles voters, garnering almost 72 percent of the votes.
Devine and Hoyer far outpaced Green Party candidate Pat Elder of Lexington Park and Jacob Pulcher, a Libertarian from Shady Side, who each had less than 2 percent of votes across the district.
Hoyer has represented the district since 1981, and touts his work on protecting access to affordable health care, expanding access to economic opportunity and ensuring local military bases and other federal facilities have resources they need.
“I am honored to receive the support of voters to continue serving them in the Fifth District,” Hoyer said in a statement issued after the election. “I’ve worked hard throughout my time in Congress to address the issues most important to my constituents, such as ensuring all families have access to affordable, quality health care; protecting fair pay and benefits for our hardworking federal employees; expanding access to economic opportunity to all Marylanders; and ensuring our military installations have the resources they need to continue serving our nation.”
publican challenger Craig Wolf 64 percent to 36 percent, with nearly all of state precincts reporting.
Wolf beat Frosh by more than 18 percentage points in St. Mary’s, though, and also had more votes in Calvert. Charles voted overwhelmingly for Frosh.
The state’s top financial officer, Comptroller Peter Franchot (D), trounced Republican Anjali Reed Phukan 72 percent to 28 percent, with most precincts reporting, winning a fourth term in office.
Phukan garnered more votes in St. Mary’s than the incumbent. Calvert and Charles residents cast more votes for Franchot.
Ballot questions pass with ease
Voters made decisions on two ballot questions — both amendments to the Maryland Constitution. Both passed.
The first question, which had garnered 89 percent to 11 percent with most state precincts reporting, specifies that, starting in 2020, the education funding from gaming revenues must be supplemental, and cannot be used as a substitute for other school funding already required by law. The measure passed overwhelming in St. Mary’s.
The new amendment requires the governor to allocate at least $125 million in fiscal year 2020, $250 million in fiscal year 2021, and $375 million in fiscal year 2022.
“Educators are thrilled
that such an overwhelming number of Marylanders voted for increased funding for our public schools,” Baltimore County elementary school teacher and Maryland State Education Association President Cheryl Bost said in a release. “The $500 million annually that Question 1 will add is the first step to closing the $2.9 billion annual funding gap that negatively impacts students, educators, and schools across the state. Keeping the promise on casino revenues was the easy part.”
The second question amends the state constitution to allow qualified individuals to register and vote on the same day. It passed 67 percent to 33 percent statewide, as of most precincts in the state reported. The measure was approved by 51.6 percent of St. Mary’s voters.
Current law allows same-day registration and voting during the early voting. The amendment expands that to include Election Day, according to the Maryland Board of Elections.
“At a time when other states are disenfranchising voters with unnecessary restrictions, reducing ballot access, Maryland sent a clear signal in our preference for open and accessible elections,” Damon Effingham, executive director of Common Cause Maryland, which supported the measure, said in a release. “The General Assembly should heed these results and ensure that a system
is in place for election day registration for the 2020 elections.”
Calvert weighs in on national trends
As election results poured in across the country Tuesday night, Calvert County Democratic Central Committee Chair David Salazar almost predicted what would happen in national House and Senate races.
“Democrats are taking the House. I’m calling purple for the Senate. Dems are going to take some seats, but that’s an uphill battle,” Salazar said at the local Democrats’ election watch party at Adam’s Taphouse and Grille.
Democrats did manage to take the House of Representatives, but Senate control will remain with the GOP.
As far as Democrats in Calvert, Salazar said they’re just getting started after knocking on a record number of doors, canvassing and performing grassroots outreach this election.
“We’re going to take what we’ve done for 2018 and expand on it for 2020,” he said.
On Wednesday, Salazar congratulated everyone who was successful this election cycle, from local to national races.
Calvert County Republican Central Committee Chair Ella Ennis said at
the national level, Democrats have been outrageous in their treatment of the Senate process and are not interested in having good government, but rather a “hateful political voice.”
“They did not share honesty and integrity in that judicial nomination process,” she said, referring to the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which was met with controversy after he was accused of sexual assault decades after the allegations took place.
“I’m very pleased the U.S. Senate will remain under Republican control,” Ennis said.
But in regard to Democrats regaining control of the House, Ennis said, “I am not happy to see her be the speaker again,” referring to Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California. “The Democrats have fueled obstinance” and are not willing to give President Trump and his administration “a fair chance.”
Ennis did not wish to comment on either Cardin’s or Hoyer’s wins. A majority of Calvert voters did not choose either of the incumbents, but Ennis did say “voters here tend to be more conservative. They don’t want an over-powerful government. They look at candidates’ policy, not their race or gender.”
This year, Calvert chose an all-male board of Republican commissioners. Addressing the generalization that Republican women do not vote across party lines just to support a female candidate, Ennis said, “I think Republican women have very strong ideals but are not afraid to support an ideal. ... Look at Margaret Phipps,” a Democrat who won re-election over Republican challenger Mark Lynch in Calvert’s register of wills race.
Ennis also noted Calvert’s clerk of the circuit court, Kathy P. Smith, is a Democrat who ran unopposed in this year’s election.
Going forward, the local GOP chair said she hopes “we will all reflect on the turmoil and vitriol that has happened over the last two years and instead work on the issues and not getting into the personalities.
“We should put forth ideas to improve the nation, country and state and be fair to all people. End the anger and outbursts [by] the media and Democrats — it is very unfair,” Ennis said, noting there is much that is positive to reflect on under the current administration, such as a good economy.