By CARL STRAUMSHEIM
COLLEGE PARK, Md.—Democrat John Delaney on Tuesday night ended Rep. Roscoe Bartletts 10-term reign in the U.S. House of Representatives on an election night that otherwise featured no surprises among Marylands federal races.
Bartlett, the 86-year-old Buckeystown resident who has represented Marylands 6th Congressional District since 1993, fell to about 39 percent three hours after polls closed at 8 p.m. Delaney captured about 57 percent, with Libertarian candidate Nickolaus Mueller taking about 3 percent.
It has been my great honor to serve the constituents of the 6th District of Maryland for the past 20 years, Bartlett said in a statement. Although the election did not have the outcome we had hoped for, we can hold our heads high knowing that we have fought for the principles and values we care about.
In the presidential contest, as in 2008, Maryland awarded its 10 electoral votes to President Barack Obama, who, two hours after polls closed at 8 p.m. led Mitt Romney with 68 to 30 percent of the vote. Maryland was never expected to be in play, and neither candidate spent any time on the campaign trail in the state.
The other incumbents in Marylands congressional delegation were also re-elected by comfortable margins. Minutes after the polls closed, Democratic first-term Sen. Ben Cardin was projected to win the three-way race against Republican Dan Bongino, a former U.S. Secret Service agent, and independent candidate Rob Sobhani, a businessman who funneled more than $6 million into his own campaign.
Maryland continues to be one of the most Democratic states in the country, having cast its electoral votes for the Democratic candidate in the last six presidential elections.
Delaney, a financier who in 2000 founded the commercial lending bank CapitalSource, defeated state Sen. Rob Garagiola, D-Montgomery, in a primary battle that drew a host of candidates from both parties to compete in a 6th District made competitive through redistricting. Delaney outraised Bartlett by a 4-to-1 margin, contributing more than $2 million of his own wealth to the campaign.
Bartletts defeat accomplished Maryland Democrats objective of picking up a seventh seat in the states congressional delegation. Gov. Martin OMalley and Democrats in the General Assembly shifted Bartletts district farther into Montgomery County and away from traditionally Republican territory in northern Maryland, erasing the Republicans advantage among registered voters. Bartlett performed strongly in western Maryland, but was not able to win over the districts new voters in Montgomery County.
Delaneys path to re-election in 2014 could have been thrown into uncertainty if voters had rejected Question 5, which put the new congressional districts to a popular vote. The map would then have been sent back to Democrats in Annapolis, who would have had to come up with a new plan to be implemented for the 2014 elections. Early results showed the redistricting plan with a considerable lead among voters.
Gary Featheringham, a precinct chairman for the Montgomery County Republican Party, voted against the new congressional districts at Stone Mill Elementary School in North Potomac. He said the new district map was a blatant attempt to throw Bartlett out of office.
In the remaining congressional races, the incumbents easily won re-election.
Rep. Andy Harris, R-Cockeysville, won his first re-election against a Democratic Party confused by the exit of nominee Wendy Rosen after she admitted she voted in both Florida and Maryland in two different elections. Rosen still was collecting more than 26 percent of the vote. The party backed write-in candidate John LaFerla, whose totals were not recorded on the State Board of Elections website.
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Cockeysville, won a sixth term in the 2nd District after defeating Nancy Jacobs, a Republican state senator representing Cecil and Harford counties.
Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Towson, defeated Republican Eric Knowles in the 3rd District.
In the 4th District, Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Fort Washington, defeated Republican Faith Loudon.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Mitchellsville, raised more than $4 million for his 17th congressional campaign—the most of any House candidate in Maryland. He defeated Republican Delegate Tony ODonnell, whose district includes Calvert and St. Marys counties.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Baltimore, the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, defeated Frank Mirabile Jr. in a rematch of their 2010 race in the 7th District.
In the 8th District, which picked up thousands of Bartletts supporters in northern Maryland, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Kensington, who plays an influential role as the ranking member on the House Budget Committee, defeated Republican Ken Timmerman, an author and journalist.