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Edwards comeback denied, Parrott to face Trone in Maryland

Glenn Ivey takes Democratic nomination in open 4th District

Prince George's County prosecutor and former Captiol Hill aide Glenn Ivey won the Democratic nomination for an open seat in Maryland's 4th District.
Prince George's County prosecutor and former Captiol Hill aide Glenn Ivey won the Democratic nomination for an open seat in Maryland's 4th District. (Craig Hudson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Former Capitol Hill aide-turned-lobbyist and local prosecutor Glenn Ivey prevailed in a tough, high-priced Democratic primary against ex-Rep. Donna Edwards, winning the nomination for Maryland’s 4th District and all but guaranteeing him a seat in the House next year.  

Ivey had 51 percent of the vote to Edwards’ 35 percent in a race called by The Associated Press at 12:44 a.m. Wednesday. Nine total candidates were on the Democratic ballot, but none of the others attracted any outside spending. 

The primary split the party’s top leaders in the House, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California endorsing Edwards and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland siding with Ivey.

Outside interests, mostly with a focus on U.S. policy toward Israel, disclosed huge expenditures totaling nearly $8 million on ads aimed at swaying voters. Most of that money went to attack Edwards or to boost Ivey, though the ads did not mention Middle East policy. 

Ivey said the ads attacking Edwards that aimed to boost his candidacy, some of which criticized Edwards for poor constituent service during her tenure in Congress, were not only accurate but “go directly to the issue that the voters need to decide: Who’s best able to do the job? She’s had it before, and I think it’s clear that she didn’t do a good job.”  

Edwards said the outside spending had been a distraction to her campaign, and that the issue of support for Israel had been “nonexistent” on the campaign trail.

United Democracy Project, a super PAC whose biggest donor is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, spent nearly $6 million opposing Edwards and boosting Ivey. The liberal group J Street, which says it advocates for peace in the region from a negotiated resolution agreed to by Israelis and Palestinians, ran ads in support of Edwards and against Ivey, disclosing more than $725,000 in expenditures. 

Ivey, a former Justice Department official and state’s attorney for Prince George’s County, outraised Edwards, hauling in more than $1.2 million to her $1 million.  

Edwards represented the Prince George’s County district from 2007 through 2017, leaving the seat to run for the state’s open Senate seat; she lost that primary to Sen. Chris Van Hollen. The seat opened up again because Democratic Rep. Anthony G. Brown, who won it in 2016, decided to run for state attorney general.  

The Republican race was not called early Wednesday morning. With an estimated 70 percent of the vote counted at 3:51 a.m., pastor Jeff Warner led with 60 percent. But so far only 2,726 Republican votes had been cast in the primary, compared with more than 48,000 in the Democratic race in the deep-blue district. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the November race as Solid Democratic. 

Trone to face Parrott 

Voters in Maryland’s 6th District, meanwhile, may have a potentially competitive race in November with Democratic Rep. David Trone facing Republican Neil Parrott, a member of the state’s House of Delegates.

Parrott prevailed in a GOP primary against Matthew Foldi, a former super PAC operative and first-time candidate who had a long list of endorsements from House GOP leaders, prominent members of the House Republican Conference and Gov. Larry Hogan.

Parrott had 66 percent of the vote to Foldi’s 15 percent when the AP called the race at 10:03 p.m. Tuesday. Trone, who faced two challengers, had 80 percent when his race was called two minutes earlier.

Trone, whom the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added to its Frontline incumbent protection program in June, holds the state’s only seat not solidly for one party or the other. Inside Elections rates the race Likely Democratic for November. The 6th District seat became more competitive when a map crafted by state Democrats was thrown out in a lawsuit.

An owner of Total Wine & More, Trone has put nearly $12.6 million of his own money into the race and had $10.8 million on hand as of June 29, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Parrott held nearly $350,000 as of that date.

Hoyer, Van Hollen coast to renomination

Incumbents who had no trouble winning renomination Tuesday included Hoyer, who, in seeking a 21st full term this year, handily beat back a repeat challenge from Mckayla Wilkes, who had raised $175,000 as of June 29 to Hoyer’s more than $3 million, according to FEC filings. Hoyer’s other primary challenger in the 5th District was Keith Washington, a Prince George’s County official, who had not disclosed raising any money. 

Van Hollen easily beat primary opponent Michelle Smith, whose campaign website says she works for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Smith reported raising about $2,000. Van Hollen was hospitalized in May after suffering a stroke but has since returned to Capitol Hill.

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