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Maryland voters set matchups for open House seats

Olszewski, Elfreth and McClain Delaney nominated to succeed Ruppersberger, Sarbanes and Trone

A voter fills out a ballot on primary day at Lewisdale Elementary School in Chillum, Md., on Tuesday.
A voter fills out a ballot on primary day at Lewisdale Elementary School in Chillum, Md., on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Democratic nominees for three open House seats in Maryland include a county executive, a state senator and a former Biden administration official, the latter of which faces a potentially competitive race in November.

Here’s a rundown of the races: 

2nd District

Baltimore County Executive John “Johnny O” Olszewski won the Democratic nomination to replace retiring Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger.

Olszewski had 82 percent of the vote in a six-way primary when The Associated Press called the race at 8:41 p.m. 

Olszewski is set to face Kimberly Klacik, a conservative talk radio host, in November. Klacik won a three-way Republican primary and had 65 percent of the vote when the AP called the race at 8:43 p.m. Klacik previously ran in the 2020 special election in the 7th District to replace the late Rep. Elijah E. Cummings. 

Olszewski, who previously was a member of the state House of Delegates for nearly nine years and was considered a potential candidate for the Senate before opting to support Angela Alsobrooks, is the favorite for the seat. Democrat Joe Biden would have won the district by 20 points in 2020, and Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race as Solid Democratic. 

3rd District

State Sen. Sarah Elfreth won the nomination to replace retiring Rep. John Sarbanes Tuesday, defeating nearly two dozen fellow Democrats including former Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn, who brought national attention to the race.

Elfreth had 36 percent of the vote when the AP called the race at 10:27 p.m. Dunn trailed with 26 percent. 

Dunn gained a national following after he spoke out about his experience defending the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, including in a bestselling book. That helped him to raise $4.6 million as of April 24, far more than anyone else in the field, including Elfreth, who raised $1.5 million. 

But outside groups ran ads on Elfreth’s behalf, which helped close the gap on the airwaves. United Democracy Project, the independent expenditure arm of the American Israel Public Affairs Council, spent $4.2 million to boost Elfreth, the youngest woman ever elected to the state Senate. A group called Pro-Choice Majority 2024 dropped $175,000 on radio ads to support Elfreth ahead of the final weekend of the campaign, according to Federal Election Commission filings. She touted endorsements from retiring Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin and former Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. 

Elfreth is the favorite in November. The 3rd District would have supported Biden by 25 percentage points in 2020, according to Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales, which rates the race as Solid Democratic. 

6th District

The matchup for what’s likely to be Maryland’s most competitive House race this year is set after voters in both parties picked their nominees on Tuesday. 

Democrat April McClain Delaney, a former Department of Commerce official, won the Democratic nomination, leading a crowded ballot with 16 candidates, although some of those candidates dropped out before the election. McClain Delaney had 40 percent of the vote when the AP called the race at 10:21 p.m. Del. Joe Vogel ran second with 26 percent. 

McClain Delaney, whose husband, John Delaney, previously represented the district, was endorsed by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi as well as Maryland Reps. Steny H. Hoyer, Jamie Raskin and Ruppersberger. 

If elected, she would succeed Rep. David Trone, who gave up the seat to run for Senate. Trone had succeeded her husband when he ran for president in 2020. 

McClain Delaney will face Republican Neil Parrott, the 2020 and 2022 GOP nominee in the district. Parrott, a former member of the House of Delegates, had 50 percent of the vote in the seven-candidate field when the AP called the race at 10:02 p.m. 

Dan Cox, another former state lawmaker who lost the 2022 gubernatorial race, had 29 percent. 

Inside Elections rates the race as Likely Democratic. 

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