Image via Wikimedia Commons

After all the months of polls, campaign ads and debates–or in the case of Maryland’s gubernatorial election, a single debate–people across the country finally cast their ballots in today’s midterm elections. Nationally, analysts will be looking to see if voters deliver a blue wave, with candidates like Texas’ Beto O’Rourke and Georgia’s Stacey Abrams tapping into many Americans’ anger and resentment over President Donald Trump.

Knowing there will be no shortage of national coverage on the fate of the Congress, we here at Baltimore Fishbowl will instead focus on some of the races here in Baltimore and across the Old Line State, where polls close at 8 p.m. Here are a few races we’ll be keying on as the results roll in:

11:43 p.m.: Democratic Anne Arundel County executive candidate Steuart Pittman has unseated Republican Steve Schuh, joining Howard County’s Calvin Ball in unseating a popular GOP incumbent. With all precincts reporting, Pittman, a horse trainer from Davidsonville, is beating Schuh 52 to 48. The Republican conceded defeat this evening.

Pittman had been gaining ground in the polls recently, and focused much of his recent campaign on highlighting Schuh’s financial backing from developers. (EM)

11:39 p.m.: The only change to Maryland’s Congressional delegation comes from the Sixth District, a seat previously held by Rep. John Delaney (D), who’s already announced he’s running for president in 2020. Democrat David Trone, a co-founder of the local liquor store chain Total Wine & More, soundly defeated Republican Amie Hoeber.

The state’s six incumbent Democratic representatives (C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Anthony Brown, Steny Hoyer Elijah Cummings and Jamie Raskin) and one incumbent Republican representative (Andy Harris) all cruised to victory.

As we reported earlier, Sen. Ben Cardin easily won another term. Sen. Chris Van Hollen is not up for re-election until 2022. (BW)

11:15 p.m.: Here’s Ben Jealous’ speech conceding victory to Gov. Larry Hogan:

And here’s Hogan celebrating his historic re-election in Annapolis:


11:10 p.m.: The Baltimore City Green Party has come up short in its quest to secure representation in the Maryland General Assembly. The party’s local star, Joshua Harris, logged a respectable 14 percent of the vote for one of three open delegate seats in District 40, but didn’t come close to unseating the next-closest candidate, incumbent Del. Frank Conaway, Jr. (26 percent). Del. Nick Mosby won re-election with 30 percent of the vote, and labor advocate and rookie candidate Melissa Wells also won easily with 29 percent.

Dr. Drew Pate won just 7 percent of the vote in District 41, while incumbent Sandy Rosenberg and newcomers Tony Bridges and Dalya Attar (all 31 percent) handily won seats. And in District 43, Bonnie “Raven” Lane managed only 8.5 percent of the vote as embattled longtime Del. Curt Anderson (27 percent), soon-to-be House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Maggie McIntosh (32 percent) and community activist Regina Boyce (32) secured spots in the legislature.

And in District 45, where the Greens were running both Andy Ellis and Glenn Ross, the pair combined for less than 10 percent of the vote. Incumbents Talmadge Branch (26 percent), Cheryl Glenn (28 percent), as well as Stephanie Smith, formerly an assistant director in the Baltimore City Department of Planning (27 percent), were elected to spots in the House. (EM)

11:06 p.m.: With all 118 precincts in, Howard County has a new executive in County Councilman Calvin Ball, who beat the incumbent, Republican Allan Kittleman, by 4 points.

Much like the Baltimore County executive’s race, this result saw a number of people back Larry Hogan for governor, only to select a Democrat further down the ticket. (BW)

10:53 p.m.: It appears the state Republican Party has fallen short of its goal to flip five seats in the Maryland State Senate. While it looks like the GOP has large enough margins of victory in District 38 and District 42, they are either struggling or well behind some of their other targeted areas. As of this writing, they are down 14 points in District 3 with 80 percent of precincts reporting, down 30 points in District 12 with 88 percent of precincts reporting, down 11 points in District 30 with more than 70 percent of the precincts reporting and down 30 points in District 32 with nearly half the precincts reporting.

They came close in Baltimore County’s District 8, with the incumbent, Democratic Sen. Katherine Klausmeier, edging Republican Del. Christian Miele by little more than a point.

If these results hold, Democrats should have the numbers to override any of Gov. Larry Hogan’s vetoes in the next legislative session. (BW)

10:38 p.m.: The Howard County executive’s race is still too early to call, with 50 of 118 precincts reporting, but so far Democrat Calvin Ball is ahead by eight points over incumbent Republican Allan Kittleman, leading him 54 to 46.

Ball, the chairman of the Howard County Council and a member of the lawmaking body since 2006, is looking to unseat Kittleman, who’s led the county through two devastating floods in historic Ellicott City and maintained favor among voters in a jurisdiction where Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one. (EM)

10:30 p.m.: In one of the more puzzling results to come out of the election, John Olszewski, Jr., a progressive Democrat, has bested his Republican opponent, Al Redmer Jr., for Baltimore County executive by roughly 15 points–even though voters there overwhelmingly chose Hogan in the governor’s race.

As we noted in our Q&A with Redmer, many of the candidate’s signs prominently displayed that he was “Governor HOGAN Endorsed,” and in recent days the campaign aired an ad in which the two men discuss their working relationship.

But it appears Hogan’s backing was not nearly enough to get Redmer into the winner’s circle. (BW)

10:25 p.m.: After a painstaking delay in publishing voting data from across the state, the State Board of Elections has dumped most of it out en masse on its website.

The big news: Gov. Larry Hogan has indeed been elected to a second term, becoming the first Republican to do it in Maryland since Theodore McKeldin in 1954. With 1,418 of the state’s 1,991 precincts reporting, he’s up with 57 percent of the vote to Ben Jealous’ 42 percent.

Jealous had held out on ceding the election to his GOP counterpart until everyone had had a chance to vote across the state.

Hogan’s camp has already been partying since the AP called it shortly after 9 p.m. He included a political surfing pun in his victory speech. (EM)

Gov. Larry Hogan: “Tonight in this deep blue state, in this blue year, with a blue wave – It turns out I can surf.”

— Talia Richman (@TaliRichman) November 7, 2018

9:25 p.m.: Shortly after the votes started rolling in from a few precincts, the updates have slowed to a halt. While WYPR and the AP are both reporting results from a small number (2 to 3 percent) of Maryland’s 1991 precincts, showing Gov. Larry Hogan leading Ben Jealous 51 percent to 48, the State Board of Elections hasn’t published any figures. Officials are holding out because some voters are still waiting for a chance to cast their ballots in Prince George’s County.

While Montgomery County initially had 11 precincts reporting, which showed Jealous in the lead over Hogan in the jurisdiction, officials there have since pulled their results for the same reason.

“Early voting results and subsequent results will not be posted until all the polls have closed,” the jurisdiction’s board of elections posted on its website. “We have been advised not to post any results on our Local Board of Election Web Site until the State Board of Elections orders the results released.”

To add to the confusion, a handful of outlets have already called the race for Hogan, and his team is already celebrating at the Westin in Annapolis. (EM)

The AP has called the race for Hogan, and his supporters are dancing to “Wake me up before you go-go.” No announcement here yet

— Rachel Chason (@Rachel_Chason) November 7, 2018

8:43 p.m.: If you’re wondering why the state’s election results have not updated yet, here’s a big reason why.

Washington County Board of Elections is waiting for all Maryland precincts to close before releasing results, including early voting. With over 1,000 in line to vote in PG County, it’s going to be a long night. #Election2018 @HeraldMailNews

— Julie Greene (@JulieGreeneHM) November 7, 2018

And as The Sun‘s Kalani Gordon points out, the state won’t release any results until all counties have reported. (BW)

8:29 p.m.: The results of early voting in two critical counties are streaming in. In Baltimore County, Gov. Larry Hogan leads Ben Jealous 58 to 41, with 11 precincts reporting. Meanwhile, in Montgomery County, Jealous leads Hogan 59 to 40, with 11 precincts counted.

Interestingly enough, in the Baltimore County executive race, John Olszewski, Jr. has jumped out to a commanding lead over Al Redmer, 63 to 37. Still way too early to draw any conclusions, but the early disconnect in the gubernatorial and county executive numbers is intriguing. (BW)

8:12 p.m.: News organizations have already called the Massachusetts governor’s race for Charlie Baker. Why does that matter? Like Larry Hogan, Baker is a highly popular Republican in a deep-blue state.

In a recent poll, Baker was named the most popular governor in the country. Hogan came in second. (BW)

8:10 p.m.: Unsurprisingly, CNN is projecting Sen. Ben Cardin will keep his seat as he’s elected to a third term in Congress’ upper house, defeating Republican challenger Tony Campbell. He’s among a group of six Democrats (to start)–also including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts), Tom Carper (Delaware), Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island), Chris Murphy (Connecticut) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio)–projected to be re-elected. (EM)

7:03 p.m.: The Baltimore City Board of Elections says that as of 4 p.m., 71,529 people, or about 18 percent of eligible voters, have cast their ballots today, excluding early and absentee voters. A more recent update was unavailable, and a staffer said a fuller tally wouldn’t be available until after polls close at 8 p.m.

Speaking of which, a reminder: If you have a spot in line at 8 p.m., stay in line. You can still vote. (Ethan McLeod)

6:10 p.m.
The Maryland governor’s race: Poll after poll has shown Republican Gov. Larry Hogan with a comfortable lead. If he were to win, Hogan would be the first Republican governor to win re-election since Theodore McKeldin in 1954. Meanwhile, the campaign of Democratic challenger Ben Jealous, a venture capitalist and former president of the NAACP, has said a surge in Democratic voters angry with Trump will carry him over the top. We’ll know for sure in a few hours.

Two telling county executive races: In some ways, the Baltimore County executive’s race is similar to the one for the governor’s mansion: a middle-of-the-road Republican versus a young, progressive Democrat looking to push the party on ideas such as a $15 minimum wage. One of Redmer’s key selling points is his great relationship with the immensely popular Hogan. This should prove to be a good test of the governor’s coattails.

Similarly, incumbent Republican Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman is facing a challenge from young upstart Calvin Ball.

Maryland GOP’s Fight for Five: Another test of Hogan’s clout will be the state Republican party’s “Drive for Five” campaign. If they can flip five seats in the Maryland Senate, the Democrats will no longer have a veto-proof majority, possibly leading to a more moderate tone in the upcoming legislative session. They are targeting races in: District 3 (Frederick County), Sen. Ron Young (D) vs. Craig Giangrande (R); District 8 (Baltimore County), Sen. Katherine Klausmeier (D) vs. Del. Christian Miele (R); District 12 (Baltimore and Howard counties), Del. Clarence Lam (D) vs. Joe Hooe (R); District 30 (Anne Arundel County), Sarah Elfreth (D) and former Del. Ron George (R); District 32 (Anne Arundel County), Del. Pamela Beidle (D) vs. County Councilman John Grasso (R); District 38 (Somerset and Worcester counties) Sen. James Mathias (D) vs. Del. Mary Beth Carozza; and District 42 (Baltimore County), Robbie Leonard (D) vs. Del. Chris West (R).

Can the Green Party win big by going small?: As Baltimore Fishbowl previously reported, the Baltimore Green Party, after making gains during the 2016 election, is focusing its efforts on seats in the House of Delegates the party sees as vulnerable. It’s a smart strategy, and with voters getting to choose up to three candidates on the ballot, the chances of an upset seem much better.

Ballot questions: Statewide, voters will decide if revenue from casino gambling must be spent on education (Question 1) and whether Maryland should offer voter registration on Election Day (Question 2). Here in the city, voters have a chance to approve or turn down initiatives to separate the inspector general’s office from the mayor (Question F), prohibit the city from privatizing the water supply (Question E), create public financing for future local elections (Question H) and establish an equity fund (Question I). (Brandon Weigel)