The more things change, the more they stay the same -- at least in the Old Line State.
Incumbent Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has weathered political crises during his tenure as Governor -- including, as of tonight, a challenge from upstart candidates. Gov. O'Malley won the Democratic primary, handily defeating retired civil servant J.P. Cusick and high school political science teacher Ralph Jaffe for the nomination.
In the general election, he faces a repeat of the 2006 election.
In November, Gov. O'Malley will square off against former Governor Robert Ehrlich, who defeated Chevy Chase businessman Brian Murphy for the state's Republican gubernatorial nod. Gov. O'Malley defeated then-Governor Ehrlich in 2006 for the seat.
Though Murphy received the surprise endorsement of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin -- which rescued his candidacy from obscurity -- it was not enough for the kind of upset that Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell, another unknown, pulled off in Delaware in the Republican Senate primary shocker.
The issues in 2010 are unlikely to be the same the Maryland gubernatorial candidates stumped on for the 2006 race. Gov. O'Malley's first term in office has been beset by the recession and repeated budget cuts. However, Gov. O'Malley has bragged on his investments in education.
Senate Democratic Primary
Challengers in the Democratic Senate primary fared no better against the incumbent than the Democratic gubernatorial challengers. Incumbent Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) won the Democratic primary -- a contest that was never in serious question. Sen. Mikulski easily outlasted her nearest competitor, picking up 82 percent of the vote over engineer Christopher Garner's 8 percent.
Senate Republican Primary
Across the aisle, Eric Wargotz beat out Jarrettsville attorney Jim Rutledge for the Republican Senate primary. Wargotz won out over Rutledge 39 to 31 percent.
Wargotz, a physician and Queen Anne's County Commissioner, led one of Maryland's more colorful campaigns, describing Sen. Mikulski as the "Political Insidersaurus" on a website and video urging that "it's time to make the political insidersaurus extinct." Wargotz's campaign was the only one in the 2010 primary to visualize Nancy Pelosi as a pterodactyl.
In eking out a victory against Rutledge, who courted the Tea Party vote, Wargotz also beat out nine other candidates. The bottom four candidates in the race -- Samuel Graham, Barry Asbury, Eddie Vendetti and Gregory Kump -- garnered a combined 8 percent of the total vote.
Prince George's County Executive Democratic Primary
In Prince George's County, former state delegate Rushern Baker III looked set to pull out a win against Prince George's County sheriff Michael Jackson. Prince George's County voters told Jackson to beat it. In the Democratic primary to replace term-limited incumbent Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson, Baker led Jackson 44 to 33 percent with 85 percent of precincts reporting.
Baker finally got his wish. Having run twice before for the Prince George's County Executive chair, he risked appearing like a perennial also-ran with a third run. His lead over Jackson, however, should convince doubters.
Montgomery County Executive Republican Primary
Democratic incumbent Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett heads to the November general election unchallenged. There he will face Republican primary winner Douglas Rosenfeld of Potomac. The lawyer bested Daniel Vovak, a producer, ghostwriter and former van company manager, 69 to 31 percent.
The AP reported that Maryland's eight incumbent Representatives in the House all prevailed:
- Rep. Elijah Cummings won the Democratic nomination for an eighth term representing Maryland's 7th Congressional District.
- Rep. Roscoe Bartlett won the Republican nomination for a 10th term representing Maryland's 6th Congressional District, defeating Joseph Krysztoforski and three other candidates. Bartlett will face Andrew Duck, the 2006 Democratic nominee who
- Rep. Donna Edwards won the Democratic nomination for a second term representing Maryland's 4th Congressional District. Her challenger, state Delegate Herman Taylor Jr., claimed in his campaign that Edwards had become a congressional insider after ousting Albert Wynn in the 2008 Democratic primary. In the general election, Rep. Edwards will face Republican candidate and Naval Academy graduate Robert Broadus.
- Rep. Steny Hoyer won the Democratic nomination for a 16th term representing Maryland's 5th Congressional District. The 71-year-old Hoyer is House majority leader, one of the most powerful positions in Congress.
- Rep. John Sarbanes won the Democratic nomination for a third term representing Maryland's 3rd Congressional District.
- Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger won the Democratic nomination for a fifth term representing Maryland's 2nd Congressional District.
- Rep. Chris Van Hollen won the Democratic nomination for a fifth term representing Maryland's 8th Congressional District.
- Rep. Frank Kratovil Jr. faced no challenger in the Democratic primary for a second term representing Maryland's 1st Congressional District. But he alone faces a competitive contest in November. Andy Harris, who ran aginast Kratovil in 2008, won the Republican nomination -- which will send him back for a rematch.