Maryland‘s most powerful seat on Capitol Hill is being broadly contested today, as eleven Republicans, eight Democrats, and one Green Party candidate are seeking to unseat the Democratic incumbent, Barbara Mikulski.
Of the many Democrats challenging Mikulski, Christopher Garner and Sanquetta Taylor were the most organized. Garner is a right wing Democrat who cites the Heritage Foundation in asserting that the United States is in decline because it has become too “Leftist”. Taylor has expressed no detailed policy positions. Despite Garner and Taylor’s efforts, Mikulski has won her bid to be the Democrats’ Senate nominee again in a mega-landslide, despite a recent history of questionable votes for the dirty three of surveillance bills: the Protect America Act, the FISA Amendments Act, and the Patriot Act.
Of the GOP contenders, Senate candidate Neil Cohen describes himself as a “moderate Republican”, pro-choice and seeking to improve government rather than broadly cutting it down. Stephens Dempsey is running for the GOP nomination on a libertarian platform. Daniel McAndrew proposes opposition to all legislation attempting to deal with the issue of climate change, and supports expansion of offshore drilling, despite the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster this year. Eric Wargotz advocates against fair criminal trials for people suspected of particularly despised criminal acts. Meanwhile Jim Rutledge lists dozens of “freedoms” he stands for, but the freedoms in the Bill of Rights don’t make it up there. Instead Rutledge insists on the “freedom” from having his kids being taught about evolution in public schools and the “freedom” of teachers in public schools to turn their classrooms into proselytization chambers. Character actors on the GOP stage, Wargotz and Rutledge have been playing it up for votes and were in a pitched battle for a primary win on election day — a battle that Wargotz eked out by gaining a plurality but not a majority of votes.
Natasha Pettigrew is the sole Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland this year. She proposes an expansion of wind farms within Maryland state lines, writing that “If we invest in wind, we can provide not only for ourselves, but sell the excess to generate revenue.”
1st district liberals have little choice for representation in the U.S. House. Democratic incumbent Frank Kratovil is a right-leaning Blue Dog, and has no challenger from within his own party this year. Republicans Rob Fisher and Andy Harris competed for the right to challenge Kratovil in the general election. Harris, whipping up stories of a border crisis that just doesn’t exist, will be Kratovil’s opponent in November.
Dutch Ruppersberger, the Democratic incumbent for the 2nd congressional district, has fended off the campaign of Jeff Morris, who claims to be the candidate of reason in spite of a rather loose grasp on the logic of climate issues. Two other Democrats also failed in their challenge. Five Republicans are competing for their party’s nomination to the seat: Marcelo Cardarelli, Josh Dowlut, Jimmy Mathis, Troy Stouffer and Francis Treadwell. Cardarelli, who wants to solve America’s economic problems by lowering taxes on the ultra-rich, has coasted to a GOP primary victory.
In the 3rd district, incumbent John Sarbanes has three Democratic challengers in today’s primary: John Kibler, Michael Miller and John Rea. None of these challengers have strong campaign resources, however. Four candidates are competing for the GOP nomination in this district. Of those four, twp have substantial organization: Greg Bartosz, who joins other congressional candidates from Maryland in making gross misrepresentations of the body of research into climate change, and Jim Wilhelm, who perpetuates this year’s dominant political folktale, the myth of a border crisis. Wilhelm has held off Bartosz to win the 3rd District GOP nomination.
There will be no Republican primary in the 4th district. Robert Broadus is the only GOP candidate. However, there are three candidates taking on incumbent Donna Edwards in today’s Democratic primary: Kwame Gyamfi, George McDermott and Herman Taylor. Donna Edwards, popular in her liberal district for her strong liberal stands on Capitol Hill, has easily won re-election.
In the 5th district Andrew Gall is mounting an idealistic, liberal challenge to senior Democratic incumbent Steny Hoyer. Sylvanus Bent is also challenging Hoyer. With next to no money and driven almost solely by the power of his indignation at Steny Hoyer’s entrenched insiderism, Andrew Gall has managed to convince 1 in 10 Democratic voters to vote with him and for a change. That’s an impressive result given the power of the corporate-funded Hoyer campaign juggernaut, but it’s not enough to keep him in the race. Steny Hoyer will be the Democratic nominee.
Collins Bailey, Chris Chaffee, Charles Lollar and Chris Robins competed for the Republican nomination. Lollar, who has given public speeches promising not to tell any one how much he opposes reproductive rights, has handily won the GOP nomination and will face Hoyer in the November election.
Roscoe Bartlett is the incumbent in the 6th congressional district, and is being challenged, mainly on account of his old age, by four other Republicans: Joe Krysztoforski, Steve Taylor, Dennis Janda and Seth Edward Wilson. Republican voters haven’t held Bartlett’s age against him, and he will be the GOP nominee again. On the Democratic side, journalist Casey Clark competed against Andrew Duck. Duck, a military consultant for defense contractor Northrup Grumman, has won the Democratic nomination.
7th district incumbent Elijah Cummings faced one rival from within the Democratic Party this year, community activist Charles Smith, who Cummings roundly defeated tonight. Frank Mirabile, Mike Vallerie and Ray Bly are running for the Republican nomination, and although the race is still too close to call at the time of this writing, it looks as though Mirabile will come out on top. Like Marcelo Cardarelli in Maryland’s 2nd district, Frank Mirabile favors of tackling the economic crisis facing American families by cutting the taxes of America’s most comfortably wealthy citizens.
Incumbent Chris Van Hollen is running unopposed for the Democratic Party nomination in the 8th district. Four Republicans are campaigning for the right to face Van Hollen in the general election this autumn. Mike Philips likens his campaign to a small earthquake recently felt in Maryland, writing, “let the rumble we felt this morning be a metaphor to every incumbent, career politician.” Bruce Stern has positioned himself as “pragmatic” and “viable”. Bill Thomas promises to “mean trouble for liberals in Congress” Christine Thron campaigns on a platform of supporting the expansion of offshore drilling and opposing legislation to deal with climate change. The contest for votes between Philips and Stern is still too close to call.