Hogan's acceptance speech (via WJZ-TV)
Hogan’s acceptance speech (via WJZ-TV)
Hogan’s acceptance speech (via WJZ-TV)

Larry Hogan pulled off the upset. In one of Election Day’s biggest surprises nationwide, the Republican businessman and anti-tax activist defeated Democrat Anthony Brown to become governor of deep-blue Maryland. 

In a state where Democrats notoriously outnumber Republicans 2-to-1, the race was seen as the lieutenant governor’s to lose. But by the end of the night, the state’s current sec0nd-in-command was headed for a substantial loss. With 95 percent of precincts reporting, Hogan was ahead 51.9 percent -46.4 percent. The AP called the race at 12:05 a.m. Reactions like “Wow,” “Yowza” and “stunner” followed – and that was just from CNN pundits.

“This is the largest mandate for change in Maryland in 63 years,” Hogan said during his acceptance speech.

Hogan, who founded a commercial real estate brokerage, emerged as a critic of current Governor Martin O’Malley by founding Change Maryland in 2011. The organization was focused on opposing tax and economic policies carried out by by the “Annapolis establishment,” and Hogan carried that message throughout his campaign.

“Tonight the voters of Maryland rejected the politics of deception and division,” Hogan said. “Tonight the voters showed that they were completely fed up with politics as usual. Tonight, voters held our leaders accountable for 8 years of failed economic policies. Tonight, Democrats crossed over, and showed the wisdom of JFK who said sometimes party loyalty demands too much.”

He also promised to roll back as many of O’Malley’s “40 tax increases” as he could.

In College Park, Brown was forced to concede a race that statistics guru Nate Silver said had a 94 percent chance of winning. He was joined on stage by prominent Maryland Democrats like Congressmen Elijah Cummings, Dutch Ruppersberger and Steny Hoyer. O’Malley was not with him, according to WJZ-TV.

“Larry and his team have a tough road ahead of them,” Brown said in his concession speech. “I wish them the very best as they travel that road.”

Brown wasn’t the only Democrat to lose big on Tuesday. Nationally, the Dems lost control of the U.S. Senate after dropping a host of key races.

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Technical.ly Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.