Capital News Service
Democrat John Delaney ended Rep. Roscoe Bartlett’s 10-term reign in the U.S. House of Representatives on an election night that otherwise featured no surprises among Maryland’s federal races.
Bartlett, the 86-year-old Buckeystown resident who has represented Maryland’s 6th Congressional District since 1993, fell to 38.1 percent in vote totals Wednesday. Delaney captured 58.6 percent, with Libertarian candidate Nickolaus Mueller taking 3.2 percent.
“It has been my great honor to serve the constituents of the 6th District of Maryland for the past 20 years,” Bartlett said in a statement. “Although the election did not have the outcome we had hoped for, we can hold our heads high knowing that we have fought for the principles and values we care about.”
Delaney thanked Maryland's 6th District constituents and said his campaign was about standing together and working for the common good.
"I promise to work as hard as I can to make differences in your lives, pursue opportunities, and help overcome challenges," Delaney said in his acceptance speech to supporters at the Bolger Conference Center in Potomac.
In the presidential contest, as in 2008, Maryland awarded its 10 electoral votes to President Barack Obama, who won with 61.4 percent of the vote to Mitt Romney's 36.5. Maryland was never expected to be in play, and neither candidate spent much time on the campaign trail in the state.
The other incumbents in Maryland’s congressional delegation were also re-elected by comfortable margins. Democratic first-term Sen. Ben Cardin took 55.2 percent of the vote to win the three-way race against Republican Dan Bongino, a former U.S. Secret Service agent who took 26.6 percent, and independent candidate Rob Sobhani, a businessman who funneled more than $6 million into his own campaign. Sobhani got 16.9 percent.
Maryland continues to be one of the most Democratic states in the country, having cast its electoral votes for the Democratic candidate in the last six presidential elections.
Delaney, a financier who in 2000 founded the commercial lending bank CapitalSource, defeated state Sen. Rob Garagiola, D-Montgomery, in a primary battle that drew a host of candidates from both parties to compete in a 6th District made competitive through redistricting. Delaney outraised Bartlett by a 4-to-1 margin, contributing more than $2 million of his own wealth to the campaign.
Bartlett’s defeat accomplished Maryland Democrats’ objective of picking up a seventh seat in the state’s congressional delegation.
Gov. Martin O’Malley and Democrats in the General Assembly shifted Bartlett’s district farther into Montgomery County and away from traditionally Republican territory in northern Maryland, erasing the Republican’s advantage among registered voters. Bartlett performed strongly in western Maryland, but was not able to win over the district’s new voters in Montgomery County.
Delaney’s path to re-election in 2014 could have been thrown into uncertainty if voters had rejected Question 5, which put the new congressional districts to a popular vote. The map would then have been sent back to Democrats in Annapolis, who would have had to come up with a new plan to be implemented for the 2014 elections. The redistricting plan passed.
Gary Featheringham, a precinct chairman for the Montgomery County Republican Party, voted against the new congressional districts at Stone Mill Elementary School in North Potomac. He said the new district map was a blatant attempt to “throw Bartlett out of office.”
In the remaining congressional races, the incumbents easily won re-election.
Rep. Andy Harris, R-Cockeysville, won his first re-election against a Democratic Party confused by the exit of nominee Wendy Rosen after she admitted she voted in both Florida and Maryland in two different elections.
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Cockeysville, won a sixth term in the 2nd District after defeating Nancy Jacobs, a Republican state senator representing Cecil and Harford counties.
Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Towson, defeated Republican Eric Knowles in the 3rd District.
In the 4th District, , defeated Republican Faith Loudon.
, raised more than $4 million for his 17th congressional campaign — the most of any House candidate in Maryland. He defeated Republican Delegate Tony O’Donnell, whose district includes Calvert and St. Mary’s counties.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Baltimore, the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, defeated Frank Mirabile Jr. in a rematch of their 2010 race in the 7th District.
In the 8th District, which picked up thousands of Bartlett’s supporters in northern Maryland, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Kensington, who plays an influential role as the ranking member on the House Budget Committee, defeated Republican Ken Timmerman, an author and journalist.
With reporting by Greg Cohen.