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Alsobrooks beats Trone, will take on Hogan for Maryland Senate

Prince George’s County executive was heavily outspent by three-term House member

Maryland Democratic Senate candidate Angela Alsobrooks bumps fists with Gov. Wes Moore while greeting voters at Lewisdale Elementary School in Chillum, Md., on Tuesday.
Maryland Democratic Senate candidate Angela Alsobrooks bumps fists with Gov. Wes Moore while greeting voters at Lewisdale Elementary School in Chillum, Md., on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Angela Alsobrooks, the Prince George’s County executive, will be the Democratic nominee in the race for Maryland’s open Senate seat this fall after defeating Rep. David Trone, who spent nearly $62 million of his own money to try to defeat her.

Alsobrooks had 52.5 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race Tuesday at 9:55 p.m. Trone had 43.4 percent and eight other candidates shared the rest of the vote. 

Alsobrooks now looks to November, when she is set to face former Gov. Larry Hogan, who defeated six other candidates for the Republican nomination Tuesday. Hogan had 68 percent of the votes when the AP called the race at 8:38 p.m. Robin Ficker, a former state lawmaker who outspent Hogan and aired ads pledging to be a stronger supporter of former President Donald Trump, had 24 percent. 

“This is about what kind of Maryland we’re building, about reproductive rights for our daughters and for women. It is about privacy and freedom to make our own choices, it is about economic opportunity,” Alsobrooks said in an interview Monday when asked about the message moving into the rest of the campaign. “The message hasn’t changed, it’s about democracy and freedom and you know, the soul of our country, really.”

When Trone and Alsobrooks launched their campaigns last year after Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin announced his plans to retire, Maryland’s Senate race wasn’t expected to be in the group of nationally watched races this year. But Hogan’s late entrance to the race in February changed that, and Republicans think they have a shot at flipping a seat in a state that Joe Biden won by 33 percentage points in 2020. 

“Larry Hogan is a unique brand,” Sen. Steve Daines, the National Republican Senatorial Committee chair, told reporters earlier this month. “He says, ‘I’m Larry Hogan, I’m right for Maryland and I’m not bound by any one of the presidential candidates,’ and I think in a state like Maryland that’s a great position to be in.”

The danger of losing the seat in November made the Democratic primary increasingly competitive. Democrats currently hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, and Sen. Joe Manchin III’s retirement has essentially taken West Virginia off the board, as Republicans are likely to flip the seat. That means Republicans need to flip just one other seat to win back the majority.

National Democrats have signaled they will seek to emphasize Hogan’s plans to caucus with Republicans and they will try to make abortion a liability for him. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released a digital ad Tuesday night highlighting that Hogan’s election would likely mean a Republican majority in the Senate.

Daines said in a statement after the race was called that “Alsobrooks underfunded law enforcement while crime is skyrocketing in her county” while the state knows “Hogan delivered results for Maryland by reaching across the aisle.”

With Democrats defending seats in key swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nevada, Alsobrooks argued she was the best positioned to defeat Hogan, pointing to an Emerson College poll in the final days of the campaign that showed she led Hogan in a hypothetical matchup, 48 percent to 38 percent with 14 percent undecided. 

At a campaign rally Monday night, Rep. Steny Hoyer told the crowd that Alsobrooks offered the best “contrast” to Hogan and would make the stronger general election candidate.

“She offers a contrast and a reason as to why she will bring to the United States Senate a new perspective and why, also, she will bring a woman to the Maryland delegation,” he said. 

Before she was elected county executive in 2018, Alsobrooks was Prince George’s County state’s attorney, the first woman to hold the role. She focused her campaign this year on economic issues, which she said was the top issue she heard about from voters, as well as protecting reproductive rights. 

If elected, she would be the first Black senator from Maryland and would be the third Black woman elected to the Senate.

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