Maryland's congressional delegation cruised to victory in Tuesday's primary, leaving
Six of eight incumbents representing the state in the
In an election year that could have a profound effect on President
But little of that action is likely to play out in deep-blue Maryland, where congressional districts redrawn after the
Two newcomer candidates in Maryland — Democrats Paul Rundquist and Matthew Molyett — ran campaigns focused on the controversy surrounding domestic spying by the
Molyett ran against Sarbanes. Sarbanes won the nomination despite voluntarily limiting political donations to draw attention to his efforts to reform federal campaign finance rules.
"One common refrain I am hearing from voters of all political stripes is that they are frustrated with the influence big money politics has on our democracy," he said in a statement. "I'm working hard to fight back against this influence."
In Harris' district, which includes the Eastern Shore and portions of Harford, Baltimore and Carroll counties, Democrats witnessed a spirited contest between John LaFerla, a
LaFerla ran an unsuccessful primary campaign in 2012, and then ran as a write-in candidate with Democratic Party support when the winner, Wendy Rosen, withdrew from the race in September amid allegations that she voted in the 2006 and 2008 elections in both Maryland and Florida.
In the Repubilcan primary, Harris easily fended off his first-time challenger, Jonathan Goff Jr.
Harris' district became far more Republican when the state's electoral map was redrawn in 2011, transforming what was a swing district in the 2008 and 2010 elections into the state's only GOP stronghold.
Harris, an anesthesiologist from Cockeysville, won in 2012 with 63 percent of the vote.
Nationally, Republicans are trying to expand their 34-seat majority in the House and pick up the six seats they need to claim control of the Senate, an outcome that would likely make it still more difficult to reach bipartisan agreement on even mundane issues.
Neither of Maryland's senators is up for re-election this year. Sen.
There was less drama in Maryland's congressional primaries this year than in the 2012 election, when Delaney, then a newcomer, upset the state's Democratic establishment by trouncing then-state Sen. Rob Garagiola. The Potomac financier went on to beat 10-term Republican
This year, Delaney will face Republican Dan
State Republicans said they were focusing their resources on Bongino in an effort to reclaim the district, which includes Western Maryland and portions of
"It's the only one we have any reasonable shot of winning," said Joe Cluster, executive director of the Maryland Republican Party. He said redistricting had made the state's other Democratic-held seats difficult to break into.
But while it might be the GOP's best opportunity, Bongino nevertheless has a steep climb. For starters, Delaney beat Bartlett last time with nearly 59 percent of the vote — a hefty margin. He has shown a capacity to raise significant sums of money — about $2 million in 2012 — and to augment that haul with his own personal wealth.
And Delaney has taken a centrist and frequently bipartisan approach during his first term, which is likely to appeal to independent voters.
"I feel like I'm doing what I said I was going to do," Delaney said. "I think the country is so desperate for people who are going to try to work on constructive solutions."