The Maryland Primary Elections are happening on Tuesday, July 19 across the state. Several major seats are 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.
Ahead of the elections, FOX 5's "On the Hill" hosted two journalists Sunday morning to get a preview of two of the state's biggest races, Governor and Montgomery County Executive. Between them, Erin Cox from The Washington Post and Danielle Gaines from Maryland Matters, have over a decade of experience covering Maryland politics.
The two journalists first discussed Maryland's race for the Governor's Office.
Erin Cox weighed in saying that the race is extremely tight among the nine possible candidates, with the top three candidates currently being locked neck and neck in polling. She added that many of the candidates she has spoken to say the voters they are meeting with are still undecided even with days left until the election.
Tom Fitzgerald then asked, looking ahead in the race for the Governor's Office, which political party will have the advantage after the primaries are over.
Danielle Gaines believes that Democrats have the advantage because Democratic voters outnumber Republican voters in the state two to one. Despite, the obvious advantage Gaines believes that Republicans still have the ability to take the Governor's Office because "Republicans have won three out of the last five governor elections" in the state.
The two experts also discussed how the Republican primary in Maryland could shape the 2024 presidential elections. Right now, candidate Kelly Schulz is backed my Maryland's current governor Larry Hogan, while another Republican candidate, Dan Cox, is backed by former President Donald Trump, so Fitzgerald posed the question of if this election is a test for Hogan's ability to beat Trump in an election.
Cox responded that, despite Larry Hogan's denial of this election having that much importance, many people on the outside see it as a proxy war between Hogan and Trump. Ultimately, she believes how close the election results turn out will determine whether it will have an impact on the national race and whether the Republican Party will lean more towards Hogan or Trump.
"If Larry Hogan's candidate wins or loses by a couple votes, that's a much different scenario than if Dan Cox comes in here and really takes the thing home."
The conversation then turn to the race for Montgomery County Executive. The experts agree that whichever Democratic candidate wins Tuesday's primary is likely to be the favorite to win the seat of Montgomery County Executive later in the fall. That's because Democrats outnumber Republicans in the county by an even larger margin than they already do in the state.
As for when we could see the election results, both our experts said that it could take days or even weeks for Marylanders to know who the winners of the primaries are, because Maryland is only state in the country that does not start counting mail-in ballots until two days after the in-person voting.
Make sure to tune into "On The Hill" every Sunday morning on FOX 5, starting at 8:30 a.m.