United States House Elections Primer: Maryland


As we prepare for the 2020 elections, Yesh Ginsburg and Steen Kirby will give a general overview of all 435 United States House of Representatives races. This is a basic overview to introduce you to the major candidates. All Partisan Lean numbers are taken from the Cook Partisan Voting Index. We will update this page as the races progress if anything noteworthy arises.

Maryland has eight Congressional Districts, and none of them are expected to be particularly competitive in November. Still, there are plenty of interesting candidates running, so let’s meet them.

Maryland’s 1st Congressional District

Incumbent: Andrew Harris (Republican, fifth term)

Partisan Lean: R+14

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Andrew Harris (R) 183,662 59.98
Jesse Colvin (D) 116,631 38.09
Jenica Martin (L) 5,744 1.88

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Andrew Harris (R) 242,574 66.99
Joe Werner (D) 103,662 28.63
Matt Beers (L) 15,370 4.24

Republican Candidate:

Andrew Harris (campaign website)

Harris is Maryland’s only Republican representative, and he has held down this conservative district since 2010. His campaign focuses on his record and his status as a conservative, but it doesn’t matter much in an election that won’t be competitive.

Democratic Candidate:

Mia Mason (campaign website)

Mason is a progressive Democrat who supports Medicare for All. She has not raised or spent any money yet and doesn’t seem to be actively campaigning.

Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District

Incumbent: Dutch Ruppersberger (Democratic, ninth term)

Partisan Lean: D+11

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Dutch Ruppersberger (D) 167,201 66.01
Liz Matory (R) 77,782 30.71
Michael Carney (L) 5,215 2.06
Guillaume Mimoun (G) 2,904 1.15

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Dutch Ruppersberger (D) 192,183 62.1
Pat McDonough (R) 102,577 33.15
Kristin Kasprzak (L) 14,128 4.57

Republican Candidate:

Johnny Ray Sailing (campaign website)

Sailing is a very moderate Republican who takes an almost liberal stance on healthcare. He is conservative on taxation and proposes a simpler and flatter tax code generally.

Democratic Candidate:

Dutch Ruppersberger (campaign website)

Ruppersberger is a liberal Democrat who focuses mainly on healthcare issues and issues relating to older citizens. He takes a very moderate stance on immigration issues.

Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District

Incumbent: John Sarbanes (Democratic, seventh term)

Partisan Lean: D+13

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
John Sarbanes (D) 202,407 69.11
Charles Anthony (R) 82,774 28.26
J. David Lashar (L) 7,476 2.55

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
John Sarbanes (D) 214,640 63.19
Mark Plaster (R) 115,048 33.87
Nnabu Eze (G) 9,461 2.79

Republican Candidate:

Charles Anthony (campaign website)

Anthony has offered very few specific policy proposals and does not seem to be campaigning widely.

Democratic Candidate:

John Sarbanes (campaign website)

Sarbanes is a liberal Democrat who takes strong positions on campaign finance and elections. He focuses mainly on his record in Congress and his history of taking on President Trump.

Maryland’s 4th Congressional District

Incumbent: Anthony Brown (Democratic, second term)

Partisan Lean: D+28

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Anthony Brown (D) 209,642 78.06
George McDermott (R) 53,327 19.86
Dave Bishop (L) 5,326 1.98

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Anthony Brown (D) 237,501 74.07
George McDermott (R) 68,670 21.73
Kamesha Clark (G) 8,204 2.56
Benjamin Krause (L) 5,744 1.79

Republican Candidate:

George McDermott (campaign website)

McDermott is not a serious candidate (he even ran as a Democrat back in 2012), but his campaign website is worth a look. It’s… interesting, to say the least.

Democratic Candidate:

Anthony Brown (campaign website)

Brown hasn’t updated his campaign website since he was first elected four years ago. He doesn’t need to, though, as there is no real challenge to his election here.

Yesh’s notes: Brown’s foreign policy proposals are very moderate, almost conservative, and it would be interesting to see how much of that he stands by today, or if he has shifted a bit, especially on Iran, in reaction to President Trump.

Maryland’s 5th Congressional District

Incumbent: Steny Hoyer (Democratic, 20th term)

Partisan Lean: D+16

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Steny Hoyer (D) 213,796 70.22
William Devine III (R) 82,361 27.05
Patrick Elder (G) 4,082 1.34
Jacob Pulcher (L) 3,592 1.18

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Steny Hoyer (D) 223,582 69.36
Mark Arness (R) 98,768 30.64

Republican Candidate:

Chris Palombi (campaign website)

Palombi is an interesting mix of small government and moderate Republican. He is a hawk on the debt and generally anti-regulation, including in healthcare. At the same time, he takes a strong pro-immigration stance and is willing to regulate tech companies as he deems necessary.

Democratic Candidate:

Steny Hoyer (campaign website)

Hoyer is a consistent Democrat representing the D.C. suburbs. He is the House Majority Leader, making him the second highest ranking Democrat in Congress, and he has held this seat for 40 years now.

Maryland’s 6th Congressional District

Incumbent: David Trone (Democratic, first term)

Partisan Lean: D+6

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
David Trone (D) 163,346 58.95
Amie Hoeber (R) 105,209 27.97
Kevin Caldwell (L) 4,972 1.79
George Gluck (G) 3,275 1.18

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
John Delaney (D) 185,770 55.96
Amie Hoeber (R) 133,081 40.88
David Howser (L) 6,889 2.08
George Gluck (G) 5,824 1.75

Republican Candidate:

Neil Parrott (campaign website)

Parrott is a hard-line conservative who is campaigning on a talk radio-style platform. He is advocating for small government, lower taxes, and beating the Democrats.

Democratic Candidate:

David Trone (campaign website)

Trone founded the country’s largest alcohol-only supply company, and he spent millions of his own fortune on his 2018 campaign. It worked, and he won John Delaney’s (another self-made multi-millionare) seat. Trone is a moderate Democrat who wants to expand funding for healthcare, childcare, and other issues.

Maryland’s 7th Congressional District

Incumbent: Kweisi Mfume (Democratic, elected in April)

Partisan Lean: D+26

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Elijah Cummings (D) 202,345 76.44
Richmond Davis (R) 56,266 21.26
David Griggs (L) 5,827 2.2

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Elijah Cummings (D) 238,838 74.89
Corrogan Vaughn (R) 69,556 21.81
Myles Hoenig (G) 9,715 3.05

Republican Candidate:

Kim Klasic (campaign website)

Klasic is a GOP strategist who is running a campaign in Baltimore targeted at Black voters. The goal of the campaign is to convince Black voters––who overwhelmingly vote Democratic generally–that the Democratic Party has failed them. It’s also worth noting that Klasic is the rare Republican who isn’t explicitly pro-life. Her abortion plan is to allow other the counter birth control and to gather more information, and to determine proper policies from there.

Yesh’s notes: Klasic posted a campaign commercial that was viewed over 18 million times in its first 24 hours on Twitter and Facebook. It’s one of the better political commercials you’ll see, though its effectiveness is yet to be determined. If the general push works, though, expect to see Republicans trying to make inroads in Black communities with similar candidates and campaigns. Klasic pulled in 25% in the Special Election here in April, so we’ll get a good baseline on just how effective this campaign is.

This district also has an interesting Independent candidate, Amber Ivey. She has some funding, too. Ivey has a Andrew Yang-style economic outlook, and is generally liberal. If Klasic does have some impact in convincing voters that Democrats aren’t for them, then Ivey could be in good position to take advantage.

Democratic Candidate:

Kweisi Mfume (campaign website)

Mfume is a liberal Democrat pushing general Democratic Party policies. He continues the legacy of long-term Congressman Elijah Cummings, who held this seat for 23 years. Cummings first won the seat after Mfume resigned to become CEO of the NAACP.

Maryland’s 8th Congressional District

Incumbent: Jamie Raskin (Democratic, second term)

Partisan Lean: D+14

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Jamie Raskin (D) 217,679 68.17
John Walsh (R) 96,525 30.23
Jasen Wunder (L) 4,853 1.52

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Jamie Raskin (D) 220,657 60.57
Dan Cox (R) 124,651 34.21
Nancy Wallace (G) 11,201 3.07
Jasen Wunder (L) 7,283 2

Republican Candidate:

Gregory Coll (campaign website)

Coll is a standard conservative Republican who doesn’t seem to be actively campaigning too hard in this safe blue seat.

Democratic Candidate:

Jamie Raskin (campaign website)

Raskin is running focusing on his liberal record and campaigning against Trump and Republican actions over the past few years.


Races in Maryland rarely have much drama. The seats will almost certainly stay 7-1 in favor of the Democrats after November, though whether Klacik can make any headway at all in the 7th District is worth keeping an eye on.

Interested in the rest of our primers for other House races? We have them all listed on our primer home page.


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