Election Projection 2014: District 31

Senate District 31

Incumbent: Bryan Simonaire (R)
Filed Challengers: Scott Harman (D)
Projection: Safe R Hold

Past Results:
2010: Bryan Simonaire (R) 62.1%, Ned Carey (D) 37.8%
2006: Bryan Simonaire (R) 50.8%, Walter J. Shandrowsky (D) 49.1%

Sen. Bryan Simonaire

Sen. Bryan Simonaire

It’s hard to believe that just eight years ago, this district had a Democratic senator. In 2006, Republican Bryan Simonaire managed to win this district by less than 700 votes. We won’t see another close race like that here for a long time. The 31st is based in Pasadena, the center of Republican activity in Anne Arundel County. Through a coalition of the wealthy who live along the Magothy River and on Gibson Island, dissatisfied former blue-collar workers in Pasadena and Riviera Beach, and residents of the eastern Pasadena/Lake Shore countryside, the Republicans have a powerful base here. Senator Simonaire is set to cruise in 2014, although Democrat Scott Harman has stepped up to challenge him.

Campaign Finances as of the August 26 filing deadline:

  1. Bryan Simonaire (R) raised $28,129, cash on hand $21,625
  2. Anthony Scott Harman (D) filed ALCE (raised/spent less than $1,000)

House District 31A – 1 member

Resident Incumbent: none
Filed Candidates: Ned Carey (D), Terry Lynn DeGraw (R)
Projection: Likely D+1

31a

Brooklyn Park and northern Glen Burnie were shaved off the old 31st District and made into a new single-member 31A. The communities here are strongly Democratic, especially closer to Baltimore City, and popular community leader Ned Carey is the favorite to win the new seat.

Campaign Finances as of the August 26 filing deadline:

  1. Ned Carey (D) raised $28,750, cash on hand $16,005
  2. Terry Lynn DeGraw (R) raised $6,766, cash on hand $2,208

House District 31B – 2 members

Incumbents: Nic Kipke (R), Steve Schuh (R), Don Dwyer (R) – Schuh is running for County Executive
Filed Challengers: Jeremiah Chiappelli (D), Doug Morris (D), Meagan Simonaire (R)
Projection: Safe R Hold

31b

The race for 31B has been one of the more dramatic this year. After losing a seat to redistricting, Republicans were faced with three incumbents with only two seats between them. Dropping out of the game of political musical chairs early was Delegate Steve Schuh, who decided to run for County Executive.

Then there is the matter of Maryland’s most infamous legislator: Don Dwyer. First elected in 2002, he was mainly known as a staunch, STAUNCH opponent of gay marriage. On his LinkedIn profile he proudly hails himself as “the most conservative member of the legislature.”

He is more recently known, unfortunately, for driving his boat, while intoxicated, into another boat and injuring 9 people. Months later, he was arrested again for a DUI, this time while driving a car. He is currently serving 30 weekends in prison, and was insanely not required to resign his seat in the legislature. Perhaps more insanely, he has vowed to run again in 2014, although Simonaire and Kipke have formed a slate without him.

Del. Don Dwyer (R)

Del. Don Dwyer (R)

Dwyer’s drama has led to the most competitive Republican primary in the state, eventually won by Senator Bryan Simonaire’s 24-year-old daughter, Meghan. Dwyer ended up placing sixth out of eight candidates with only 7% of the votes.

Campaign Finances as of the August 26 filing deadline:

  1. Nic Kipke (R-inc) raised $53,408, cash on hand $16,462
  2. Meagan Simonaire (R) raised $28,773, cash on hand $3,625
  3. Jeremiah Chiappelli (D) filed ALCE (raised/spent less than $1,000)
  4. Doug Morris (D) filed ALCE (raised/spent less than $1,000)