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Thursday, August 18, 2022

2022 midterm: what to look for in Maryland’s primary elections

Annapolis, MD ( Associated Press) — The Republican race for governor of Maryland in Tuesday’s primary election pits a candidate backed by outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan against an opponent backed by Donald Trump.

It is an early showing on Hogan’s home turf as he weighs the 2024 White House bid, possibly against the former president.

On the Democratic side, the crowded candidate field includes a former head of the National Democratic Party, a bestselling author, the current Comptroller of State, and a former U.S. Secretary of Education.

US Sen. Chris Van Hollen is facing a primary challenge as he seeks a second term after a stroke. In the US House, Maryland has an open seat when the incumbent decides to seek a different office.

What to watch:

Governor

Democrats are eager to win back the governor’s office. Hogan is a rare two-term Republican governor in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1.

The Democratic primary for governor is shaping up to be a competitive three-way race between former US Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, who previously served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee; author Wes Moore, who held a virtual fundraiser with Oprah Winfrey; and State Comptroller Peter Franchot, who had a wide margin of victory in his four terms as state tax collector.

Voters are voting with what is likely to be history in November: Moore or former US Secretary of Education John King could become the state’s first black governor, and Perez could become the state’s first Latino chief executive.

For the GOP, Kelly Schultz is running as Hogan’s chosen successor to carry on his legacy. Schultz served in Hogan’s administration as secretary of labor and later as head of the state’s commerce department. She is a former state legislator from Frederick County.

Schultz, the only woman in the field, will be Maryland’s first female governor if she wins in November. He argues that she is the only Republican in the primary who can take advantage of Hogan’s unusual political success in a heavily Democratic state.

She is running against state legislator Dan Cox, whom Trump has endorsed. Early in the pandemic, Cox sued Hogan’s stay-at-home orders and regulations, saying they were unconstitutional. The trial was later dismissed by a judge, who said Hogan had a duty as governor to protect public health.

Cox also filed an impeachment motion against Hogan, accusing him of violating residents’ rights by issuing “restrictive and protracted” orders during the pandemic. Lawmakers rejected the effort.

He helped organize a bus load of protesters headed to Washington for the “Stop the Steel” rally before the January 6 US Capitol uprising. Cox has said that he did not go to the Capitol until later, and that he condemned the violence.

US Senate

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat, is seeking a second term. She first won election to the chamber in 2016, replacing retired Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who at the time was the longest-serving woman in congressional history.

Van Hollen suffered a minor stroke in May, but he said doctors had told him it would have no long-term effects or damage. He said he experienced dizziness and severe neck pain while delivering the speech and sought medical care on his return home.

Van Hollen has just one challenger in his Democratic primary: Michelle Smith, Freedom of Information Act policy analyst with the US Agency for International Development. Van Hollen previously served seven terms in the US House.

Ten Republicans are seeking the GOP nomination, including Chris Chaffee, who ran unsuccessfully against US Representative Steny Hoyer in 2014.

Van Hollen, who is expected to win his primary, will be a strong favorite in November. Maryland hasn’t had a Republican U.S. Senator in the past 35 years.

US House

The Congress has eight districts in the state but only one open seat in this cycle.

Democratic Rep. Anthony Browne, who represents Maryland’s Fourth Congressional District, is stepping down after three terms to run for attorney general. Former Representative Donna Edwards, who held the seat from 2008 to 2017, is running to get her job back, representing a black-majority district in the suburbs of the nation’s capital. He will face former county prosecutor Glen Ivey.

World Nation News Desk
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