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Kratovil Ruins Maryland Incumbents' Sweep in Congress

Capital News Service
Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010


WASHINGTON - Every member of Maryland's congressional delegation won re-election Tuesday, except Rep. Frank Kratovil, whose two-year incumbency in the Eastern Shore district was the only one of the state's seats affected by a nearly universal call for change.


"There was obviously a wave of nationwide change -- swapping out incumbents with newcomers -- that didn't materialize in Maryland," said Eric Wargotz, who lost his bid to unseat Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. "But even though we weren't victorious, the nation was victorious."


Republicans won 60 more seats in the House of Representatives, as of late Wednesday, to take over the majority. Democrats lost six seats in the Senate, but retained their hold on the majority.


Wargotz fell to Mikulski by 438,489 votes, or 36 percent, to Mikulski's 61.8 percent.


Of the seven congressional incumbents who retained their offices, District 4 Democrat Donna Edwards, D-Fort Washington, enjoyed the largest margin of victory, garnering 149,566 votes, or 83.5 percent, to Robert Broadus's 29,234, or 16 percent. The district includes portions of Montgomery and Prince George's counties.


Longtime incumbent Steny Hoyer, D-Mechanicsville, who will soon lose his post as House majority leader after a tide of nationwide Republican triumphs flooded the House chamber Tuesday, beat his tea party challenger by some 30 percent in District 5, which encompasses Charles, Calvert and St. Mary's counties, as well as portions of Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties. While Republican Charles Lollar netted a formidable 79,359 votes, Hoyer won with 145,411 votes.


District 2 Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Cockeysville, routed his GOP opponent, Marcelo Cardarelli, 64 percent to 33 percent of the vote, or 127,110 to 66,382 votes out of 198,485 ballots cast, according to unofficial counts. The 2nd District includes portions of Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Harford counties, as well as Baltimore City.


Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Towson, trounced Republican Jim Wilhelm, by 24 points. Sarbanes's district, which gave him 137,058 votes to Wilhelm's 81,916, includes portions of Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties, as well as Baltimore City.


District 6, the only reliably red district in Maryland, returned nine-term Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Frederick, to office, rejecting Democrat Andrew Duck's bid by a comfortable 66,777 votes. The 6th district encompasses Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties, as well as portions of Baltimore, Hartford and Montgomery counties.


Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Baltimore, also won handily over his nearest opponent, Republican Frank Mirabile Jr., gathering 142,395 votes to Mirabile's 43,930 in District 7, which includes portions of Baltimore and Howard counties in addition to Baltimore City.


Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Kensington, who as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee may end up with some of the blame for the huge Democratic losses in the House, will also see another two years. Van Hollen drubbed Republican Michael Lee Philips with nearly 73 percent to 25 percent. Van Hollen collected 137,909 votes this time around and won by about 90,000 votes.


In Maryland's only real swing district -- it's gone from Republican to Democratic and back again in six years -- freshman Rep. Frank Kratovil Jr. conceded to state Sen. Andy Harris shortly after 10 p.m. on Tuesday in a 1st District race that surprised pundits by not being as close as they thought.


"The results tonight ... show us that the American Dream is still alive," Harris told the 200-or-so attendees at his after party at Harris Crab House on Kent Narrows. "We're going to make sure America remains a land of opportunity."


As of Wednesday evening, Harris tallied 146,272 to 111,237 votes, or 54 percent to 41 percent of the total votes cast, according to Maryland State Board of Election figures.


Charles Dyes, a 55-year-old businessman at the party, supported Harris because, he said, Kratovil has been largely unresponsive to his constituents. "Where's (Kratovil) been?" he said. "He's been a ghost."


In another crab joint not far from Harris's election-night jamboree, Kratovil's supporters were more somber.


"There's a bad image of the Democratic Party and I think he's (Kratovil) taken the brunt of it," Matt Pinder, a 25-year-old Kratovil supporter said.


Official election results will be certified on Dec. 1, after all provisional and absentee ballots are counted.

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Banner graphic by Newsline's Ben Giles.