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(132,233 posts)
Wed May 15, 2024, 02:26 AM May 15

In Maryland, a potential history maker beats the money.

Representative David Trone, a co-owner of the giant alcohol retailer Total Wine and More, gave up his safe House seat, spent more than $60 million of his fortune and lost the Senate Democratic primary to Angela Alsobrooks, who hopes to become only the third Black woman to be elected to Congress’s upper chamber.

In a showdown between money and history, history won.

Maryland would ordinarily have been a safe bet for Democrats hoping to hold the seat of Senator Ben Cardin upon his retirement, but the entry of Larry Hogan, a popular former governor and Republican moderate, into the race has scrambled the equation. Democrats initially were happy to have Mr. Trone as their nominee, knowing they wouldn’t have to spend a dime for him in the general election.

But senior Democrats in Maryland and around the country came to believe they needed a candidate who could inspire their base voters in Baltimore and the suburbs of Washington to come out in November to beat Mr. Hogan, an anti-Trump Republican who proved his bipartisan appeal with two governor’s race victories in his blue state.

Ms. Alsobrooks crushed Mr. Trone in her home base, the diverse Washington suburbs of Prince George’s County, where she is the county executive. She beat him in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and suburban Howard County. She even narrowly beat him in his home base, Montgomery County, a Washington suburb with some of the most affluent communities in the country.

The Cook Political Report rates the seat likely Democratic, even with Mr. Hogan now the Republican standard-bearer, but the coming campaign will be hard fought. If Ms. Alsobrooks and Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, Democrat of Delaware, both win their Senate contests in November, voters will have doubled the number of Black women elected to the Senate in American history, and for the first time ever, two Black women will serve in the Senate at once.


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