The Maryland and West Virginia primaries had some interesting results

May 15 – The votes have been counted in Maryland and West Virginia primaries from yesterday and some of the winners may surprise you.

David Trone, a US Representative from Maryland’s 6th district, ran for the Democratic nomination to a US Senate seat in Maryland.

He lost to Angela Alsobrooks.

Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan took the Republican nomination for the US Senate seat.

A US Representative seat also saw an interesting race.

Hagerstown Mayor Tekesha Martinez did not get the Democratic nomination, however Neil Parrott will be on the Republican ticket this fall for that seat.

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “This Angela Alsobrooks is the story of the night locally and nationally. She’s making all of the national political headlines. Going back about a week ago, we mentioned that Emerson College poll that for the first time showed Alsobrooks ahead of Trone by one point and as we said yesterday, it just seemed like anecdotally momentum was moving her way and that is a thing in politics. Pollsters talk about it. Political scientists talk about it. She started racking up all of these endorsements from Barbara Mikulski, Governor Moore, Senator Van Hollen. So it seemed like a lot was going her way. I said yesterday, I thought maybe it might be a three point margin and I think what’s surprising everyone this morning is she won by a huge margin, over 10 points, in spite of Trone’s $60 million plus advertising spend. So this is really getting a lot of attention around the country. Here’s the thing if I’m Larry Hogan, because he easily won, of course, in the Republican primary, he probably didn’t want her to be his opponent in the fall, he would have preferred David Trone. Nonetheless, this is going to be a very competitive race in the fall. She is a very attractive candidate for a lot of reasons. But this is going to be maybe the marquee race in the country this fall.”

Trone will complete his term in his Representative seat, but will be out of politics, at least for now.

Barkdoll continued, “Here’s two other interesting things from Maryland, the Maryland 6, Trone’s seat that we’re now filling, we know that Neil Parrott won. He also won by a huge margin in that Republican primary over Dan Cox. It was not even close. But here’s a real bright spot if I’m Neil Parrott – if you look at the total voting in Maryland 6th, there were over 41,000 Republican votes. That compares to a little under 35,000 Democratic votes. This is a district that Cook Political Report and others always rate as lean Democrat. It’s not quite toss up. It’s not solid Democrat, it’s lean Democrat. But here you have a primary where the Republicans out voted the Democrats by over 6,000 votes. If I’m Neil Parrott, that is a really positive sign.”

Hogan’s victory speech was also interesting from last night.

Barkdoll said, “If you’re a Republican looking for raging, right, conservative politics, you’re not going to get it. His victory speech was about championing pro choice. We know he’s been very critical of Donald Trump. That happened again last night in the victory speech. He knows these are paths that he’s going to need to follow if he can win in the fall. Once again, Nikki Haley got 20% of the Republican primary votes for the presidential race in Maryland yesterday. That seems to be the number she continues to get even though she’s not even running a campaign at this point.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM added, “The big topic of the morning here was David Trone, who spent an enormous amount of money, record money, to lose yesterday on the path to the Senatorial role in Maryland. David Tyrone, out and the numbers are pretty amazing in the difference here.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “I’m totally not surprised, actually at the result of who’s going to be running against Hogan. That was that strategic shift which, it’s interesting that he did wait until pretty far into it, to make his declaration to run. I’m sure there was some strategic thinking there. Trone was spending a ton of money, and I do think he would have rather face Trone in the fall, but that’s why all these people then jumped behind the winner because she would be more of a challenge I believe to Hogan. I saw that, too, the enthusiasm level, because you should have seen as much enthusiasm for the 6th in the Democratic Party, as in the Republican Party, I think with all those candidates running for total votes. So that I do think that is positive for Neil. I think Neil needs to keep that momentum going. He needs to really search for keeping that enthusiasm alive because he’s going to need that to win. He has got name recognition now. He’s more moderate than Dan Cox. I think Dan Cox kind of has gained a reputation for being very far to the right. So I believe that helped Neil as well as the name recognition.”

Ryan said, “We’ve got a text in to Neil this morning. I’m also interested in the strategy. Alright, so you don’t necessarily need to spend as much time in Washington County and that bore out. We didn’t see a lot of Neil or hear a lot of Neil. He spent his time elsewhere and his resources elsewhere.”

Barkdoll confirmed, “That’s smart. If you look at that district, the demographics, the population centers are down there, in that Frederick, Gaithersburg portion of the district. That’s where the votes are and I think that’s likely where he devoted a lot of his resources. That race very much ties back into the Senate race, though, because these are the kinds of things you hear people talk about the top of the ticket and are their coattails? Well, there’s were Hogan and Alsobrooks could influence a race like this in the fall. Will that drive further turnout for either candidate? Of course, the Trump/Biden matchup will be influential in that as well. So we’re going to have some really good races in the fall here in Maryland.”

Ryan pointed out, “One of the things that also surprised me is Tekesha Martinez. She was running a strong digital campaign. She was out making a lot of door knocks, a lot of in person. I mean, she really ramped up her attempt to run for Congress and obviously she did not make that as well as what seemed to be a very well run machine.”

Barkdoll said, “She also raised a lot of money and I was sort of surprised by that. I was not expecting her to have the fundraising machinery that she did, but really did not perform well. I don’t know if it’s maybe just the name recognition issue. I mean, the Democratic nominee is April Delaney, the wife of John Delaney, who was the Congressman before David Trone, so she had big name recognition. She also put a million dollars of her own money into that race. She raised another million and then put a million in of her own, so she was going to be tough to beat by anyone. But I will say for Mayor Martinez, she is fine. I mean, I think she did well by herself as the mayor to run in a race. She raised a lot of money. She ran a good campaign. I think she’s well positioned if she has her eye on something in the future. She clearly got her name out there in a very effective way.”

Jansen agreed, “That was exactly my thought on it, too. She’s relatively new. She was council person to mayor, very fast and she’s got great I think relationships within Hagerstown, definitely. You’ve got her name out there for a broader audience. For her, this was a pathway maybe to something down the road. I don’t think she should be sad this morning because she didn’t win. I mean, obviously, when you have Delaney’s wife running, there’s an advantage there that I think would outweigh and all that money outweighs anything else, but I think she’s done well for herself to get her name out there and we’ll look for something for her in the future.”

In West Virginia, the race for the US Senate seat saw Republican Governor Jim Justice get the nomination over Alex Mooney.

Justice will face the Democratic nominee Glenn Elliott in the fall.

For governor, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey got the Republican nomination over Moore Capito.

Democrat Steve Williams ran uncontested for the governor’s seat.

In the 2nd Congressional district for the US house, Riley Moore takes the Republican nomination. Democrat Steve Wendelin ran uncontested.

Ryan said, “It’s a no brainer, Riley Moore, Washington bound most likely and win not even close.”

Barkdoll predicted, “Riley Moore will likely be the next Congressman for that panhandle area of the district. He’s the Treasurer of the State. We’ve interviewed him many times on this station and he lives in this area. He lives in the Harpers Ferry area, comes from that political dynasty family in West Virginia. I think you’re going to hear a lot more from him over the years. Jim justice, not surprisingly easily cruised to that Republican Senate nomination to replace Manchin. He likely will easily win that seat in the fall as well. Then on the governor’s race, the Attorney General Morrisey, this was a hot race. There were some high profile candidates but Morrissey, the Attorney General did win. It was a pretty close race. But because West Virginia is so deep red now, it’s a certainty almost that Morrissey will be the next Governor of West Virginia.”

Jansen added, “One thing on the West Virginia race. I did want to say I heard Jim Justice talking about what he would do if he gets to Washington. I like what he said. He said I’m not going down there to make friends. I’m going down there to shake things up and he has been somebody that’s willing to stand up to popular opinions on things. So I just enjoyed that he said that. We’ll see if he would follow through with that if he should be elected.”

Barkdoll said, “He also will instantly become one of the wealthiest members of Congress. He is very wealthy. He owns the Greenbrier. I think he’s someone that very much will march to the beat of his own drum. But one thing there too, he’s also not a young man. Assuming he wins and serves a term, he will be 80 at the end of one term in the US Senate. Now he’s healthy, he’s still very active. I don’t mean that in any way that he can’t do the job. But just remarkable in today’s politics that he will be a freshman senator at the age of 74 or so.”