A surprising night
Cox wins Republican nomination for governor with many other races up in the air Brown holds a commanding lead over O’Malley with 60% of the vote counted
U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown held a commanding lead over retired Baltimore judge Katie Curran O’Malley in the Democratic primary for the Maryland attorney general’s race with about 60% of the vote, according to early returns.
If elected in November, Brown would become the state’s first Black attorney general.
“We’re pleased with the results so far and our sizable lead,” Brown said in a statement late Tuesday. “Tonight shows that our campaign’s message has resonated with voters. As votes continue to be counted, I’m confident that we will finish strong and win this race.”
O’Malley did not concede Tuesday night, but said in a statement that she was “cautiously optimistic”
as several precincts remained uncounted in addition to mail-in ballots. “This has been an amazing campaign and I am energized by all of my supporters and my family.”
Brown, who represents Prince George’s County, collected more 50,000 votes there. He also faired better in Baltimore, O’Malley’s home base, where he received more than 60% of the vote, based on early results.
Brown also led in Baltimore suburbs, including Baltimore, Anne Arundel, and Harford counties, with nearly 85% of precincts in the state reporting.
Over the course of the campaign, the candidates sparred over each other’s respective experiences, with each boasting that they are best qualified to become the state’s top prosecutor and replace longtime Democrat Brian Frosh, who first campaigned to become attorney general in 2014 after serving three decades in the Maryland General Assembly.
In the Republican race, Michael Peroutka, a former Anne Arundel County councilman, was leading
with 58% of votes. Jim Shalleck, an attorney from Montgomery County, held 41%.
The last time a Republican was elected to the post was in 1918.
The Democrats mostly
agreed on key policy issues, and shared ties to former Gov. Martin O’Malley. Brown served as lieutenant governor under Martin O’Malley, and O’Malley, is his wife. If she were elected, O’Malley would become the first woman to hold the office in Maryland.
Both Democrats expressed support for strengthening consumer and environmental protections, restricting gun purchases and expanding the agency’s involvement on criminal prosecution and police accountability. Both said they support legalizing recreational cannabis and said they would support expanded legal protections for tenants facing evictions.
The two differed on some issues, including which office should prosecute shootings by police. The Maryland Attorney General’s Office last year became responsible for investigating all police-involved fatalities, and at times, clashed with some law enforcement officials over the investigations.
Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler tested the new law this year when investigators with the sheriff ’s office refused to turn over evidence from a shooting scene to the attorney general’s office. A Harford County judge subsequently ordered Gahler to turn evidence over to the office immediately.
While the legislature changed who investigates officer-involved shootings, it stopped short of requiring the attorney general’s office to prosecute such cases, and left the responsibility to local prosecutors.