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November 3, 2010

Maryland election results: GOP +6 in House, maybe -2 in Senate

Maryland's House of Delegates gained six new Republicans, while its Senate may lose two seats long held by the minority party. All 188 seats were on the ballot this year for a General Assembly that has roughly twice as many Democrats as Republicans.

On the House side, four open seats across the state went to Republicans. Republicans also toppled two Democratic delegates, Sue Kullen and Virginia Clagett, who are district-mates of the General Assembly's top leaders. The House now contains 98 Democrats and 43 Republicans -- equaling the minority party's modern-era high achieved under then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in 2003.

The all-but-complete Election Day returns show the Democratic Party, which already enjoyed a thumping majority in the Maryland Senate, appears to have added two Senate seats this year, Mike Dresser reports -- leaving Republican  with a mere 12 seats in the 47-member Senate.

The majority party did that by apparently protecting all of its incumbents -- assuming Anne Arundel's John Astle and Southern Maryland's Roy Dyson hold on to narrow but not paper-thin leads -- and seizing two Republican-held seats.

The upset of the night was Democrat Ronald Young's apparent defeat of Frederick County GOP Sen. Alex Mooney, an outspoken social conservative whose district has been changing shades from red to purple. In Young, a former Frederick mayor, the Democrats found a strong match for the district and backed him with heavy spending at the direction of  Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller.  The margin in that race is 665 votes, too narrow to count Mooney out but a difficult number to overcome.

Democrat Jim Mathias is also  leading Repiblican  Michael James for the Eastern Shore open seat vacated by GOP Sen. J. Lowell Stoltzfus. Mathias, an incumbent delegate and popular former mayor of Ocean City, was perhaps the only Democrat with a shot at this district -- and he made the most of it. The margin in this race is 176 votes, so the GOP has a shot of retaining the seat if absentee and provisional ballots break their way. The state Board of Elections is reporting one precinct out, but it is in Mathias' home county of Worcester.

Perhaps the only consolation for the Republicans is that it would be hard  to do much  worse in the Senate. The party is down to its rock-solid base, and really  has nowhere to go but up. This year, Democratic incumbents did their party the favor of hanging on -- giving them no open seats except  in safe districts. It is unlikely they can go through another cycle with no retirements in swing districts.

Considering how well Republicans did nationally, said House Speaker Michael E. Busch, Maryland Democrats held their own.

If the count holds, the Democrats willl still hold a 98-43 advantage in the House -- more than enough for House Speaker Michael E. Busch to maintain firm control, Mike Dresser reports.  

Other Republican gains came in seats with previously Democratic vacancies in Frederick, Baltimore, Harford  and Worcester counties.

No Republican House  incumbents were defeated in the general election.

The big disappointment for the Republicans had to be the half-dozen or so Democratic seats where incumbents appear to have held on in conservative districts by slim margins. These Democratic winners include Dels. Kevin Kelly in Allegany County, John Donoghue in Washington County, John Wood and John Bohannon in St. Mary's County, House Appropriations Commitee Chairman  Norm Conway in Worcester County and David Rudolph in Cecil County. Had the GOP taken even half those seats, they could have boasted of historic gains. Without them, the House wins would be poor compensation for Senate losses.

Kullen represents Calvert County in Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller's district. She has been a member since 2004 and is president of the women's caucus. Republican Mark Fisher defeated her by about 5 percentage points.

Clagett, first elected in 1994, is a District 30 delegate along with Busch. She came in fourth place last night, meaning Republican incumbent Del. Ron George and Busch will be joined by Republican Herb McMillan.

Absentee votes are still being counted in Stoltzfus' old district on the Eastern Shore. But Democrats are cautiously optimistic that Democratic Del. Jim Mathias will edge out Michael James. And it appears that Democratic challenger Ronald Young will prevail over Mooney, a senator since 1999.

Here's the piece Sun reporter and State House veteran Mike Dresser filed last night.

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 1:01 PM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Maryland election 2010


Just left Maryland for Florida. Wonderful not to have to pay state income taxes. If the federal government ever stops feeding Maryland, it's curtains.

I moved to Virginia last year and how happy I am to live south of the Potomac River. Enjoy your high taxes Maryland. By the way, it is also nice to live in a State that also punishes criminals, unlike the Old Line State of Maryland.

I wholeheartedly agree with the previous two comments. I am a MD transplant & cannot believe how uninformed the MD public is. Not only does Washington feed MD, but the people who work here & buy property are drained dry. If the housing market ever improves & we can sell our property we are outa here!

Your new states must not be very fulfilling if you still need to troll the Baltimore Sun.

So true, Tony. Marylanders enjoy quite a high standard of living that those in states mentioned above do not enjoy. It is obvious to me that those who trash Maryland are displaced Republicans.

Well, Virginia doesn't want my partner and me. And we don't need Virginia.

The Commonwealth has gone out of its way to make it clear that it wants to set up roadblocks in front of good, taxpaying citizens like us, so I'd just as soon give our money to a state that has at least begun to move in the direction of recognizing that we are a couple. It's passed several draconian laws preventing gay couples from entering into any contractual "marriage-like" agreements. Guess we're just that threatening, huh?

It is true that the previous Ehrlich, when he was governor, vetoed a bill that recognized our right to make medical decisions for one another (saying it "threatened marriage").

It was later re-passed and signed by Governor O'Malley.

I'd ask anyone reading this post to consider whether they would move or live in a state that viewed their marriage with outright hostility.

If so, then maybe Virginia really is right for you.

Thumbs up Dana. I love that statement!!

Heartened that Maryland voters were among those watching the Democrats back.Reminder to the GOP, that victory sometimes is that small percentage over 50%

I would agree I got out of Maryland about 11 years ago and moved to Colorado. The legislature is clueless, the taxes are outrageous and it seems all you have to do is promise Baltimore City, PG and Montgomery Counties more welfare on the backs of the rest of the state and your in.

lol. I for one am happy to be a resident of Maryland. Lived here my whole life. I pay taxes here and continue to do so because we have some of *the* greatest schools, hospitals, and recreation in the entire country.

Florida is a neglected swamp land. The weather sucks and all they have going for them is Disney world. Sounds like the perfect place for non-Marylanders. GTFO!

Well let me be the first to tell all of you jackasses who left for other blue states (Charles) -- Good riddance! LOL
Who wants to move to racist states like Virginia and Florida, where people can't count and your votes don't matter and you're the laughingstock and the dirty butt of the US election system??? As for you John Dumb, it's called the Free State jackass!! Get out and stay out!! It's not always about taxes, it's about children and future and NO RACISM like all the other GOP corporate welfare states where there is a HUGE redistribution of wealth to ppl who do not need it. Ehrlich brough corruption and scandal to the governor's mansion and his disgusting wife couldn't get over her phallanx lesbian proclivities for Brittany Spears. She was embarrassing to MD. Also John Dumb, you moved to a state that is not racist, but has a HUGE property tax due in December every year and a racist governor who ignores the ppl who were responsible for building this country on their backs: The slaves.
For some of you who are so dumb, O'Malley did not raise taxes, but the National GOP is known for raising the debt more than the Democrats....

It seems as if the people of Maryland are getting a raw deal. They pay high taxes and are more at risk from criminals due to the state's liberaral attitude towards criminals. The people who live and work there are sapped dry. On the other hand some say the standard of living is better than other states.

I can see why Marylanders re-elected Omalley. Just look at the ignorance of the Marylanders who have posted here.
This country was built by people of ALL CULTURES, not just slaves.
It is also interesting to note that the counties in MD that vote conservative have the lowest crime rates!
The only people who seem to love high Maryland taxes are those who are on the recieving end, not the working end.

Ah the great state of Maryland who just reelected Nancy Pelosi's pool boy Steny. Steny you are paid to represent the Maryland 5th not the CA 8th.

The good news that came out of the election for counties is that the Democratic Party is now a minority party on the county level of Government. 15 out of 23 in Republican Hands. This is now a purple state. I believe the next goal of the GOP is to become the majority party in Partisan city and town governments.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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