Democratic Establishment Largely Prevails from Top to Bottom, As Few State House Incumbents Lose - Southern Maryland Headline News

Democratic Establishment Largely Prevails from Top to Bottom, As Few State House Incumbents Lose

By the staff of

It was a good night for Democratic incumbents in the legislature and the Democratic establishment throughout the state as favored candidates from top to bottom did well in Tuesday’s primary. There were only nine incumbents who lost, while newcomers backed by incumbents won.

The Republican establishment did not fare quite as well. It was a bad night for two senior Republicans in the state Senate. Minority Leader David Brinkley lost to Del. Michael Hough, who portrayed Brinkley as too liberal for Frederick County, and Sen. Richard Colburn lost to Del. Addie Eckardt, a former ally and ticket mate on the Middle Shore. Colburn was rebounding from a messy and well publicized divorce resulting from an affair with a former aide.

Only two incumbent senators lost

Of 16 incumbent senators challenged within their own party, they were the only two that lost.

With other delegates and senators retiring or running for higher office, there will now be at least 47 new members among the 141 in the House of Delegates, and at least 10 new senators.

At the top of the Republican ticket, real estate executive Larry Hogan, a former Ehrlich administration patronage chief, beat Harford County Executive David Craig, favored by many in the Republican establishment.

In the nasty Republican race for Anne Arundel County Executive, appointed incumbent Laura Neuman lost to Del. Steve Schuh. The delegate made strong appeals as the “real” Republican with the backing of a long list of establishment party members including former Gov. Bob Ehrlich. He also raised over $1 million for the race.

But in Montgomery County, incumbent Democratic County Executive Ike Leggett, a former chair of the state party, easily won reelection with 46% against former County Executive Doug Duncan and County Council member Phil Andrews.

Four GOP delegates, five Democrats lose their seats

Four veteran Republican delegates lost their seats, not completely unexpectedly. Del. Donald “Doc” Elliott, 82, of Carroll County lost his bid for an eighth term to a county commissioner. Del. Don Dwyer of Pasadena ran sixth in his two-member district — not a surprise after his double conviction for drunken driving and drunken boating and weekends spent in jail.

Del. Michael Smigiel of Cecil County, one of the loudest GOP voices in the House and chair of the Tea Party Caucus, appears to have lost a close race in four-county District 36 on the Upper Shore, Del. Joe Boteler of Baltimore County, redistricted out of District 8 into 42, lost to a lawyer Christopher West, former executive director of the state GOP.

Among Democrats, five incumbent delegates lost, but at least two had to lose after redistricting put three Democratic delegates into a single-member District 44A. Del. Keith Haynes won the seat, and Dels. Keiffer Mitchell Jr. and Melvin Stukes lost. Del. Shawn Tarrant also lost his District 40 seat to a newcomer, as did Michael Summers in 47A and appointed Del. Darren Swain in District 24.

It was a mixed night for former delegates seeking to go back to Annapolis. Former House Minority Whip Bob Flanagan gets a chance to reclaim a seat, beating Ellicott City businesswoman Carol Loveless. Former delegate Michael Gisriel, who lent himself $85,000, got absolutely creamed in District 12 with three open seats. He ran seventh among 10 candidates, damaged by two union mailers that played up his disbarment and his lobbying for gambling interests.

Former Del. Richard Sossi lost out in a grudge match to Sen. Steve Hershey, who beat him four years ago, but former Del. Cheryl Kagan won the Senate seat being left by Sen. Jennie Forehand, who beat Kagan last time.

St. Mary’s District 29

Senate veteran Roy Dyson ran unopposed in the District 29 primary, and he will face Republican opponent Steve Waugh in the general election, who beat two St. Mary’s County Commissioners, Larry Jarboe and Cindy Jones.

A complete list of districts and primary election results can be found on State Board of Elections website. also has a full list of candidates, campaign finance and endorsements.

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