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Brown, Hogan Take Home Wins In Maryland Primaries

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, left, talks with volunteer Alice Toliver at a polling place inside Hazelwood Elementary/Middle School on primary day in Baltimore on Tuesday, June 24, 2014.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, left, talks with volunteer Alice Toliver at a polling place inside Hazelwood Elementary/Middle School on primary day in Baltimore on Tuesday, June 24, 2014.

The big win in the Maryland primaries Tuesday night was Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who confirmed predictions in the polls with a handy victory over challengers Doug Gansler and Heather Mizeur. Brown's victory in the Democratic primary for governor was "not a surprise" for many supporters and voters in Tuesday's election.

The surprise came in how quickly Brown earned the victory — just more than an hour after polls closed and before returns from Montgomery County were filed.

The real drama, WAMU 88.5 reporter Matt Bush said, would come in determining whether Del. Heather Mizeur or Attorney General Doug Gansler would earn the next-highest number of votes.

Low turnout likely helped Maryland Del. Heather Mizeur stay close to Doug Gansler in the race for a Democratic nod for governor, with 21 percent of the vote to Gansler's 23.8 percent with 55 percent of precincts reporting.

But she also ran a positive campaign, and as a result, had very few negative attacks against her.

Watch WAMU 88.5 host Kojo Nnamdi and reporter Matt Bush talk about Mizeur's campaign and her future:

On the Republican side, Larry Hogan has won the nomination for governor over Harford County Executive David Craig, according to the Associated Press. With 60 percent of precincts reporting, he has a lead of 41 percent to 30.4 percent.

Further down the ticket, Maryland Del. Jon Cardin has conceded the race for the Democratic nod for attorney general to state Sen. Brian Frosh in another victory for the state Democratic establishment.

Del. John Cardin may have performed well in pre-election polling for the Attorney General seat. But name recognition from his uncle, U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, may have only carried the younger Cardin so far.

Matt Bush says the tide shifted once the state Democratic establishment got behind opponent State Sen. Brian Frosh, and people realized they were voting for Jon Cardin — not his uncle.

Cardin battled a number of controversies during this campaign, including a negative public reaction to his low voting record this session. —Erica Hendry

That wraps up the WAMU 88.5 election night live blog for the Maryland Primary. Tune in tomorrow morning or visit WAMU.org for coverage from all the campaign events tonight around the state of Maryland.

The live blog continues below.

Update, 10:20 p.m.: Both Heather Mizeur and Doug Gansler have offered concession speeches tonight. Members of Anthony Brown's campaign had said he was slated to make an acceptance speech at 10:10 p.m., but that appears to be delayed.

An interesting note for those interested in D.C. politics as well: Muriel Bowser, the Democratic nominee for D.C. Mayor, was on stage at the Anthony Brown victory party.

Meanwhile, Republicans are getting official: Maryland Senate Minority Leader David Brinkley has been defeated, as challenger Michael Hough declares victory out of District 4.

On the GOP gubernatorial front, with 39 percent of precincts reporting, Larry Hogan still maintains a lead of more than 10 percent over Harford County Executive David Craig, but it has not been called yet.

Closer to home, incumbent Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (48 percent) has a sizable lead over challengers Doug Duncan (29 percent) and Phil Andrews (21 percent).

Update, 9:55 p.m.: Maryland's eight members of Congress have all been nominated to serve new terms.

Five of the state's seven House Democrats and its lone Republican had challengers in Tuesday's primary, but most of them were little-known and poorly funded.

Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards, who represents the 4th District, says the strength of the state's incumbents is a credit to Maryland voters and their shared values.

Maryland Republicans are only targeting one seat in the fall: the 6th District seat occupied by Rep. John Delaney. Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino is hoping to challenge Delaney. Bongino has raised more than $500,000 for his campaign. However, he would likely have to garner some Democratic support in the redrawn western Maryland district, which includes parts of heavily Democratic Montgomery County.

Update, 9:40 p.m.: The surprises continue to look like they're taking place on the Republican side. Senate Minority Leader Doug Brinkley has fallen way behind as the tallies come in for District 4. Challenger Michael Hough leads Brinkley with 63.6 percent to the incumbent’s 36.4 percent.

Brian Frosh's lead increases in the Democratic race for attorney general. Brian Frosh has 46 percent of the vote with 19 percent of the vote to Jon Cardin's 30.7 percent.

Cardin was put on the defensive during his campaign for not attending votes in in the Maryland House of Delegates. Cardin reportedly missed 75 percent of votes in the House Ways and Means Committee, a record some officials and voters say doesn't warrant a run for a higher-level office.

Cardin told Kojo Nnamdi in May that his record in the 11 years leading up to this session was "nearly perfect," but this year, made the "difficult choice" to spend more time at home with his young daughter and pregnant wife as she dealt with medical issues.

Here's the video:

Update, 9:20 p.m.: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has won the Democratic primary for governor of Maryland, according to the Associated Press.

With 125 of 1988 precincts reporting, Brown has garnered 58 percent of the vote to 20.8 percent for Doug Gansler and 19 percent for Heather Mizeur.

Brown was leading in all the early polling and had a number of important endorsements, so a victory on primary night is not unexpected, but a win this early has surprised some.

Attention turns now to both the Republican race for governor, where Larry Hogan maintains a lead of more than 11 percent over David Craig. Also of interest: attorney general candidate Brian Frosh continues to lead fellow Democrats Jon Cardin and Aisha Braveboy by nearly 20 percentage points.

Update, 8:50 p.m.: There are a couple of possible upsets brewing, at least based on the early votes for this primary. Republican and incumbent state senator David Brinkley currently trails Michael Hough by more than 10 percentage points in District 4.

Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman has a rough split among Republicans in her county, with 49.1 percent to challenger Steve Schuh's 50.9 percent. But again, that is with no precincts reporting and just 6,000 votes on the record.

Former Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele was live on WAMU 88.5 with Kojo Nnamdi and Maryland reporter Matt Bush. He says that while things have been slow today in Maryland's shore communities, he thinks they could weigh in on the general election.

“It may be 8 percent of the population, but look what they bring to the state,” Steele said. “The citizens of the shore are, I think, a very important part of the equation. They can change the outcome of the race if they put their mind to it, and they often do, to really challenge the status quo approach that Annapolis typical has toward the shore.”

Meanwhile, the wait continues for votes today to continue to trickle in.

Update, 8:20 p.m.: The results from the early voting tallies are in. In the highly-watched Democratic race for governor, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has an early lead with 57.7 percent of the votes, Gansler notching 20.8 percent of the vote and Heather Mizeur a close third with 19.4 percent of the vote.

It's a closer race on the Republican side so far, with Larry Hogan grabbing 42.8 percent of early voters and David Craig 31.9 percent. Votes from the polls today are still being counted.

Further down the ticket, Brian Frosh leads the Democratic candidates for attorney general with 48.1 percent of the early votes to Jon Cardin's 28.9 percent and Aisha Braveboy's 23.1 percent.

Closer to home, incumbent Montgomery County executive Isiah Leggett has more than half of the votes among Democrats with 51 percent, to Doug Duncan's 28.2 percent and Phil Andrews' 21.2 percent.

Update, 8:00 p.m.: Polls have officially close on the Maryland primaries today. Those currently in the lines will be allowed to vote, but after that, it's up to election officials to tally the votes.

It was a largely uneventful day for Maryland voters, but one of the more controversial dust-ups today surrounded the distribution of campaign handouts that the state's largest teachers' union says misrepresent their trademarked ballots shaped like apples.

The Maryland State Education Association sought the order earlier Tuesday, when the union found campaign handouts that looked like their apple-shaped handouts that show what candidates the union is supporting.

The union is backing Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in the Democratic primary race for governor. But Attorney General Doug Gansler's campaign released similar handouts that say Gansler has the support of teachers across Montgomery County.

The union says the judge has agreed to hold a hearing at a later date.

We will have updates with vote totals coming shortly. Make sure to tune into WAMU 88.5 for coverage and commentary with Kojo Nnamdi, Maryland reporter Matt Bush, and our Maryland election team out in the field.

Update, 7:00 p.m.: Still not a lot to report from the Maryland primaries today.

On the Congressional races, Maryland primary voters are choosing between the state's eight members of Congress and mostly little-known and poorly funded challengers.

Party leaders tell the Associated Press they don't expect the state's seven House Democrats and one Republican to have any trouble in Tuesday's primaries.

Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards, who represents the 4th District, says the strength of the state's incumbents is a credit to Maryland voters and their shared values.

Maryland Republicans are only targeting one seat in the fall: the 6th District seat occupied by Rep. John Delaney. GOP leaders are backing former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino in Tuesday's primary. He's raised more than $500,000 for his campaign. However, he'll likely have to garner some Democratic support in the redrawn western Maryland district, which includes parts of heavily Democratic Montgomery County.

Update, 5:00 p.m.: The Maryland State Education Association has filed a complaint Tuesday with the Montgomery County Circuit Court in Rockville over the use of the union's apple ballot design in flyers for Doug Gansler's gubernatorial campaign.

The MSEA endorsed Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in the Democratic campaign for governor, but as tweeted by WAMU Maryland reporter Matt Bush, a similar apple-shaped ballot design was used by Gansler's campaign.

Representatives for the union, the largest in Maryland, say they don't want other campaigns using the apple design to make voters think the union has endorsed other candidates. The union has a trademark for the design.

Katie Hill, a spokeswoman for Gansler's campaign, told the Associated Press that there is no problem with Gansler's campaign distributing the handouts.

Update, 2:30 p.m.: As we wait for the votes to trick in on primary day, we're turning back to some of our previous coverage with Maryland's frontrunners for governor.

Appearing on The Politics Hour last Friday, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown fielded a question from a listener who accused Brown and other candidates for the state's highest office of being "all the same." Brown points to his life experience as one of the biggest differentiating factors — including his military service and his status as a second generation American.

Check it out:

Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial challenger Doug Gansler also spoke about his personal life on his appearance on The Politics Hour earlier this month. He was defending his failure to break up a house party last summer that featured underage drinking. Gansler doesn't mince words, calling the attacks on his character "tricks and dirty politics."

Give it a watch:

Delegate Heath Mizeur has also made an appearance on The Politics Hour. One of the hallmarks of her campaign, which she emphasized in an interview with Maryland reporter Matt Bush last week as well, is that she is intent on running a positive campaign that doesn't include the usual political mudslinging one often sees. One caller called Mizeur to task for this, pushing her to at least offer constructive criticism of her competitors.

Take a listen:

Update, 11:05 a.m.: The morning rush was more of a trickle at Matthew Henson Elementary School in Capitol Heights.

Volunteers and electioneerers came to the polls bright and early, ready for the polls to open at 7 a.m. Stocked with "I Voted" stickers and campaign pamphlets, they were ready to go. The only thing lacking was voters.

Polling locations often experience an influx of voters early in the morning and later in the afternoon. But this morning voters arrived few and far between, and were able to walk right in without waiting in any lines.

David Ebb of Landover, Maryland, says people don't recognize the community impact of primary elections. "People come out for presidential elections, but these candidates could directly affect our communities."

Paul Reinstein, campaigning at the Silver Spring Library, says some people don't know the primary was moved from September to June. He has worked the polls since 1978, and says he thinks the timing of this election also contributes to low turnout. "I know from working polls over the years, if it's a presidential election year you get a much heavier primary turnout than in an off-year."

While some attribute low turnout to early voting or the timing of this primary, Eric Atcherson of Capitol Heights, Maryland, says he believes "people just don't have that drive that they used to, as far as what they stand for." —Ariel Barry

Update, 9:30 a.m. Technical glitches with electronic pollbooks at some Montgomery County polling stations today caused 12 precincts to resort to paper ballots soon after the polls opened this morning.

The problem affected pollbooks in precincts in the Bethesda area. Electronic voting machines use the pollbooks to verify voters' eligibility and properly encode each voter's ballot when they enter their cards into the machines. If the pollbooks don’t function correctly, the electronic voting machines cannot be used.

Voters who encountered the problem were instructed to use paper provisional ballots instead.

Marjorie Roher, a public information officer with the Montgomery County Board of Elections, says the board became aware of the problems shortly after the polls opened at 7 a.m., and began rolling out a workaround.

Some voters are skeptical of provisional ballots, Roher says, because they mistakenly think that those ballots aren’t included in vote counts. But that’s not true, she says. “All provisional ballots are in fact counted,” she says. “They will not be included in tonight’s tally…however, they are counted in accordance with Maryland election law during very specified time periods. Before we certify the election, all provisional ballots will be included in the final tally."

Roher isn’t sure how many voters were affected by the glitch, but she says that as of about 9 a.m., only four of the 12 affected precincts were still dealing with the problem.

Voters who prefer to vote electronically can return to their polling station before the polls close at 8 p.m., at which point the problem should be resolved at all affected stations. —Ally Schweitzer

Update, 7 a.m.: This is the first time that primaries have taken place in June instead of September, leading many political experts to speculate that turnout could be as low as 20 percent today. Low vote totals means that campaigns' respective get-out-the-vote efforts could play a big role in the Election Day results.

The most high-profile race in this year's elections is the Democratic race to replace Gov. Martin O'Malley. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has maintained a sizable lead in the polls—the most recent survey of Democratic voters shows Brown with a commanding 2-1 lead over next-highest challenger Doug Gansler. Brown has also gotten high-profile endorsements from The Washington Post and former President Bill Clinton.

Attorney General Doug Gansler says he still has a good chance at snagging the Democratic nod. Throughout the primary, he has hammered the lieutenant governor on how he handled the rollout of the state's health care exchange website, saying Brown doesn't have the leadership experience needed in the state's highest executive office.

Del. Heather Mizeur has consistently polled in third place among the Democratic candidates. Her campaign has focused less on the political scrapping that has defined the back and forth between her two principal opponents, and more on detailed policy proposals. She also stands out for her endorsement of marijuana legalization.

The primary today also includes several races involving candidates who are trying to make comebacks after high-profile ethical and legal problems.

Former Prince George's County Del. Tiffany Alston, a Democrat who was ousted from her seat in 2012 over theft and misconduct convictions, is running. Anne Arundel County Republican Del. Don Dwyer is seeking re-election after missing some votes this year because he was in jail on the weekends for drunken boating and driving a car while impaired.

Baltimore political consultant Julius Henson is running for state Senate. Henson served a 30-day jail term in 2012 after being convicted of conspiracy for robocalls he made on Election Day in 2010.


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