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Maryland Sen. Van Hollen wins primary months after minor stroke

ANAPOLIS, MD ( Associated Press) — Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen won the Democratic nomination for his seat on Tuesday, defeating a little-known challenger just months after suffering a minor stroke.

Van Hollen would be the overwhelming favorite in November’s general election in the moderate state, where Democrats outclassed Republicans 2-1.

Follow Live: 2022 Maryland primary election results

In other top contests in Maryland’s primary election, voters were selecting nominees in a highly competitive contest to replace Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who has been banned from running for a third consecutive term.

He has supported Kelly Schultz, who served as Secretary of Labor and Commerce in his administration. His top challenger in the Republican gubernatorial primary was from Donald Trump-backed state legislator Dan Cox, who sued Hogan over his pandemic policies and later unsuccessfully tried to impeach him.

On the Democratic side, Tom Perez, a former US Labor Secretary and former Democratic Party chairman, is supported by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a native daughter of Baltimore, while bestselling author Wes Moore is supported by Oprah Winfrey and US Rep. support is received. Hoyer, No. 2 House Democrat. Other top candidates include Comptroller Peter Franchot, former Attorney General Doug Gensler and former US Secretary of Education John B. King Jr.

Big-name endorsements in the Maryland gubernatorial race reflect the high stakes for both sides. Democrats see the contest as one of their best chances to topple the governor’s mansion in this year’s midterm elections, while Republicans seek to tighten the party’s grip on the office.

The Republican primary provides a possible 2024 preview of the appeals of candidates in the mold of Hogan and Trump, who offer a competitive outlook for the party’s future.

Other top races include competitions for the US House and Attorney General. The state’s eight-member congressional delegation has an open seat in the Washington suburbs. At the same time, the daughter of the former Attorney General of the state is vying for her father’s old job.

In the closest match it can take days, or even longer, to determine the winners. That’s because Maryland law prohibits counties from opening postal ballots until the Thursday after election day.

Read more: Open investigation into Fed Maryland state police recruitment practices

Ten candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination for governor. Perez is supported by labor unions, while the former CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, an anti-poverty organization, Moore is supported by the state’s teachers union and two of Maryland’s top legislative leaders, House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate Speaker Bill Ferguson. has gone. ,

Franchot, who comfortably won four races to be the state’s tax collector, brings significant name recognition to the primary. Gensler, a longtime prosecutor, is running as a moderate. King served in the cabinet of President Barack Obama.

Voter Laura Krechman, a 41-year-old high school teacher, said Moore’s support by the Maryland State Education Association helped her choose her. She said that she is impressed by Moore’s achievements after rising above the challenges of childhood and being raised by a single mother.

Annapolis resident Krechman said, “I teach kids at a school that comes from difficult upbringing, so I’d probably like to see what he can bring to help those students who are struggling.” are challenging.”

Other voters said they preferred to resume long periods of government service. Curtis Fatig, a 67-year-old voter in Annapolis, settled on Perez, who also served on Montgomery County Council as Maryland’s secretary of labor and assistant attorney general for civil rights in Obama’s administration.

“He’s not a newcomer,” Fatig said.

At an elementary school in Silver Spring, several Democrats voted for the governor in view of the November general election.

Tom Hilton, a 75-year-old retired high school teacher, said he viewed the Democratic primary field as “kind of a toss-up” but ultimately chose Franchote.

“Primarily for the financial parts,” Hilton said. “I think he’ll be a little more used to having a more secure financial future for Maryland.”

On the Republican side, Hogan stands firmly behind Schultz, whom he sees as the strongest candidate to face the Democrats in November. Democrats seem to agree with the Democratic National Committee plowing more than $1 million behind an ad aimed at promoting Cox in the Republican primary. This is a tactic he has used elsewhere in an attempt to counter an easier opponent in the general election.

Hogan has criticized Cox for organizing a busload of Trump supporters to drive to Washington for a “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the January 6, 2021 uprising at the US Capitol. Cox has said that he did not go to the Capitol and left before the riots began.

In a later deleted tweet, Cox called then-Vice President Mike Pence a “traitor” after he refused to heed Trump’s demands not to certify the 2020 election. He apologized for this and condemned the attack on the Capitol.

Meanwhile, Trump has branded Schulz and Hogan as RINO, or Republican in Name Only, a term of derision reserved for party members who do not follow them.

“Shutdown Rino to get rid of Larry Hogan who is trying to get another Rino into office,” Trump said in a statement Monday.

Trump’s endorsement of Cox helped him garner the vote of 22-year-old Cameron Martin.

“The main reason was that he was endorsed by Trump,” Martin said, adding that he thinks Cox shares his Republican values ​​and “he would represent me the best.”

Brandon D’Costa, 18, said he voted for Schultz because he liked his plan to cut taxes and increase the number of police officers. He called her a “meaning person” and said he believed she could “really change the course of Maryland.”

Maryland’s only open congressional seat is in the Fourth Congressional District, a heavily Democratic Black-majority district. Current US Representative Anthony Brown is going to run for Attorney General. Former Representative Donna Edwards, who previously held the seat, will face former county prosecutor Glenn Ivey in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

The Democratic primary for attorney general is Katie Curran O’Malley, the wife of former Governor Martin O’Malley, a former Baltimore judge and former Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr., and turns into a fight between the Browns. O’Malley’s lieutenant governor, who lost to Hogan in the 2014 gubernatorial race.

Both are competing to replace Democratic Attorney General Brian Frosh, who is retiring. Maryland has had no Republican Attorney General in nearly 70 years.

In other races, candidates are on the ballot for all 188 seats in the Maryland General Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats.

The Maryland primary was delayed by three weeks due to lawsuits challenging the state’s congressional and state legislative maps.

Associated Press writer Michael Kunzelman in Silver Spring contributed to this report.

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