Maryland State Elections Bring Few Surprises

The Maryland General Election on Nov. 6 brought few surprises in statewide and General Assembly races.  As expected, Governor Hogan won reelection handily, with a 300,000 vote margin over Democratic challenger Ben Jealous.  Hogan’s accomplishment is even more impressive when viewed in historical terms: (1) The highest number of votes ever received by a candidate for governor; (2) Only the second Republican governor to be reelected in Maryland’s history; and (3) Accomplishing reelection in the face of a blue wave that washed away many Republican candidates at the local level and in other states.

While Governor Hogan scored a huge personal victory, the Democratic Party maintained solid super majorities in both houses of the General Assembly and has the votes to override vetoes on virtually any issue.  There was one net pickup by Republicans in the Senate, leaving a 68% Democratic majority.  There was a 38% turnover in the Senate this year, although most new Senators are former members of the House of Delegates.

Republicans lost 5 incumbents and 3 open seats in the House of Delegates, turning back most of their pickups from the 2014 election.  This leaves Democrats with a 70% majority in the House.  There was a 29% turnover in the House this year.

With substantial changes in committee chairs and vice-chairs, many new members, and yet undetermined committee memberships, AOBA and its members will face new challenges in the 2019 legislative session.