General Assembly Primary Election Roundup

While there were several upsets and some close races, most incumbents or those candidates supported by incumbents prevailed in their respective primaries. As reported by, two of the biggest upsets occurred within the Republican primary with Senators Brinkley and Colburn both losing their respective races.

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.

Several primaries saw current or former legislators going head to head.  In District 44A (Baltimore City), three sitting delegates had to vie for two open seats due to redistricting.  Delegate Keith Haynes prevailed over Delegates Keiffer Mitchell and Melvin Stukes.

In District 17 (Montgomery), former Delegate Cheryl Kagan defeated current Delegate Luiz Simmons by 10 percentage points. Kagan will now likely succeed retiring Senator Jennie Forehand. In District 25 (Prince George’s), sitting Delegate Melony Griffith was unsuccessful in her primary challenge against Senator Ulysses Currie.

In other races, incumbents successfully defeated challengers who were perceived to be serious contenders. In District 18 (Montgomery), incumbent Senator Richard Madaleno overcame opponent Dana Beyer in a race that threatened to split the Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender (LBGT) community. In District 23B (Prince George’s), House Judiciary Chair Joe Vallario appears to have retained his seat despite running in a new district where he was perceived as vulnerable.

Two incumbent delegates succeeded in their primary bid for open Senate seats. In District 34 (Harford), Delegate Mary Dulaney-James handily defeated challenger Art Helton in the primary for the open seat created by the retirement of Senator Nancy Jacobs. In District 6 (Baltimore County), Delegate John Olszewski was victorious over Russ Mirabile for the open seat created by the retirement of Senator Norman  Stone.

Both presiding officers, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch also won their respective primaries.

Based on the primary results and previously announced retirements, there will likely be 47 new state delegates and 10 new state senators in the 2015 General Assembly.

For further coverage of selected primary races by district, see MarylandReporter. com.

For complete primary election coverage of state and local races, visit the Maryland State Board of Elections primary results website.