Updated: Sept. 15, 11:56 p.m.
State Sen. Andy Harris can finally focus his full attention on November after coasting to the GOP nomination in Maryland’s battleground 1st district Tuesday night.
With 64 percent of precincts reporting, Harris led wealthy entrepreneur Rob Fisher 67 percent to 33 percent, and the Associated Press had called the race.
Fisher spent more than $550,000 of his own money on his campaign and got a late boost in the form of an endorsement from former Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R), whom Harris defeated in a nasty 2008 primary.
But the relatively unknown Fisher never gained much traction against Harris, who is now headed to a rematch with Rep. Frank Kratovil (D). Kratovil, who won his House seat in 2008 by less than 3,000 votes, is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents of the cycle.
While the Harris camp can now officially move into general election mode, the campaign has long been looking ahead to the matchup against Kratovil. In fact, during the final week of the primary, Harris was busy previewing his first general election commercial, which is set to air Wednesday. The ad is a biographical piece that also talks about the threat of government overtaxing and overspending.
The 1st district race is the only competitive contest on tap in the Old Line State this November.
In other results in the state from Tuesday’s primaries, Democrats overwhelmingly nominated Sen. Barbara Mikulski to a fifth term. On the Republican side, Queen Anne’s County Commissioner Eric Wargotz was ahead in his primary, but the GOP nominee will have an uphill climb as national Republicans are not targeting Mikulski this fall.