Senate District 9
Incumbent: Gail Bates (R)
Filed Challengers: none
Projection: Lean R Hold
2014: Gail Bates (R) 65.8%, Ryan Frederic (D) 34.1%
2010: Allan Kittleman (R) 66.7%, Jim Adams (D) 33.2%
Who could run?
- Ryan Frederic – Business owner Ryan Frederic of Glenwood came up short in a very good year for Republicans. There’s always a learning curve to campaigns, and rookie candidates like Frederic can often learn from their mistakes and make a much better showing the second time around. For what it’s worth, Frederic has kept his campaign account open.
- Jon Weinstein – County Councilman from District 1 Jon Weinstein is popular in Ellicott City, which means it’s much more likely that he’ll seek re-election rather than try to make the risky jump to a contested State Senate seat. Still, he is the biggest name Democrats can hope to draw here.
- Tom Coale – The man behind the blog HoCo Rising and the podcast Elevate Maryland might give it a shot. He ran for Delegate from 9B in 2014, winning the Democratic primary convincingly but narrowly losing to former Republican delegate Bob Flanagan in the biggest upset (to me, at least) of the year. From reading his blog, he certainly seems to have his finger on the pulse of Howard County as a whole, but the risk of running in this traditionally Republican district may discourage him from filing.
Here is one of a handful of districts that have been trending in the Democrats’ favor. While Larry Hogan crushed District 9 in 2014, winning 69-29% among Election Day voters, Donald Trump barely managed 50% in this well-educated and quickly suburbanizing district in western Howard County and southern Carroll County. If Democrats want to do more in 2018 than just play defense, which they absolutely must, then they should focus on districts like this one.
House District 9A – 2 members
Incumbents: Trent Kittleman (R), Warren E. Miller (R)
Filed Challengers: none
Projection: Likely R Hold
2014: Trent Kittleman (R) 37.5%, Warren E. Miller (R) 33.1%, Walter E. Carson (D) 15.6%, James Ward Morrow (D) 13.7%
2010: Gail Bates (R) 30.6%, Warren E. Miller (R) 28.0%, Maryann Maher (D) 21.5%, Jonathan Weinstein (D) 19.9%
The only way Democrats are going to have a chance in District 9 is to improve their performance in the two-member District 9A, which is heavily Republican thanks to rural west county, Sykesville, and Eldersburg. Larry Hogan won here 74-25%, and Trump won 55-38%. Those Trump numbers should put 9A in play for some adventurous Democrats who have deep ties to their communities and are willing to run vigorous campaigns; 17-point margins are being erased all over the country as the President’s popularity continues to plummet.
House District 9B – 1 member
2014: Bob Flanagan (R) 54.9%, Tom Coale (D) 45.1%
In 2014, I predicted a Democratic pickup here. Even with a well-funded candidate and a new district that looked favorable to Democrats, it just didn’t happen. That year was also an unusually good year for Republicans nationwide, and it’s looking like 2018 will be just the opposite. While Larry Hogan won here 57-41%, Hillary Clinton won 57-37%, and progressives in Ellicott City are fired up.