2022 Midterms: What to Watch in the Maryland Primary

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Republican race for governor of Maryland in tuesday primary election pits a candidate backed by outgoing Governor Larry Hogan against a rival backed by Donald Trump.

It’s about a early showdown at hogan’s house as he weighs a 2024 White House bid, potentially against the former president.

On the Democratic side, the crowded field of candidates includes the former head of the national Democratic Party, a bestselling author, the current state comptroller and former US secretary of education.

US Senator Chris Van Hollen faces a major challenge as he seeks a second term after suffering a stroke. In the US House of Representatives, Maryland has one seat available after the incumbent decided to seek a different office.

What to see:

GOVERNOR

Democrats are eager to win back the governor’s office. Hogan is a rare two-term Republican governor in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1.

The Democratic gubernatorial primary is shaping up to be a competitive three-way race between former US Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, who previously served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee; author Wes Moore, who held a virtual fundraiser with Oprah Winfrey; and State Comptroller Peter Franchot, who won wide margins of victory in his four terms as state tax collector.

Voters are casting ballots with the potential to make history in November: Moore or former US Secretary of Education John King could become the state’s first black governor, and Pérez could become the state’s first Latino CEO.

For the Republican Party, Kelly Schulz presents herself as Hogan’s chosen successor to carry on his legacy. Schulz served as secretary of labor in the Hogan administration and later as head of the state department of commerce. She is a former state legislator from Frederick County.

Schulz, the only woman in the field, would be Maryland’s first female governor if she wins in November. She maintains that she is the only Republican in the primary who could take advantage of Hogan’s unusual political success in a heavily Democratic state.

She is running against Dan Cox, a state legislator who has been endorsed by Trump. Early in the pandemic, Cox sued over Hogan’s stay-at-home orders and regulations, saying they were unconstitutional. The request was later dismissed by a judgewho said Hogan had a duty as governor to protect public health.

cox too filed an indictment against Hogan, accusing him of violating residents’ rights by issuing orders that were “restrictive and prolonged” during the pandemic. Lawmakers rejected the effort.

He helped organize busloads of protesters to go to Washington for the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the US Capitol insurrection on January 6. Cox has said that he did not march on Capitol Hill afterwards and condemned the violence.

UNITED STATES SENATE

Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat, is seeking his second term. He first won election to the chamber in 2016, replacing retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who was then the longest-serving woman in congressional history.

van hollen suffered a minor stroke in May, but said doctors had told her there would be no long-term effects or harm. She said he experienced dizziness and sharp neck pain while giving a speech and sought medical attention once he returned home.

Van Hollen has only one challenger in his Democratic primary: Michelle Smith, a Freedom of Information Act policy analyst at the US Agency for International Development. Van Hollen previously served seven terms in the US House of Representatives.

Ten Republicans are seeking the GOP nomination, including Chris Chaffee, who ran unsuccessfully against US Rep. Steny Hoyer in 2014.

Van Hollen, who is expected to win his primary, would be a heavy favorite in November. Maryland has not had a Republican US senator in the last 35 years.

UNITED STATES HOUSE

The state has eight electoral districts but only one vacant seat this cycle.

Democratic Rep. Anthony Brown, who has represented Maryland’s 4th congressional district, is resign after three terms run for attorney general. Former Rep. Donna Edwards, who served from 2008 to 2017, is running to recapture her job representing the majority-black district in the suburbs of the nation’s capital. She will face former county prosecutor Glenn Ivey.

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Follow AP for full coverage of midterms at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and on Twitter, https://twitter.com/ap_politics.

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