The Maryland Primary Elections ware held this week on Tuesday, July 19 across the state. Several major seats were up for grabs including governor, comptroller and attorney general, as well as key races happening for the Senate, House of Representatives, and Montgomery County Executive.
Results have been announced in every election except the Democratic primary for Montgomery County Executive, where votes are still being counted. As of Sunday morning, incumbent Marc Elrich is leading David Blair by a razor-thin margin with less than 300 votes separating the two.
In case you missed it Sunday morning, FOX 5's "On the Hill" program hosted journalist and political expert Robert McCartney to talk about the outcomes of the primaries and what comes next.
Tom Fitzgerald began the interview by asking McCartney about the republican primary for Governor, where Donald Trump backed candidate, Dan Cox, beat out Larry Hogan backed candidate, Kelly Schulz, and whether Cox's victory was expected.
"If you look at the polls during the campaign, it wasn't that surprising because the polls always had Cox very competitive with Schulz. But I think if you'd asked most people at the beginning of the race, they would have said Schulz was going to win going away. Larry Hogan had been governor for two terms, he was one of the most popular governors in the country. But, the republicans turned their back on Larry Hogan and went with someone much further to the right, really the polar opposite of Larry Hogan," said McCartney.
He went on to explain that, while Cox was able to get an upset in the primary, he believes that it is very unlikely that Cox will be able to beat out the democratic nominee in Maryland, where Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one.
"Cox is the opposite of the kind of Republican who historically has won in Maryland. If you're a republican in Maryland, you have to win, not just independents, but as you said moderate Democrats and Cox is, you know an ardent pro Trumper," said McCartney. "I just think he's the opposite of what Maryland as a whole is likely to want."
As for the Democratic nominee, the Associated Press projected Friday that political newcomer Wes Moore was the winner in that election. Moore who was running for elective office for the first time, was able to beat out an experienced field of politicians that included long-time Maryland comptroller Peter Franchot, and former Obama cabinet member Tom Perez.
Fitzgerald asked McCartney to weigh in on how this victory was possible.
"I think Moore is a very charismatic candidate. He ran a very good campaign, he has a very attractive life story, and he emerged as the, if you will, the premier African American candidate," explained McCartney. "If you look at the results, he did extremely well in black majority districts, Prince George's County, Baltimore City, and black areas of Baltimore County. And, I think to some extent, the other candidates split the vote."
McCartney was then asked about the neck and neck race happening right now in the Democratic primary for Montgomery County Executive. In 2016, Marc Elrich beat out David Blair by just 77 votes, and, as mentioned above, the two are headed for another tight result. So Fitzgerald asked McCartney how this could be happening again four years later.
"I think there’s a real division within Montgomery County over the issue of development and economic growth, and basically people who are sort of wary of too much development and don't want the county to get too crowded, have opted for Elrich," said McCartney. "But a lot of people are concerned that the county isn't generating enough jobs, isn’t doing enough, isn’t building enough housing, and those people have tended to vote for Blair."
The results in that race remain up in the air because the county's mail-in votes are still being counted by election officials due to a Maryland law that requires the counting of those ballots to be held off until two days after the election.
McCartney believes that could change in Maryland depending on who wins the Governor's Office.
"I think that if Wes Moore does win the governorship, as a lot of people expect, that they‘ll change the law and allow the mail in votes to be counted before the election day, which is how most states do it. That isn't happening in Maryland only because Larry Hogan vetoed the bill."
Make sure to tune into "On The Hill" every Sunday morning on FOX 5, starting at 8:30 a.m.