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U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., votes at a polling place during a primary election in Ballenger Creek Tuesday.
Ten-term incumbent Rep. Roscoe Bartlett has won the GOP nomination for Maryland's 6th Congressional District, the Associated Press reported.
He will face Montgomery County businessman John Delaney, who is projected to win the Democratic nomination, the Associated Press reported.
The western Maryland district, a longtime GOP stronghold, was drastically reshaped by Democratic-led redistricting to make it competitive for the first time since Bartlett won it in 1992. The prospect of a close November contest -- or even a primary defeat -- energized the 85-year-old congressman, who shook hands at locations from Montgomery to Washington counties Tuesday.
He faced seven challengers for the Republican nomination, but with 18 percent of precincts reporting, Bartlett had won 44 percent of the vote with state Sen. David Brinkley in second with 21 percent.
Brinkley claimed Bartlett hasn't lived up to his conservative talking points, citing Bartlett's August vote in favor of raising the U.S. debt limit by $2.1 trillion in exchange for an equivalent amount in spending cuts.
Bartlett said he voted for what he called “a very bad bill” to avoid a default on U.S. debt obligations. The congressman said his critics don't understand the complexity of bills that sometimes require him to cast votes that apparently contradict his views.
Their generally civil contest turned nasty Saturday when a group that called itself Victory for Bartlett emailed to the 6th District's registered Republicans clips of 911 police recordings from a 2008 domestic disturbance between Brinkley and his wife, who have since divorced, the Associated Press reported. Brinkley's campaign called the email “a pathetic act of desperation.” Bartlett's camp denied any role in the tactic.
The 6th District's five-way Democratic primary came down to a battle between state Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola and Delaney. Garagiola was the early favorite and earned an endorsement from Gov. Martin O’Malley, but he reportedly was out-raised by Delaney, who was endorsed by former President Bill Clinton.
In an exchange of attacks, Delaney painted Garagiola as an opportunistic political climber in league with the Washington lobbyists for whom Garagiola once worked and who also backed the state senator's candidacy, the AP reported. Garagiola countered by calling Delaney a “loan shark” whose company preyed on working families during the recession.
With 42 percent of precincts reporting, Delaney had 55 percent of the vote to Garagiola’s 26 percent.
Five Maryland congressional members have been nominated for re-election.
Democratic voters in Tuesday's primary nominated John Sarbanes in the 3rd Congressional District, Donna Edwards in the 4th, Steny Hoyer in the 5th, Elijah Cummings in the 7th and Chris Van Hollen in the 8th.
Their Republican opponents in the November general election were in races too close to call.
The state's two other House members were uncontested in the primary. They are freshman Republican Rep. Andy Harris in the 1st District and Democrat C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger in the 2nd.
Maryland Sen. Benjamin Cardin will win the Democratic primary, the Associated Press reported.
Cardin, who served one term in the Senate after 10 terms in the House of Representatives, won against eight primary challengers.
Cardin will face former Secret Service agent Daniel Bongino, who won the Republican nomination.
For the GOP, there are 10 candidates hoping to win the nomination, including former U.S. Secret Service agent Daniel Bongino and Richard Douglas, a former Bush administration defense department appointee.