Credit: File photo

Democratic Rep. David Trone of Potomac will face a re-election challenge from Republican state Del. Neil Parrott of Hagerstown in November. The contest will be a rematch of the 2020 race, when the 6th District was more Democratic than it is now. 

Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, in the 8th congressional District, were renominated as well  in Tuesday’s primary election.  

In the contest for the 4th District, which includes part of Montgomery County, former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey was leading challenger and former Rep. Donna Edwards, according to results released by the State Board of Elections.

In early returns, builder Chris Chaffee was leading the Republican pack to challenge Van Hollen, of Kensington. 

Raskin, a Takoma Park resident, looked likely to be challenged by Republican Gregory Coll, a Northrop-Grumman engineer, for the 8th district seat. Jeff Warner of Prince George’s County was ahead in the Republican field for the 4th district as of late Tuesday. 

In those two heavily Democratic House districts, winning the party primary is often viewed as tantamount to winning the general election in November. 

4th District leaning Ivey 

Although nine Democrats were running for the 4th District nomination to succeed Rep. Anthony Brown, who sought the Democratic nod for state attorney general Tuesday, the 4th District race largely came down to two candidates: Edwards and Ivey. 

As of around midnight, Ivey had 22,389 votes (51.72%) to Edwards’ 15,133 (34.96%). 

About 95% of the 4th District is located in neighboring Prince George’s County; it was redrawn to include a section of Montgomery in this year’s decennial redistricting.  

Edwards represented the 4th District until 2016, when she relinquished it to make an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate. Ivey that year ran for the Democratic nomination for the seat, finishing second to Brown. Ivey is part of what has become a mini-political dynasty in Prince George’s County: His wife, Jolene, is running unopposed for a second term on the County Council after earlier serving in the Maryland House of Delegates, where the couple’s son, Julian, is up for re-election this year.  

While there is little ideological difference between Edwards and Ivey—both committed liberals—on most issues, the contest between the two turned acrimonious as outside advocacy groups poured in large amounts of money. 

The United Democracy Project, a so-called super PAC allied with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), spent nearly $6 million on ads to boost Ivey. Edwards, who has espoused views sympathetic to the Palestinian people, was quoted by Maryland Matters earlier this month as calling the effort “reprehensible” and “garbage.” 

At the same time, a super PAC associated with J Street—another pro-Israel group that takes a less hawkish view toward Israeli-Palestinian relations than AIPAC—spent $725,000 on behalf of Edwards. And the LCV Victory Fund, a super PAC tied to the League of Conservation Voters, spent $650,000 to boost Edwards, who also racked up numerous union endorsements. 

Ivey received the endorsement of the Washington Post, along with that of former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and former Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. Several members of Congress who served with Edwards endorsed her, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California. 

Edwards has been criticized in some quarters for an inattention to constituent service during her previous tenure in Congress; she has been contrite when that subject was raised, while promising to do better if she is returned to Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, she may have been pleas to restore female representation to the Maryland congressional delegation from which women have been shut out since 2016, when Sen. Barbara Mikulski retired and Edwards fell short in a primary against now-Sen. Chris Van Hollen in her bid to succeed Mikulski. 

6th District rematch 

Two years ago, Trone beat Parrott 59% to 39%, in the former, more Democratic-leaning 6th. While Trone faced limited opposition in this primary, he could face a tough battle in November to win a third term. 

Trone was elected in District 6 in 2018 after finishing second to Raskin in the Democratic primary in District 8 two years earlier.  

After a judge this year threw out an initial redistricting plan adopted by the Democratic-dominated Maryland General Assembly, a second plan drawn up by the Democrats to meet the court’s objections made the 6th District more competitive than it has been over the past decade. 

About one-quarter of the residents of the district – which stretches from the Washington, D.C., suburbs 200 miles to the western edge of the Maryland Panhandle – still live in the western portion of Democratic dominated Montgomery County. But that’s down from the past decade, when Montgomery comprised about one-third of the total district. 

Under the new lines, Trone’s district also picked up all of neighboring Frederick County – acquiring some Republican-dominated territory where it had previously included only the more Democratic-leaning areas in and around the city of Frederick. 

In early returns for their respective parties, Trone counted 18,140 votes (78.32%), and Parrott had 25,308 votes (64.45%). The Associated Press called the Democratic primary at 10:01 p.m. and the Republican primary at 10:03 p.m. 

While Parrott garnered the endorsement of The Washington Post for the Republican nomination (which also endorsed Trone for renomination on the Democratic line), both Gov. Larry Hogan and U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California — in line to become House speaker if the Republicans retake control of Congress this fall — endorsed 25-year-old Matthew Foldi of Gaithersburg, a former chair of the Montgomery County Young Republicans who most recently worked as a journalist for the conservative Washington Free Beacon. 

Foldi came in second in Tuesday’s primary. 

But no one is counting out Trone – one of Congress’ wealthiest members as co-owner of a chain of more than 230 alcohol beverage retail outlets across the country. In winning his seat in 2018, Trone spent $17 million out of his own pocket – a record for a self-finance congressional campaign. And, facing a competitive re-election bid this year, he’s already fronted his campaign $12.5 million from his personal assets. 

Raskin renominated in 8th District 

Raskin secured the Democratic nomination for the 8th congressional district. The three-term incumbent won 50,288 votes (93.12%) in early returns, blowing challenger Andalib Odulate out of the water. 

The Associated Press called the race at 10:05 p.m. 

Coll is predicted to win the Republican primary, having won 6,906 votes (83.54%) in early returns. His opponent, Michael Yadeta, had 1,361 votes (16.46%). 

Raskin and the Republican nominee will go head-to-head in November.  

As a result of redistricting, the large majority of Montgomery County now lies in the 8th District represented by Raskin, who had little trouble winning a fourth term. 

An increasingly prominent figure on the national scene thanks to serving as lead manager of former president Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial and a member of the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, most of the current speculation about Raskin’s political future looks ahead to 2024 – and whether he will run for a U.S. Senate seat if Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, who will be 81 in two years, opts to retire. 

Van Hollen’s Senate showing 

Van Hollen, running for his second term in the Senate, sailed through the Democratic primary. As of early Wednesday, the longtime legislator had 266,751 votes (77.96%). Challenger Michelle L. Smith, a Freedom of Information Act specialist for the U.S. Agency for International Development, had 75,425 votes (22.04%). 

The Republican field for Senate was much larger, with 10 candidates, and more competitive. Leading in early results was builder and perennial candidate Chaffee of Frederick, with 40,798 votes (21.77%), followed by Garrett County nurse Lorie R. Friend, with 27,210 votes (14.52%); and John Thormann of Baltimore County, with 25,209 votes (13.45%).