Final 2014 Predictions

Election Day is just a week away, and early voting is already underway. In the final stretch of this exciting election cycle, most seats have been more or less locked down by one candidate. Some, however, remain competitive, and we have summarized them here.

State Senate

District 3 (City of Frederick, southern Frederick county)
Incumbent: Ron Young (D)
Challenger: Corey Stottlemyer (R)
Projection: D Hold

Sen. Ron Young is a former mayor of Frederick and enjoys high name recognition in a district he won in 2010. His Republican opponent has not been able to raise much money, so a swing here is unlikely. If Stottlemyer can’t kick his campaign into high gear, this race won’t be competitive at all.

District 9 (Howard County: Ellicott City, Lisbon; Carroll County: Sykesville, Eldersburg)
Incumbent: Allan Kittleman (R) – retiring
Challengers: Gail Bates (R), Ryan Frederic (D)
Projection: R Hold

This district wasn’t supposed to be competitive, but redistricting and Howard County’s trend towards Democrats opened this race up to a well-funded challenger. Ryan Frederic has raised over $140,000 so far, outpacing Republican Gail Bates by more than a 4-to-1 margin. Bates is currently serving her third term in the House of Delegates, so voters know her already and what she brings to the table. Between that and the historic Republican lean of this district, Bates is still the favorite to win, but just barely.

District 29 (St. Mary’s County, Calvert County: Lusby)
Incumbent: Roy Dyson (D)
Challenger: Steve Waugh (R)
Projection: R Gain

While ancestrally Democratic, this district is following the trend in southern Maryland of turning red. Republican candidate Steve Waugh narrowly lost to Sen. Dyson in 2010 and is seeking a rematch. Waugh is well-funded and has the support needed to be competitive if not to knock Dyson out. Many of the areas he performed poorly in 2010 are in the conservative northern St. Mary’s County around Mechanicsburg. This is the most likely Republican pickup this year, but it’s too early to count Dyson out. He leads Waugh in fundraising and still maintains his base of support.

District 34 (Harford County: Aberdeen, Bel Air, Havre de Grace)
Incumbent: Nancy Jacobs (R) – retiring
Challengers: Mary-Dulany James (D), Bob Cassilly (R)
Projection: D Gain

Democrats scored a great recruit in this blue-trending district with Delegate Mary-Dulany James, who brings excellent name recognition and a moderate voting record to the table. Her opponent, Bob Cassilly, is a former county councilman and Army veteran who will perform well in Bel Air but is likely to trail James south of I-95. James has a slight edge heading into September, due chiefly to her political experience and her fundraising advantage.

District 42 (Baltimore County: Towson, Lutherville, Sparks)
Incumbent: Jim Brochin (D)
Challenger: Tim Robinson (R)
Projection: R Gain

Sen. Brochin’s district was redrawn from a compact district around Towson to a long strip extending from Baltimore to the Pennsylvania border, picking up miles of Republican territory in the process. This should be an easy Republican pickup, but so far their candidate, Tim Robinson, has put up unimpressive fundraising numbers. Brochin is also known as an independent-minded legislator, and it’s rumored that this could have something to do with his district changing shape. Gov. O’Malley even backed his opponent in the Democratic primary. So far, this is still a weak Republican pickup, but Brochin could very well pull this out against a weak candidate.

 

House of Delegates

District 1B (Allegany County: Cumberland, Frostburg)
Incumbent: Kevin Kelly (D)
Challenger: Jason Buckel (R)
Projection: D Hold

Democrat Kevin Kelly has held on to this seat by reflecting the conservative attitudes of Western Maryland. Sometimes, voters choose the opposition party even if they don’t dislike the incumbent. That may happen here this year, although Del. Kelly has stayed ahead in his fundraising efforts.

District 6 (Baltimore County: Dundalk, Essex)
Incumbents: Mike Weir (D), John Olszewski, Jr. (D), Sonny Minnick (D) – Olszewski is running for State Senate, Minnick is retiring
Challengers: Robin Grammer (R), Bob Long (R), Ric Metzgar (R), Jake Mohorovic (D), Nicholas D’Adamo, Jr. (D)
Projection: Weir (D) Hold, Toss-up for the other 2 seats

This district has become older and more conservative in recent years, and has elected socially conservative Democrats to the House. While at least one of the Democratic candidates appears so be a social conservative (Jake Mohorovic was endorsed by the conservative group Protect Marriage Maryland), the Republicans are running a full slate of candidates with strong campaigns. Democrat Mike Weir is very likely to be re-elected, but he could just as easily be joined by two Democrats as he is by two Republicans.

District 8 (Baltimore County: Overlea, Parkville, Perry Hall)
Incumbents: Eric Bromwell (D), John Cluster (R), Joe Boteler (R) – Boteler is now in District 42B
Challengers: Bill Paulshock (D), Renee Smith (D), Christian Miele (R), Norma Secoura (R)
Projection: Bromwell (D) Hold, Cluster (R) Hold, Paulshock (D) Gain

This historically white Catholic district has changed a lot in recent years, but one constant is voters’ personal loyalty to candidates over political parties. Voters have been sending a mixed-party delegation to Annapolis every election since 1990, and have been extremely supportive of John Cluster and Eric Bromwell for over a decade. Bill Paulshock is a popular community figure who owns a local seafood restaurant, and is likely to pick up the vacant seat left by Joe Boteler. Democrats would like to sweep this district with Renee Smith, but Cluster is more likely to retain the third seat.

District 9B (Howard County: Columbia, Ellicott City)
Incumbent: Susan Krebs (R) – Krebs is now in District 5
Challengers: Bob Flanagan (R), Tom Coale (D)
Projection: D Gain

District 9B is in a completely different place than before redistricting. Formerly in south Carroll County, this district is now in central Howard County, including Ellicott City and parts of Columbia and Elkridge. The precincts that make up the new district gave 56% of the vote to Senator Mikulski in 2010, so this should be an easy Democratic pickup.

District 27C (Calvert County: North Beach, Prince Frederick)
Incumbent: Mark Fisher (R)
Challengers: Sue Kullen (D)
Projection: D Gain

While Calvert County isn’t the Democratic haven it used to be, former Delegate Sue Kullen has been gaining ground in her rematch against Del. Mark Fisher, who defeated her in 2010. We have her returning to the House in a newly-drawn district more amenable to Democrats than her previous seat.

District 29A (St. Mary’s County: Leonardtown, Mechanicsburg)
Incumbent: John Wood (D) – retiring
Challengers: Matt Morgan (R), Daniel Slade (D)
Projection: R Gain

Northern St. Mary’s County has been trending conservative for a while, and Del. John Wood only barely clung to his seat at the last election. With his retirement, Republicans are all but certain to win this district.

District 30A (Anne Arundel County: Annapolis)
Incumbents: Michael Busch (D), Herb McMillan (R)
Challengers: Chuck Ferrar (D), Genevieve Lindner (R)
Projection: D Gain

This district elected two Republicans and a Democrat while it was stretched along eastern Anne Arundel County in places like Arnold and Edgewater. With these areas largely removed from this new two-member district, the Democrats will have a much easier time winning. Chuck Ferrar is a very popular local businessman and community figure, and he may actually end up with more votes than Michael Busch, who is the Speaker of the House.

District 31A (Anne Arundel County: Brooklyn Park, Glen Burnie)
Incumbent: none
Challengers: Ned Carey (D), Terry Lynn DeGraw (R)
Projection: D Gain

Technically this was the infamous Don Dwyer’s old seat, before he carpetbagged to Pasadena in a failed attempt to win a seat in 31B. Brooklyn Park community leader Ned Carey is well-known and should win a close one over Terry Lynn DeGraw of Glen Burnie, who has made a race out of this with a well-run campaign.

District 33 (Anne Arundel County: Arnold, Cape St. Claire, Crofton, Crownsville, Millersville, Severna Park)
Incumbents: Cathy Vitale (R), Tony McConkey (R), Ron George (R) – George is retiring
Challengers: Sid Saab (R), Henry Green (D), Tom Angelis (D), Kostas Alexakis (D)
Projection: D Gain

Ron George was drawn into this district from the 30th, but he decided to run for governor instead. The open seat will be going to fellow Republican Sid Saab; that’s not the competitive seat. Delegate Tony McConkey got into ethical trouble when he tried to pass legislation that would make it easier for him to pay off real estate penalties to the state, for which he earned a reprimand from the House and a snub from the other members of the District 33 delegation. Democrat Henry Green has presented himself as a moderate, community-driven alternative and has earned the endorsement of the Gazette. We predict the voters will choose Vitale, Saab, and George.

District 34A (Harford County: Aberdeen, Edgewood, Havre de Grace)
Incumbents: Mary Dulany-James (D), Glen Glass (R)
Challengers: Mary Ann Lisanti (D), Marla Posey-Moss (D), Bob Cassilly (R)
Projection: D Gain

Technically this was the infamous Don Dwyer’s old seat, before he carpetbagged to Pasadena in a failed attempt to win a seat in 31B. Brooklyn Park community leader Ned Carey is well-known and should win a close one over Terry Lynn DeGraw of Glen Burnie, who has made a race out of this with a well-run campaign.