Category Archives: Garrett

Election Projection 2014: District 1

Senate District 1

Incumbent: George C. Edwards (R)
Filed Challengers: none
Projection: Safe R Hold

Past Results:
2010: George C. Edwards (R) unopposed
2006: George C. Edwards (R) 72.7%, Thomas Conlon (D) 27.2%

Senate 1 hasn’t elected a Democrat in the modern period (1986-present). With Garrett and Allegany counties continuing to trend Republican, even an overwhelming blue wave (which is not on the horizon for 2014) wouldn’t flip this seat. Incumbent Senator George Edwards is running unopposed for the second election in a row.

1a

House District 1A – 1 member

Incumbent: Wendell R. Beitzel (R)
Filed Challengers: none
Projection: Safe R Hold

Past Results:
2010: Wendell R. Beitzel (R) 72.6%, Smokey Stanton (D) 27.3%
2006: Wendell R. Beitzel (R) 56.3%, Bill Aiken (D) 43.5%

Not much explanation is needed here; Garrett County is the most conservative county in the state. The county that voted 74-23 for Mitt Romney is not expected to yield a Democratic delegate for a very, very long time. Delegate Beitzel will not have any challengers from either party this year, and will cruise to his third term in the House.

1b

House District 1B – 1 member

Incumbent: Kevin Kelly (D)
Filed Challengers: Jason C. Buckel (R)
Projection: Lean D Hold

Past Results:
2010: Kevin Kelly (D) 51.3%, Mary Beth Pirolozzi (R) 48.6%
2006: Kevin Kelly (D) 55.7%, Mark A. Fisher (R) 44.2%

When a Republican challenger falls short against a weak incumbent in a GOP wave election, you know you’ll need another wave election to have a chance of taking the seat. Allegany County has been trending Republican in recent years, but this district based in Cumberland and Frostburg still has a Democratic electorate at the state level.

While a strongly funded Republican candidate may pose a real threat to Delegate Kevin Kelly, the only Republican in the race is Jason Buckel, who serves on the county’s Republican Central Committee. This is not a heavily Democratic seat, but Kelly’s conservative voting record and A+ rating from the NRA have kept him in step with this western Maryland district. Buckel’s fundraising finally kicked into full gear after the primary, but he has still been outraised by Kelly.

Del. Kevin Kelly (D)

Del. Kevin Kelly (D)

Campaign Finances as of the August 26 deadline:

  1. Kevin Kelly (D-inc) raised $26,155, cash on hand $23,893
  2. Jason Buckel (R) raised $17,490, cash on hand $14,970

 

1c

House District 1C – 1 member

Incumbent: LeRoy Myers (R) – will retire
Filed Challengers: Mike McKay (R), Nick Scarpelli (D)
Projection: Safe R Hold

Past Results:
2010: LeRoy Myers (R) 69.7%, Ronald Lohr (D) 30.1%
2006: LeRoy Myers (R) 57.2%, Brian Grim (D) 42.7%

This district extends from Cumberland in Allegany County to Clear Springs in Washington County, and consists of rural and mountainous stretches of western Maryland, as well as most of the city of Cumberland. This used to be the seat of Democratic Speaker Cas Taylor, before he was defeated by current Republican incumbent LeRoy Myers. The Washington County portion of this district will ensure it stays in Republican hands this time, but population increases in Washington County could make this race interesting in 2022.

Mike McKay starts off with significant advantages in name recognition and fundraising, bolstered by his term on the Allegany County council which began in 2010. He has the support of fellow commissioners Creade Brodie and Bill Valentine, as well as outgoing Del. LeRoy Myers. He defeated his primary opponent, gun-rights advocate Ray Givens, 56-44%.

McKay will now face Cumberland city councilman Nick Scarpelli, who has apparently waited until now to start fundraising. Amazingly, it only took him one period to catch up with McKay’s fundraising for the entire cycle, and he would have enough money to make this race competitive if it weren’t such a dark-red district.

County Commissioner Mike McKay (R) leads the Republican field in fundraising

County Commissioner Mike McKay (R) leads the Republican field in fundraising

 

Campaign Finances as of the August 26 deadline:

  1. Mike McKay (R) raised $31,145, cash on hand $75
  2. Nick Scarpelli (D) raised $30,597, cash on hand $4,441